new-york

Bob Thompson

Vanderwoude Tananbaum Gallery

In these works, covering the years 1959 to 1965, Bob Thompson demonstrated how during that most culturally radical of decades, the ’60s, it was possible for a young artist to reinvest the most hallowed symbolic traditions of art with fresh significance. How? By doing what amounted to his own lyrically expressive thing. Thompson’s life was tragically brief; he died in 1966 at age 29. A visionary of a uniquely American sort, he was part of a talented circle including Red Grooms, Lester Johnson, and Larry Rivers that made up the figurative wing of the New York School. Thompson developed a style of representation reflecting his deep-seated interests in the rich allegorical legacy of Western narrative art. Not one to be overwhelmed by the weight of art history, he used his sources with deliberation, with a self-consciousness that anticipated the wave of appropriation art that sprang up in the

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