Mask of the Special Red Death 2009 Plywood, acrylic, neon glass and wire 330 x 207 cm / 129.90 x 81.50 in
18 Sep 2009 – 13 Nov 2009
The Alexia Goethe Gallery is proud to present Blair Thurman’s first solo exhibition in London. Using the vocabulary of guns, motorcars and trailing highways his installations and neon works articulate a mythic individual freedom and dark subjectivity.
Blair Thurman, a ‘Pop’ sensitive, and his work, a haphazard reclaiming of the ‘Look of Cool’. His method is gaze and memory rather than cold analysis. More like the free associations of a Beat poet on the road, happening upon Gonzo situations and structures, awash in neon, remembering a childhood of Hot-Wheels and model-glue, suspended in a haze of martinis, coffee, pain-killers, anti-histamine and Thera-Flu. […] The aesthetics of punk underground trash… a tube of Testors in each nostril… hurtling through space. The loner as Silver Surfer confronting the post-punk existential. For me the creature is our dark nature… our subjective selves. The dark self on the road to nowhere.
The above is an extract written by Steven Parrino for the show “The Return of the Creature” at Kunstlerhaus Palais Thurn und Taxis in Bregenz, Austria, 2003.
[Blair Thurman] has, with a pictorial vocabulary rich in allusions, quite decidedly catapulted the timeless myth into the present, namely into the world of the automobile, of endless highways and speedway circuits. But what is almost a drawing, Thurman confronts two perspectives with each other – the linear and the cyclical movement – that, on the one hand, points to the state of perpetual mobility in road movies like Easy Rider, on the other, to the speeding frenzy of the racetrack. Again and again Thurman translates the signs of American reality, such as the automobile as an expression of individual liberty, into installations and neon works. His production is thereby based on the way Modernism evolved in the 1960s, from Frank Stella’s first aluminum pictures up to 1970s racetrack works, as well as the sculptural postulations of Post Minimal Art that experimented with the quite different visual qualities of everyday material. This is especially true for the neon tubing that Thurman formed into a distinctive trademark, which celebrates the pictorial vocabulary of the mobile society just as much as it lights up the motifs of underground culture.
The above is an extract written by Konrad Bitterli for the show “Born to Be Wild” at Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland, 2009.
Blair Thurman was born in New Orleans and currently lives and works in New York. He has exhibited across America, Europe and Asia.