Thomas Chimes: Into the White, 2013
Text by Anna-Maria Ehrmann-Schindlbeck, Michael Taylor, Donald Kuspit
128 pages, Hardcover
Published by Galerie der Stadt Tuttlingen, Germany
A first-generation Greek-American, Thomas Chimes is a painter with his own special character and style and is seen as one of the outstanding Greek expatriates of his generation in Philadelphia, USA. Although the artist set out as a successor to the well-known school of "urban figurative painters", his fame and recognition is mainly due to his references to intellectualism and the movements around the turn of the twentieth century. Specifically, the figure of Alfred Jarry, who incarnates the myth of the "accursed" and marks the dawn of the 20th century, came to be something of an alter ego for Thomas Chimes. In 1980 he embarked on the series of "white works", which is broadly seen as the most important one in his oeuvre. The series is based on the exclusive use of white and black, with rarely any other colours, whose painstaking combinations result in virtually monochromatic compositions in which the almost eerie lines usually trace figures or landscapes. The smaller works in this series deal with ontological questions, sometimes explicitly with the use of excerpts from pre-Socratic philosophers and sometimes hermetically through elliptical patterns. This catalog traces this development in his work and accompanied exhibitions in Germany and Greece.