My work is a kind of visual idea factory. I make thousands of drawings as well as collages and videos, each image attempting to crystalize a surprising visual thought in a compelling and economical form. This body of work began with a self-imposed assignment: As an antidote to the tedium of laboring over large scale projects, I began a series of diagrammatic drawings exclusively using mechanical pencil on 8.5 x 11 paper. This humble, uniform format established a low-stakes situation in which I could explore ideas without having to press them into the service of a larger creative agenda. Each piece of paper presented a fresh start, a tiny creative resurrection, and the result was a profusion of imagery more varied and peculiar than I ever could have anticipated. The sober, Apollonian, diagrammatic aesthetic somehow offered the perfect catalyst for a Dionysian explosion of absurd content: weird juxtapositions, corny jokes, visual puns, art history references, puzzling abstractions, mixed-up half-sense of all sorts. The unity and simplicity of the diagrammatic language implies a continuity among the heterogenous content, eroding distinctions between real and imaginary, clever and dumb, conceptual and illustrative, high-brow and low-brow, masterful and ham-fisted, etc.
A number of spinoff projects have departed from the formal confines of the original series. Certain sets of images evolved into networked groups of interrelated drawings (as in Matrix and Web). Other drawings became animations and slideshows (as in Labyrinth), and others became large scrolls (as in White Woods). In the video Gallerie Effacement, imaginary art by fictional artists appears and disappears in a gallery space, each “exhibition” peeling away to reveal the next. In the videos Pan and An Education, animated photo collage is used to carry the viewer through a kaleidoscopic series of strange environments and situations. But throughout, the drawing work has formed the backbone of the practice – the steady beat from which every other riff departs. The most recent set of drawings takes a novel form: I have made a “choose your own adventure” style online game called 6CLIX, in which a drawing changes according to the player’s choices (Open or Close, Bury or Cremate, Brush or Floss, etc.), and through a series of clicks one is lead through one of 64 branching narratives (and then begins again, to explore a new set of possibilities).
Because the imagery depicted in my work is constantly shifting, the true content of the work can be difficult to identify. Subjects are taken up, poked and prodded, and then set aside, such that no particular subject takes center stage. Nor is it accurate to say that subject is the self, at least not in a heavily psychological, capital “S” Surrealist sense; the tone is far too light and deadpan. The true subject matter is the mechanics (rather than the meaning) of thought – the way we are perpetually caught between the churn of our minds and the matter-of-fact, tangible world before us. Our imaginations are always running ahead of our physical, practical selves, tumbling headlong down a million blind alleys that lead nowhere useful or particularly meaningful, but which in aggregate constitute a truer autobiography than our paltry allotment of actions.
2008 MFA, Visual Art, Brooklyn College (CUNY), Brooklyn, NY
2004 BA, Art History, Yale University, New Haven, CT
2006 School of Visual Arts (visual arts courses)
Selected Solo and Two-Person Exhibitions and Projects:
2014 Adam Douglas Thompson: Loose Ends, Artslant Prize Exhibitions, Chicago, Il
2013 Auxiliary Projects at Untitled Fair/Art Basel, Miami, FL (Omar Lopez-Chahoud, curator), Brooklyn, NY
2013 Adam Thompson: From the Desk of Adam Thompson, Auxiliary Projects (Project Space), Brooklyn, NY
2013 Adam Thompson: Labyrinth, The Drawing Center, Online Animation Exhibition Series, New York, NY
2010 #1359-#1458, (2 person exhibition) Sara Meltzer Gallery/Projects, New York, NY
Selected Group Exhibitions and Projects:
2015 Plus One, Plus One, Lab Space, Hillsdale, NY
2014 ArtSlant Prize Exhibition, Aqua Art Miami, Miami, FL
2014 Generator – 6th Cairo Video Festival, Medrar, Cairo, Egypt
2014 Local Area Network, Digital Arts Gallery at the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
2014 Dark Map, Lesley Heller Gallery, New York, NY
2014 Videorover 8, Nurture Art, Brooklyn, NY
2013 Drawing Connections, The Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA (James Hull, curator) 2013 Space/Time, Lesley Heller Workspace, New York, NY
2012 Drawings for The Believer 10, no. 2 (2012): 15, 27, 28, 48, 56, 60.
2012 Intramurals, AFA gallery, Scranton, PA
2011 Copia Cartacea, Studio 10/Centotto, Brooklyn, NY
2011 Entanglement, Regina Rex Gallery and Art Blog Art Blog, New York, NY
2011 Copia Cartacea, Centotto, Brooklyn, NY
2011 Nautical Notes: Mari, Navi e Naufragi, Centotto, Brooklyn, NY
2010 Collaboration with author Rick Moody – Electric Literature: Single Sentence Animation
2010 Drawings for Electric Literature, no. 3 (2010): 1, 9, 15, 34, 47, 65, 87, 109, 113, 114, 118
2010 Collaborative Forgeries, or Forged Collaborations, Centotto, Brooklyn, NY
2010 See, Also, Central Booking, Brooklyn, NY
2009 Paper in the Wind 3, 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel, New York, NY (David Gibson, curator)
2009 Recess, Crossing Art, Flushing, NY (Jennifer Junkermeier, curator)
2009 Intus Tensio, or Appropriated Special, Centotto, Brooklyn, NY
2008 Brooklyn College MFA Thesis Exhibition, at NYCAMS New York, NY
2008 Entanglement is Good, Entanglement is Great, Centotto, Brooklyn, NY
2008 Mostra Inaugurale, Centotto, Brooklyn, NY
2007 The Seven Stages of Global Catastrophe, collaborative performance piece, Little Theater series at Dixon Place, New York, NY
2007 The Morton Umbrella Girl, performance piece, Little Theater series at Tonic, New York, NY
2006 Too Close to Home, 510 Halsey Art Space, Brooklyn, NY
2014 ArtSlant Prize, 2nd Place
2007 Nomination, Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant
2010 Adam Thompson, #1359-#1458. New York: Regency Arts Press, 2010. Print.
2008 Paul Fattaruso and Adam Thompson, Bicycle. New York: Hotel St. George Press, 2008. Print.
Publications (Selected Art Criticism):
2012 Review of Matthew Northridge, Art Papers 36, no. 1 (2012): 58.
2011 Review of The Chadwicks, Art Papers 35, no. 4 (2011): 64.
2010 Review of Liam Gillick, Art Papers 34, no. 4 (2010): 62.
2009 Review of Katrin Sigurdardottir, Art Papers 33, no. 4 (2009): 62.
2009 Review of Brian Lund, Art Papers 33, no. 3 (2009): 63.
2009 Review of Eunice Kim, Art Papers 33, no. 1 (2009): 62.
2008 Review of Jackie Gendel, Art Papers 32, no. 6 (2008): 68.
2008 Review of Marcel Dzama, Art Papers 32, no. 4 (2008): 66.
2008 Review of Enantiomorphic Chamber, Art Notes 20 (2008): 65.
2007 Review of Michael Schall and Jonathan Schipper, The Brooklyn Rail, April 2007.
2007 Review of Lynda Benglis + Louise Bourgeois, Art Papers 31, no. 6 (2007): 73.
2007 Review of Jonathan Meese and Tal R, Art Papers 31, no. 3 (2007), 70.
2007 Review of Doug Aiken, Art Papers 31, no. 3 (2007) 69.
2007 Review of Adam McEwen, Art Papers 31, no. 1, (2007) 63-64.
2006 Review of Catherine Opie, Art Papers 30, no. 6, (2006) 64.
2006 Review of Matthew Higgs, Art Papers 30, no. 5, (2006) 60.
2006 Review of Pepon Osorio, Art Papers 30, no. 2, (2006) 64.
Panero, James, “The Miami Fairs,” The New Criterion, Jan. 2014
Kimball, Whitney, “In Miami, UNTITLED’s a Quiet Contender,” ArtFCity, Dec. 7, 2013
Colucci, Emily, “Here’s Who’ll Be Reppin’ Brooklyn and LES at Miami Art Week,” Bedford+Bowery, Dec. 3, 2013
Colucci, Emily, “5 Newcomer Artists Debuting at Miami to Watch,” Societe Perrier, Nov. 21, 2013
Levy, Lisa, “Dr. Lisa in Miami: Bushwick is Doing Alright!,” Bushwick Daily, Dec. 12, 2013
Christoph, Sara, “Beat Nite: the boisterous side of the Bushwick art scene” Norte Maar, Feb. 21, 2013
Galgiani, Allison, “Just Beat It: How was the great gallery nite in Bushwick?,” Bushwick Daily, Feb. 20, 2013
Varno, David, “Bicycle by Paul Fattaruso,” Bookslut, April, 2008
Work Experience (Curation):
2011 Memory Palace, Brooklyn College MFA Thesis Exhibition, Flux Factory, Queens, NY
2011 Brooklyn College, College Art Association NY Area MFA Exhibition, Hunter College/Times Square Gallery, New York, NY
Work Experience (Teaching):
2014 – 15 Adjunct Lecturer of Fine Art (Design I), Kingsborough Community College, Brooklyn, NY
2008 – 15 Adjunct Lecturer of Fine Art (Basic Design), Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY
2008 – 13 Adjunct Lecturer of Fine Art (BFA Senior Thesis Seminar), Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY
2008 – 13 Adjunct Lecturer of Fine Art (MFA Teaching Internship), Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY
2012 Adjunct Lecturer of Fine Art (Beginning Painting), LaGuardia Community College, Queens, NY
2012 – 13 Visiting Instructor of Fine Arts (Light, Color and Design) Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
2010 Visiting Instructor of Fine Arts (Light, Color and Design) Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
2009 Visiting Instructor of Fine Arts (Light, Color and Design) Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY