THOM O'CONNOR

  Thom O'Connor : Polymer Prints
Bleu Acier, Tampa, Florida
February 8 - March 3, 2013
Artist Reception: February 7, 2013, 5 pm to 9 pm
www.bleuacier.com
Review

Thom O'Connor started his career as one of the first Tamarind Master Printers with June Wayne. In 1962, parallel to his personal studio practice, he shifted towards education starting his thirty-eight year career of teaching lithography at S.U.N.Y. Albany. This is where I met Thom in 1979. He was my mentor during graduate school, and without him, I would not have fallen in love with stone lithography, discovered fully my passion, and chosen my career as a Master Printer. He was the first artist that I collaborated with, the master figure who through passion, devotion, and professorship guided me through one of the hardest periods of my life. During those years Thom's work as a colorist was exceptional and invigorating and made lithographs that were very hard to print. It is quite interesting for me to have this opportunity to exhibit his print work 32 years later that are polymer intaglios and for the most part black and white. Didn't Degas state at the end of his life that if he was to redo everything, it would be in Black and White?

As a fine art print publisher and gallery that exhibits mostly abstract imagery, one might ask why am I showing this work? The reason came from a discussion that I had with Thom recently, around one of Bleu Acier's notorious coffees, concerning the DIA Beacon's Sol Lewitt Wall Drawings, Agnes Martin paintings and Fred Sandback sculptures. Looking at his prints I realized how much the structure of his images comes from this minimalist thought process about the marking of space. Now, when I think back to the subject matter of the work; to the figures, the objects, and the landscapes; all mundane parts of our universe that serve as the ultimate subjects to make art and to communicate a structured environment: the most important aspect of O'Connor's vision.
 
 
 
  8th British International Mini Print Exhibition
www.8thminiprint.com

At a time when printmaking is proving ever more ambitious in scale and reach, placing a draconioan constraint on size poses a particular challenge, muses Gill Saunders, Senior Print Curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum and one of a trio of exhibition selectors, along with David Ferry and Michael Kennedy. “It is as if prints, having only quite recently escaped the confines of the book or the portfolio, are being put back in their box – and in the usual injunction towards ambition – ‘think big’ – is turned on its head, as artists are urged instead to ‘work small’. The miniaturist's art is a very specialized one – it demands more of an artist than simply to take an image and shrink it. To achieve a successful outcome, the artist must address the confines of their plate or block in the very conception of the work. This will have implications not only for the imagery by may also influence choice of process and technique.”

Tour Dates and Venues
6th April to 16th June 2012:
londonprintstudio Opening Show

4th August to 23rd September 2012:
Aberystwyth Arts Centre

20th October to 18th November 2012:
Ropewalk Gallery, Barton on Humber

24th November 2012 to 20th January 2013:
Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries

29 January 2013 to 13 April 2013:
The Gallery at Gateshead Library

25th July 2013 to 6th October 2013:
Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum

5th November 2013 to 21st December 2013:
Mascalls Gallery, Paddock Wood, Kent

15th January to 28th February 2014:
The Gallery at the Civic, Barnsley
 
 
  Thom O'Connor : Then & Now : Small Prints
Albany Center Gallery, Albany, New York
August 2 - September 10, 2011
Artist Reception: August 12, 2011, 5 pm to 9 pm
www.albanycentergallery.org/exhibits/tomoconnor/index.php

Described as “notes to myself of what I am seeing”, Thom O'Connor's rarely seen polymer-gravure small prints, from 1998 to present, emerge as a body of work with a curious presence of their own, surrounded by their buddies.
 
 
 
8th Biennial International Miniature Print Exhibition
Center for Contemporary Printmaking
Norwalk, Connecticut
June 2 - September 4, 2011
8th Biennial International Miniature Print Exhibition

The miniature print offers artists worldwide the opportunity to explore a format with its own esthetics and potential. 179 prints were selected from 553 submissions by 200 artists from 20 states and 13 countries. Curator Judith K. Brodsky confides, “As I moved from print to print, I entered magical worlds, each only four inches square but opening out into entire universes.”
 
 
 
  25th Sint-Niklaas International Small Prints Biennial
Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
 
 
 
  Tradition
Oxford Gallery, Rochester, New York