Thomas Chapman

15 Jan - 27 Feb 2010

installation view: Thomas Chapman, The Fruit of the Warm Whole Chapel, 2010
"The Fruit of the Warm Hole Chapel"

15 Jan 2010 - 27 Feb 2010
Opening: 14 Jan 2010 - 18:00 - 22:00

A handmade, provisional construction takes the center stage - a little shelter comprising a ceiling hung with golden fabric, stapled to a wooden arc and filled with scribblings, sketches and photocopies haphazardly taped to it’s walls. The walls are built from scraps of wood and various old fabrics, whose colours and patterns are a kitsch interplay of texture evoking childhood memories and the artists biographical references.

Thomas Chapman has titled this shelter the Warm Whole Chapel, playing on the phonic intersection of the words hole and whole. Initially, the Warm Whole Chapel was created for the artist to warm-up in at his un-heated studio. As time went by, the shelter turned into a sculpture: into the hole from which Chapman’s whole body of recent work – the fruit - emanated.

Chapman’s aesthetic decisions are informed by a certain ambivalence to his cultural heritage.
In reaction to his catholic upbringing and the influence of religion in American politics, he has developed a critical position towards clerical institutions, while at the same time admiring the art these institutions have historically commissioned. His paintings and sculptures relate aesthetically to panel paintings for altarpieces or polyptychs, to tapestry and mosiacs. Colourful fabrics are stretched on custom-made polygonal strechter-bars. The resulting large and small
abstract works are composed of a combination of surreal painting, uncontrolled scrawls and collage.

Although the works appear mostly abstract, each one references a personal, lived experience. Chapman recycles fabrics from his past – discarded furniture upholstery found in his old neighborhood, his wife’s wedding dress, household curtains, bedsheets or clothing. By using these optical and material reminders of a past life, he reformulates his surroundings within his art practice in order to appropriate from his own biographical reality. Questioning the status these artefacts still have in his life today, he transports them into the medium of collage.

In collaboration with the German sound-artist Nik Nowak, Thomas Chapman has created sound-sculptures with built in speakers over which their Electric-Jazz-HipHop productions are played. Their recent sound-sculpture and CD-production will be displayed at PSM on the occasion of this exhibition.

Thomas Chapman, born in 1975 in San Diego, CA, lives and works in Berlin.

Tags: Thomas Chapman, Nik Nowak