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Colin Thomson | Through Line

May 12 - June 19

When you write you must listen for sounds. And there is a sound that one word makes and there is the sound that one word makes upon another and there is the sound of silences between words.

— James Joyce

High Noon is pleased to present Colin Thomson’s Through Line, the artist’s third show with the gallery. In this new body of work, Thomson treats each painting and each session spent completing the painting as an episode, creating a unique series of graphic keys that fuse line and color.

In Thomson’s work, lines caress, pierce, and bump up against one another until the image is constructed. His process presents the idea of line as both a sculptural form and as a series of points moving through space. It resembles a type of excavation, like digging into the earth, something he did in his twenties as a heavy equipment operator. On canvas this process is reversed. Each new layer is painted in relation to the one below using multiple additions and subtractions, often alluding to architectural detail and the body, especially eyes and feet. Overlapping lines create optical shifts in color and depth, revealing a complex spatial multiverse opening a portal of unfolding contingencies.


Color becomes the unifier particularly at the linear intersections where the tone deepens to suggest synergetic junctures. Implicit throughout is a rhythmic comedy of line in space, a slapstick physicality, where push often comes to shove.

Intuition plays an integral part in Thomson’s working process. Once, in an effort to complete a particularly problematic painting, his childhood friend, now a psychologist, suggested putting him under hypnosis. In a trance, Thomson entered the painting and kinesthetically experienced an enormous dimensional field of lines moving through space— a utopic path he continues to follow.


Colin Thomson was born in London, England and moved to New York in 1955. He attended Lake Forest College, BA, 1971,  The New York Studio School, 1972-1975, Skowhegan School of Art, 1974, and Yale University, MFA, 1977. He’s been included in multiple groups shows and presented ten solo exhibitions in venues nationally and internationally. Thomson received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1991-1992. Public and corporate collections include Albright-Knox Art  Gallery, Centro Culturelle, Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City, Chase Manhattan Bank, Grey Art Gallery, New York University,  M & T Bank, National Madison Group, Weatherspoon Art Gallery, and Wilkie, Farr & Gallagher. He has produced nearly 200  exhibitions over the past 40 years with museums and for museums as Director of the PaineWebber/UBS Art Gallery in  midtown Manhattan.

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