Caroline Thomas

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What Is My Work About? 
I am interested in the hand and varying degrees of remove from the hand. From the impression of a finger?s print to the casting of a 2×4 in porcelain or a photo of a brick of clay: how do things change through re-presentation and mediation? I use common objects as subjects and make shifts or pivots in form, substance, presence and meaning towards the absurd, sublime, expansive, transformed. My work is conceptual and also rooted in a formal and experimental approach with material.


Artist Statement

Images 1-7, Installation shots from Made in LA 2012, The Hammer Museum. This presentation functioned like an index of approaches I have implemented in my practice. The exploration was both the vehicle for making the work and the subject.

Image 8, Like calcified porcelain booty drudged up from the bottom of the sea. Vases cast from slip (liquid clay) then liquefied back into slip before drying. This work is a kind of doing then undoing of the process of vessel formation as a work itself.

Images 9 & 10, Video stills from “Clay/Light” a stop frame animation of a brick of clay with primary colored light. The changing light gives the clay brick the appearance of movement. This video is like the experience of thoughts. The clay has not been handled.

Images 11-14, Fruit. I am interested in reassigning or flushing out the meaning or promise we associate with these familiar objects both in daily life and with in an art historical context. These works explore questions of prescribed functionality, symbolic possibility and a humble intervention with “the spectacle.”

Images15 & 16, Open and closed Vessels. (Turned heads and a Bag of Clay) The representation of portraiture or a bust but in its most reduced and therefore ghostly form is presented alongside a cast of a bag of clay in porcelain. Staying close to the materials. The porcelain slip is stained making color a part of the material rather than surface treatment.

Images 17-19 Dust Images: A series of photographs of raw materials from ceramics and sculpture; one material as mediated through another. The photographs produce a certain effect. Images of the materials take on the qualities of light in a landscape, the possibility of archeology or the surface of the moon. They are a conflation of the micro with the macro realms.

Image 20. A thin trompe l’oeil formed from impressions of vases and bubble wrap. The sculpture is the action of the unwrapping of an object as an object.




Art Center College of Design, MFA, 2002

Stanford University, Graduate Fine Art Program 1997-1998

Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, 1997

University of California, Berkeley, BA, 1995




“Tzedakah”, Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco

Emi Fontana Curator, West Of Rome Projects, Los Angeles



“Epiphany Conservation Trust Benefit”, Los Angeles



“Building on Ruins”, Cirrus Gallery, Los Angeles



“Made in LA”, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles

“Artists Tower of Protest by Mark Di Suvero”, organized by LAX Art, Sunset and Hilldale, Hollywood

“Formwandler”, Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles

“Fix-It-Up too”, SASSAS Benefit Auction, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles



“ACP Flat Files,” Armory Center for The Arts, Pasadena

“No Swan So Fine”, Michael Benevento, Los Angeles curated by Joanna Fiduccia

“LAX Art Benefit Auction”, Los Angeles



Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles. Three person exhibition

Aritst Curated Projects, Los Angeles. Group exhibition

“USC Faculty Exhibition”, Lindhurst Gallery, Roski School of Fine Arts



“The Curse of Ceramics,” China Art Objects, Four Person Exhibition, Los Angeles

“You Can’t Expect…”, , Four Person Exhibition, Las Cienegas Projects, Los Angeles

“In Search of Geography/ “Cosmic Tones for Mental Therapy”, Solo Exhibition, New Langton Arts Foyer, San Francisco

“Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) Benefit Art Auction 2009”, Los Angeles

“1999”, China Art Objects Gallery / Cottage Home Gallery, Los Angeles, group exhibition



“The Drowned Giant”, Artist Curated Projects, Los Angeles, Three-person exhibition curated by Jeff Ono

“Flowing Pulsing Beating Burning”, Glendale College Art Gallery, Group exhibition



“Residence Choice”, Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, Group exhibition



“The Meeting”, Eagle Rock Center for the Arts, Group exhibition

“Follow Me: A Fantasy”, Arena One Gallery, Santa Monica. Group exhibition curated by Malik Gaines



“Song Poems”, Cohen Leslie and Browne, New York. Group exhibition curated by Steven Hull



“Song Poems”, Rosamund Felsen, Santa Monica. Group exhibition curated by Steven Hull

“Syncope”, solo thesis exhibition, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena



“Democracy”, The Bradberry Building, Los Angeles. Group exhibition curated by Andy Ouchi

“Stendhal Syndrome”, solo exhibition, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena




University of Southern California, Adjunct Faculty, Roski School of Fine Arts, Sculpture Program

2009- the present

UCLA Department of Sculpture Guest Speaker, 2004, 2010

Art Center College of Design, Guest Speaker, 2005

Stanford University, Teaching Fellowship 1997- 1998



Selected Bibliography

Fontana, Emi, West of Rome Projects. Forthcoming catalogue, 2015

Cirrus Gallery, “Building on Ruins”, exhibition catalog, 2013

Griffin, Jonathan, “Made In LA”, Frieze Issue 149, September, 2012

Clothier, Peter, “Made In LA”, Huffington Post, Arts & Culture section July 18, 2012

Contemporary Art Daily, “Formwandler” at Richard Telles, July 21, 2012

Corrina Peipon, “Made In LA 2012”, Exhibition Catalog, Hammer Museum, pp 85 & 99-102