Friday, 19 August 2011

Artist of the Week: David Thorpe

We Live All Night
David Thorpe (b.1972) is an artist who draws upon utopias for inspiration, such as the experiments in living environments from William Morris and the Arts & Crafts movement, through the counterculture's communes (Drop City) and on to contemporary eco-dwellings. He steps off from urban modernism, moves on through the Hudson River School of American landscape painting and onward to a future of Arcadian craft.
We are Majestic in the Wilderness
His message appears to be one of hope in the cosmic sense of Sun Ra and Alice Coltrane, rather than the satire of Richard Brautigan or the pessimism of backwoods militia or the Unabomber.
House for Auto-Destiny, Imaginative Research
Thorpe's efforts to evade the weight of painting's history and theory have led him on to create work that is more sculptural, craft-based and includes text and poetry. It should be noted that none of these works are paintings. The are instead crafted from collaged paper and mixed media, and have a textured surface difficult to capture in photographs.
Life is Splendid

Good People

Thorpe's fundamental investigation is about belief systems - religious, new age or space age - and how they manifest themselves in objects, reflected in obsessive construction, patterning and decoration. However he stops short of putting into practise Morris's ideals of democratising art; his work remains comfortably confined within the art world/gallery.
The Colonist

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