Kohn Gallery and P·P·O·W have announced the co-representation of the interdisciplinary artist Chiffon Thomas. This December, P·P·O·W will debut new work by Thomas in Art Basel’s OVR: Miami Beach, and in March 2021, Thomas will hold their first solo exhibition with Kohn Gallery in Los Angeles.
First introduced to embroidery at Chicago’s King College Prep High School, Thomas has since developed a multifaceted practice incorporating embroidery, collage, drawing, and sculpture to explore the self as split, fractured, and transforming. Identifying as a non-binary queer person of color, Thomas contends with the crafted body in their work, examining wider issues of gender, race and sexuality. Embracing the liminal space between figuration and abstraction, Thomas’ “impossible bodies” forcefully eschew easy classification in order to serve as vessels for personal memories and collective narratives. Reminiscent of the diverse, mixed media practices exhibited by David Hammons, Robert Rauschenberg, Louise Nevelson, and Faith Ringgold, Thomas’ own application of materiality is a unique language for translating both shared and personal experiences.
Raised in a fervent religious community, Thomas’ tactile methods grapple with the conflicting beliefs born of this upbringing to expose feelings of nostalgia, longing, and desire. Drawing upon an archive of family snapshots and cultural references, Thomas constructs richly autobiographical scenes celebrating the quotidian drama. Domestic scenes appear to shift in and out of focus, resulting in visceral collisions of abstraction and clarity that invite viewers to decode the fraught relations between memory and reality, visibility and understanding.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Chiffon Thomas was born in Chicago, IL and holds an MFA from Yale University and a BFA from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. Thomas has completed prominent residencies with the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME and the Fountainhead Residency, Miami, FL. Their work is included in the permanent collections of the Pérez Art Museum, Miami, FL and the Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH; among others.