Gwenn Thomas

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Raphael Rubinstein profiles artist Gwenn Thomas.

Rubinstein writes: "It turns out that these paintings haven’t been 'painted' at all. Thomas’s process involved first making small collages from strips of paper, packing tape, cardboard, and corrugated plastic, which she then photographed with an 8-by-10-inch camera. The next step took place in a commercial photo studio with a giant darkroom (the studio specialized in printing billboard posters). There, Thomas used an 11-by-14 enlarger mounted on tracks to expose her negatives onto linen supports that had been prepared with black-and-white photo emulsion. These paintings, then, are actually photographs printed onto linen. At a moment when unpainted paintings seem to be everywhere (to say nothing of abstract photography), Thomas’s work looks incredibly prophetic. Decades before Wade Guyton, Mark Flood and a host of others discovered the artistic potential of the ink-jet printer, Thomas was making hands-off paintings of conceptual rigor and unassuming beauty."

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