Tom Holmes at 8 rue Saint-Bon, Paris

May 28–June 25, 2011

 
 Tom Holmes, Poster, 2011

Tom Holmes, Poster, 2011

 

El Camino Real 

Holmes’s latest sculptures and works on paper show a continued interest in proliferating proposals for contemporary funerary monuments and ephemera. The works do, however, easily depart from an explicit use-value allowing for an investment in frenzied abstraction based on a mixture of hard-edge graphic design of children’s marketing and a real investment in form, color and composition. Often borrowing from the language and motif of popular advertising, Holmes effortlessly combines a staggering array of references, images and techniques.

With an omnivorous appetite for material drawn from fine art and wider visual culture, Holmes has a unique aesthetic sensibility. Vernacular images are abstracted into strange amalgams, mixing photography, drawing, painting and collage, resisting the hierarchy of medium. His attention is often focused on the consideration of support, or how an image and combination is presented. Soft sculpture and textiles take the form of shrouds. Large, rectilinear forms stand in as proposals for concrete or stone grave markers. Thin, bent metal torques to support complex floral arrangements and commemorative wreaths.

For El Camino Real, Holmes takes the form of the Chevrolet El Camino (1957-1986) as a ready-made Hearse, or a vehicle in which to transport a body. He builds upon singular elements of the car – steering wheel, floor mat, flat bed – as supports on which to play out a conflation of a frenzied and high-key abstraction and the anxiety of the inevitable.

Gabrielle Giattino

 

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