Bob Thompson, United States, 1937–66 Homage to Nina Simone, 1965, Oil on canvas The John R. Van Derlip Fund, 89.83, © Estate of Bob Thompson, Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, LLC, New York, NY
Kunin Collection Focus: Bob Thompson
November 3, 2018 - March 24, 2019
Louisville, Kentucky–native Bob Thompson (1937–1966) had a short but intense and influential career as a visual and performance artist. Initially intending to become a doctor, Thompson started taking art classes at the University of Louisville in part to help with depression. He thrived among artists and quickly became immersed in artistic communities in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and in New York City’s Greenwich Village, a place of radical experimentation. In New York, he participated in early “happenings”: multi-media body-centered performances that often encouraged audience participation. Thompson’s multi-figure paintings often carry a sense of joyous abandon, possibly due to his grounding in performance art but also to his source material. This installation showcases the strong representation of Thompson’s work in the Myron Kunin Collection of American Art and also includes works by his friend and contemporary Beauford Delaney as well as Jan Müller, an artist he admired very much.
This is part of an ongoing series of exhibitions that present ways of seeing through artwork in the Kunin collection.