Philadelphia

Thomas Chimes

Locks Gallery

In a long horizontal line extending through the gallery, the faces of the late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century artistic and intellectual avant-garde—Arthur Rimbaud, Antonin Artaud, Oscar Wilde, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Marcel Duchamp, Alfred Jarry—stared out at the contemporary visitor. With this remarkable set of small portraits, Thomas Chimes aligned himself with the great champions of the imagination, the writers, artists, and philosophers whose life and work embraced the unconscious and illuminated a kind of freedom from the cultural values of their historical moment. Shown here in the first of a series of planned exhibitions of Chimes’s work, these paintings, executed between 1973 and 1978, signaled a new direction for the artist, a Philadelphia native who was formally schooled in New York in the late ’40s, at the height of Surrealist and abstract modes of painting. Dark and moody,

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