ROY THURSTON - SEE Through
Exhibition Dates: February 27 - April 9, 2016
Opening Reception: Saturday, February 27, 2016, 5 - 8 p.m.
Roy Thurston’s latest works in silicone, pigment, and metal expand in fresh new ways on his innovative manner of merging painting and sculpture into singular objects of curious power. His long-standing interest in activating experiential awareness of our architectural and environmental surroundings -- as well as the pleasure he takes in all aspects of the industrial fabrication process -- result in a suite of dimensional wall works in copper or aluminum, and either water- or silicone-based color that accomplish this in several unique ways.
Making full use of his extensive collection of wood and metal machining and fabrication tools, Thurston begins with the shape. Bending, folding, carving, and so on as required, Thurston rst makes serial panels, spire-like wedges, angular boxes, kinked orconvex planes, and whatever else strikes his dimensional imagination. Idiosyncratic, hand-mixed palettes come into being secondarily, as variations on matted lavender, hot pink, yellowish puce, and mustardy gold are introduced, transforming the sculptural act into a painterly one from that moment on. The silicone, once pigmented and prepared is applied to the metal surfaces using a variety of tools and techniques, each generating a different surface quality -- be it light-catching linear trowel grooves in rows and round curves, translucent smooth perfection edged by lapping scrapings, or a lightly textured accumulation of spray. These recall the uses of the palette knife and other kinds of tools in brush-free abstraction; and moreover, the effective variations between the works call further attention to the hand-wrought character of Thurston’s overall practice, evoking notions of “process painting” without any aesthetic resemblance to the styles usually associated with it.
These works, as with all of Thurston’s pieces, are non-narrative in themselves but require, for full consideration, the viewer to encounter them at different times ofday -- to use them as touchstones for what is ultimately a deeper experience of the space they occupy. “They lead out from the wall and into the world,” says Thurston, and that is their narrative. Just as artists like Monet with his serial haystacks that were really about noticing the changeability of natural light and expressing this in painting reinvented artistic vision as phenomenological and durational, Thurston’s objects tell the stories of the times and places they exist, in luminous, harmonic, experiential discourse with each new viewer.
Thurston has exhibited his work extensively throughout the United States and in Europe. Born in Huntington, New York in 1949, Thurston studied sculpture, painting and photography at Colorado College and earned an MFA in painting at Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, California. His work was recently included in the exhibition, “SoCal: Southern California Art of the 1960’s and 70’s from LACMA’s Collection,” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Thurston is in numerous collections both in the United States and abroad, including: Albright Knox Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Frederick Weisman Art Foundation, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Museo Cantonale d’Arte Lugano, Switzerland; and the Panza Collection, Milan, Italy.