Los Angeles

Thomas Bang

Esther Bear Gallery, Santa Barbara

Bang has recently returned from a year spent in Europe on a Fullbright Grant. His new paintings and drawings display more authoritative techniques and more inventive themes. In his investigations of color and patterns Bang sometimes comes close to “Op” art, but his main concern is with color relationships and color vibrations so the Op art works only as a side-effect. His paintings are composed of rhythms of brilliant color patterns and transitions that are abruptly broken with a window or an isolated black form. Many of these themes have musical reference and connotations such as Study for White Tweeter Window.

His work draws heavily on images of contemporary scientific equipment, such as I.B.M. Tube #4, which relates to the patterns and imagined sounds of computer equipment and the kind of responses that they evoke from Bang. It is out of the assimilation of this body of scientific knowledge, that Bang develops his particular painting vocabulary. He also invents a kind of visual kinetic movement that is imagined rather than actual in the movement of color values and forms. Bang’s drawings have all of the traditional qualities of linear patterns, variations, subtleties and strong three-dimensional form. They are graphic, clean and clear. This present exhibition displays a remarkable capacity for growth and maturity that is impressive in one brief year.

––Harrlette Von Breton