Thomas Chimes: The Body in Spirals, 2014
Text by Kelsey Halliday Johnson
84 pages, Softcover
Published by Locks Art Publications
While much of Thomas Chimes's (1921-2009) work is deeply indebted to literature, each body of work (his metal and plexi box constructions, drawings, and later white paintings) maintained structured systems that dictated the composition-a process-based manifestation of the classicist and symbolist ideals in his work. In Exploits & Opinions of Dr. Faustroll, 'Pataphysician by Alfred Jarry (a seminal book to Chimes and his artistic practice), the narrator states, "For we are both of the opinion that if one can measure what one is talking about and can express it in numbers, which constitute the sole reality, then one has some knowledge of one's subject." This bold statement would become the subject of multiple late white paintings, and represents Chimes's strong ideological approach to manifesting Jarry's 'Pataphysics within the visual arts. In the artist's own exploration of what we believe, perceive, and feel he relied heavily on the quantifiable boundaries of the universe in astronomy, the body in anatomy and proportion systems, and composition through Fibonnaci's Golden Spiral and classical math formulas. Beyond literature and the arts, Chimes would also take interest in physicists and mathematicians that fused spirituality, philosophy and hard science. This exhibition and publication brings together exemplary works spanning the career of Chimes including drawings and white paintings that have never been exhibited and little-seen metal and plexi box constructions.