Austin Thomas: Metropolis

July 10 - September 3, 2021

"My works are unique moments of clarity, ideas and focus. They are conversations around corners of this magnificent swirling city. These are monotypes, cranked through an etching press multiple times. The rollers are like color walking, with various intensities and subtleties of tone. Printing plates are often not re-inked between runs. This way of printing allows serendipity, improvisation and experimentation to take over. 

 

I feel small amongst my city's mechanisms—big rectangular buildings, the subway and traffic—but I meditate a lot. I walk everywhere, photographing things, mostly buildings along my path. I have a daily sketchbook practice. Making these works is a way for me to navigate the maelstrom. This body of work speaks to what I see and feel in the experience of every day, working, commuting and looking.

 

A shadow appears and then fades. There are many bridges here, silhouetted black against the fading sky. I use black ink to articulate shapes and convey a sense of gravity. I love circles. Red circles might be a stoplight, and dots may be rain, or objects on the concrete sidewalk, or lights. I use a vocabulary of rectangles, triangles and trapezoids. I play with shapes on paper, working with chance encounters and repetition. 

 

I use steel templates and handmade stencils. Vintage paper—interesting book covers, from coloring books to art books and other old papers—enables me to add richness to the reading of my work. My titles are essential, for they aid in composing and interpreting the work."

 

- Austin Thomas, New York City, June 2021

Municipal Bonds is pleased to present Austin Thomas's second exhibition with the gallery, titled Metropolis. In this homage to her hometown, Thomas's work embodies the dynamics of New York City, its architecture and energy. Featuring a selection of abstract monotypes on found paper, her solo show is both referential and reverential of quotidian moments from the city streets.