Working within the traditions of modernist painting, Frances Thomas employs and advances the language of gestural abstraction. Using fluid acrylics on wood panel, she adopts a vocabulary of elliptical shapes, splattered dots, meandering lines and sweeping strokes, combined with a layered palette of monochromatic or complementary hues. Relying on an improvisational playing out of materials and ideas, Thomas arrives at a poetic distillation of thought, intuition, emotion and sensation. While the artist’s fluid aesthetic summons impressions of the rhythms, energies and patterns found in nature, these references are not explicit; instead, her imagery underscores the intensities, the desires and the mysteries of existence.
Frances Thomas was born in Parry Sound, Ontario in 1949. In 1992, she enrolled in the Fine Art programme at York University, Toronto, completing a BFA in 1998. Subsequently, she participated in residencies at Pouch Cove, Newfoundland and Triangle Arts in Brooklyn, New York. Thomas currently lives and works in Barrie, Ontario, and is represented by Peter Robertson Gallery in Edmonton, Alberta. Frances Thomas has exhibited in Edmonton, Barrie, Toronto and New York. but wait comprises a body of recent paintings by the artist in her first solo exhibition in a public art gallery. The exhibition is accompanied by a 36 page colour catalogue, published by the MacLarenArtCentre, with an essay by Montreal writer and curator James D. Campbell.
Affirming our commitment to collecting work by regional artists, we purchased August Heat (2009) by Barrie artist Frances Thomas, a seminal work from her 2009 solo show and the first work by this local artist to be placed in a public collection.