Shawn Thornton in Conversation with Tom Burckhardt
Saturday, May 13, 2017. 1:30-2:30PM.
This event is free and open to the public.
Join us for a conversation between artists Shawn Thornton and Tom Burckhardt. Shawn Thornton's solo exhibition, Pareidolia, was curated by Tom Burckhardt, and is on view at CUE through May 24, 2017.
The exhibition includes small-scale oil paintings, videos, and altar-like sculptures produced between 1995 and 2017. “Pareidolia” is a psychological term that refers to the human brain’s tendency to see patterns where none exist—perceiving faces, images, or messages in nature or in everyday objects. Thornton’s intricate work references his own hallucinatory visions, the result of an undiagnosed brain tumor in his pineal gland, which he experienced for over a decade. He also employs a range of images and symbols that reference 16th-century Dutch painting, mandalas, hieroglyphics, and indigenous and mystical traditions, layering them into interwoven compositions that invite the viewer to approximate his otherworldly medical experience, and serve as a mode of research into that experience.
Shawn Thornton lives and works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and East Madison, Maine. He earned his BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2000, and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2002. Thornton was the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, and has completed residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and the Ox-Bow School of Art. His work has been included in exhibitions at Fleisher/Ollman Gallery, Stephen Romano Gallery, and the Philadelphia Institute for Advanced Study, among others.
Tom Burckhardt was born in New York City in 1964 and has spent his entire life living there. He graduated with a BFA in painting from SUNY Purchase in 1986 and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture that same year. He has been exhibiting since 1992 at various galleries such as Tibor De Nagy Gallery and Caren Golden Fine Art in New York, and the Gregory Lind Gallery, in San Francisco.
Burckhardt’s most recent show of paintings was exhibited at Tibor De Nagy in Spring 2015, and his 2005 cardboard installation FULL STOP has just completed touring the US for the last two years. He participated in the 2016 Kochi-Muziris Bienale in Kerala, India, where he exhibited a new installation piece, Studio Flood. The installation will be shown at the Pierogi Gallery, New York, in September 2017. Burckhardt has been a resident faculty at Skowhegan in 2007 and currently teaches part time at SUNY Purchase.