galerie frank elbaz

Blair Thurman

November 19 - December 24, 2016

Opening reception on November 19, 2016 from 6-9pm

galerie frank elbaz, dallas


Blair Thurman, exhibition view, galerie frank elbaz, Dallas, TX, USA, 2016
Photo: Kevin Todora

galerie frank elbaz is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of work by Blair Thurman, the artist’s fourth solo show with the gallery. The exhibition will run from November 19 - December 24, 2016 with an opening reception on November 19th from 6-9pm at the gallery's Dallas location: 136 Glass Street, in the Dallas Design District.

Thurman’s aesthetic is rooted in visual culture. On one hand, his work is strongly influenced by American vernacular culture, most famously in car culture, but also in other areas of popular culture - ethnography, architecture, film, for example; and on the other, the art of the ‘60s and ‘70s, particularly Pop, geometric abstraction and minimalism.

Steven Parrino described the distillation of these elements into Thurman’s signature, three-dimensional abstract canvases in a text for the exhibition, The Return of the Creature, at the Künstlerhaus Palais Thurn und Taxis, Bregenz, in 2003: 

Blair Thurman, a Pop-Sensitive, and his work, a haphazard reclaiming of the “Look of Kool.” His method is gaze and memory rather than cold analysis. More like the free associations of a Beat poet on the road, happening upon Gonzo situations and structures, awash in neon, remembering a childhood of Hot-Wheels and model-glue, suspended in a haze of martinis, coffee, pain-killers, anti-histamine & Thera-Flu…The road as abstraction. Thurman turns the road on edge. Thurman recognizes the art [of the road] and transforms the idea into a painting…An obsessive action driven by obsessive collecting. The aesthetics of punk underground trash…a tube of Testors in each nostril…hurtling through space. The loner as Silver Surfer confronting the post-punk existential. For me the creature is our darker nature…our subjective selves. The dark self on the road to nowhere. 

For the Dallas exhibition, Thurman has assembled a group of shaped canvases centered around his archetypal themes. Iconic paintings based on the banked test track on the roof of the Fiat factory, Lingotto, Torino; slot cars and track in serial repetition are among the works that will be on view.

Blair Thurman was born in New Orleans,1961, and lives and works in New York. He has exhibited widely in the United States, including Gagosian Gallery, New York; the FLAG Art Foundation, New York; the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma City; the Swiss Institute, New York; Rubell Collection, Miami; and in Europe and abroad, notably at Gagosian Gallery, in Paris, London, Hong Kong and Geneva; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Le MAGASIN Centre d’Art Contemporain, Grenoble; Kunsthalle Bern; Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen; MAMCO, Geneva; Le Consortium, Dijon; Pinacoteca Agnelli, Torino; Norsk Bergverksmuseum/Kongsberg Kunstforening, Kongsberg, and many others. Thurman’s work is currently on view in the exhibition Flatlands: Narrative Abstraction at the Musee régional d’art contemporain Languedoc-Roussillon, Serignan.