Thomas Chimes Locks Gallery

Antonin Artaud, 1974
oil on panel
17 3/4 x 14 5/8 inches

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Thomas Chimes portrait Locks Gallery

Edgar Poe, 1973

oil on wood panel

20 3/4 x 18 3/8 inches

Thomas Chimes Jarry portrait Locks Gallery

Bicentennial Jarry, 1976

oil on wood panel

13 x 13 inches

Thomas Chimes mona duchamp portrait Locks Gallery

Mona, 1975

oil on wood in artist made frame

11 3/4 x 11 1/4 inches 

Thomas Chimes Locks Gallery

Rrose Selavy, 1976
oil on panel in artist made frame
14 5/8 x 12 1/2 inches

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Thomas Chimes Locks Gallery

Andre Breton, 1977
oil on panel in artist made frame
9 1/4 x 10 3/8 inches

Thomas Chimes jarry ubu portrait Locks Gallery

Ubu, 1976

oil on wood

15 1/4 x 14 1/2 inches

Thomas Chimes Locks Gallery

James Joyce, 1974
oil on panel
17 1/8 x 14 3/8 inches

Thomas Chimes Oscar Wilde Locks Gallery

Oscar Wilde, 1975
oil on panel in artist made frame
9 1/8 x 8 3/4 inches

Thomas Chimes Locks Gallery

Robert Louis Stevenson, 1976
oil on panel in artist made frame
13 x 11 1/4 inches

Thomas Chimes Wittgenstein portrait Locks Gallery

Ludwig Wittgenstein, 1976

oil on panel

13 1/4 x 12 3/8 inches 

Thomas Chimes Locks Gallery

Aubrey Beardsley, 1976
oil on panel in artist made frame
12 3/8 x 11 3/8 inches

Artist Bio

With a career spanning over five decades, Thomas Chimes (1921–2009) remains one of the most singular and idiosyncratic figures to emerge from Philadelphia in the 20th century. After a promising early career in the New York Art scene, Chimes moved back to Philadelphia to remove himself from the quickly centralizing art world and focus on his dynamically changing work. As his career progressed he became increasingly hermetic, focusing the subjects of his paintings on a constellation of cultural figures and their contributions that paralleled his own explorations of the human condition. Towards the end of his career, Chimes would reflect that French symbolist thinker and ‘pataphysician Alfred Jarry, pioneering conceptual artist Marcel Duchamp, and modernist Irish author James Joyce, were the most influential on his artistic output.

Works by Thomas Chimes can be found in the collections of such museums as the Corcoran Museum of Art, Washington, D.C., Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington; Musee National d'Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris; J.P. Morgan Library and Museum, New York, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; Phoenix Art Museum, AZ; Portland Art Museum, OR; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond, VA; Washington, D.C., Wadsworth Atheneum Art Museum, Hartford, CT; and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT.

His work has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City, NY; The Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, Ireland; The Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA; The Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX; The Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece; Galerie der Stadt, Tuttlingen, Germany; and The National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C. In 2007, Chimes was the focus of a major monograph by Michael R Taylor which accompanied a retrospective at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Adventures in ‘Pataphysics. In 2013, a subsequent publication Into the White was released coinciding with a touring European exhibition, examining his celebrated later work.

Locks Gallery has represented the artist and his estate for over a quarter of a century, working to further understanding about the artist's four major periods of work: the crucifixion paintings (1958–65), metal box constructions (1965–73), panel portraits (1973–1978), and critically acclaimed white paintings (1980–2009).