ALEX THOMPSON: A graphic artist worthy of attention

I first encountered the very compelling work of ALEX R. M. THOMPSON at the Abbozzo Gallery, 401 Richmond Street, Toronto, where he had a solo show from February 1 to 25, 2017. I was immediately attracted to his work because it was large, architectural, and employed a number of graphic techniques, etching, drypoint, aquatint, which I admire. The etcher’s skills rival those of a sculptor. The following post is the result of Q and A via email with Alex Thompson

     Unlike yours truly, Alex believes in the efficacy of the artist’s statement. A well-constructed statement can bridge the gap between an artist’s intent and the viewer’s perception. The statement tells the viewer what the artist is wrestling with visually and assures a concerned collector that his/her initial interest has a thematic/stylistic context.

     Alex chose printmaking as his medium of choice at OCAD U because he was drawn its technical aspects and the fact that printmaking is matter of layering, rather like a geological survey.  A student’s initial enthusiasms must be fostered by excellent teachers and, in Alex’s case, the teachers were Rudolf Bikkers, Allison Judd, and Shannon Gerard. Alex won a number of printmaking awards at OCAD U which lead to numerous gallery shows upon graduation.

    The time Alex spends at Open Studio, 401 Richmond Street West, is a distinct positive in developing Alex’s practice. He flourishes in Open Studio’s encouraging, collaborative atmosphere of like-minded, dedicated printmakers. As we all should be, Alex is concerned about the proposed Property Tax hike for 401 which will have a negative impact on Open Studio and its neighbours.

ALEX-THOMPSON-Gatehouse-2017-Etching-aquatint-and-drypoint-30-x-22-inches-76-x-56-cm

     The image that accompanies this post is my favourite from Alex’s show at Abbozzo. It is called Gatehouse and is an etching on copper plate. Other etching techniques are employed to bring to fruition this building which is an amalgam of buildings from various cities and proves the power of architecture to serve as an anchor for people and places.

     The really intelligent comments in this post are from Alex Thompson (www.alexrmthompson.com) and I thank him and you for your time.

Tom Maunder, tomcarl@sympatico.ca

p.s. Check out Alex’s website and find a series of blogs he did reflecting on a number of sketches. Alex says these blogs are old stuff; I say they’re insightful.   

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