bureau inc

Tom Holmes

February 12 - March 19 2017

Tom Holmes, untitled Arrangement, 2014-2017, 93.75 x 174.5 inches

Bureau is pleased to announce Tom Holmes’s exhibition, L’Eggo My Eggo®, his third solo at Bureau. The exhibition collides two distinctly American vernacular iconographies of saccharine pop and austere minimalism and introduces the artist’s recent interest in automatic drawing. Two monumental paintings dominate the gallery walls, their expressive, sweeping and jagged gestures buzzing atop the smooth graphic of Eggo® waffle boxes. The day-glow eruption of color and frenetic movements are reflected in the cool, metallic surfaces of foiled rectangular brick grave plots and disquieting formations of chromed metal folding chairs.

Consumables geared towards the supple minds of children have engrossed Holmes for many years, compelled by the complexity of desire and dread they inspire. His first Trix® cereal box urn of 2010 introduced his incisive and heart-rending blend of funerary pop at his show Silly Rabbit: a gravestone and an urn at Dispatch. In these boxes full of promise and plenty Holmes recognizes a locus of control and fear: a mirage of candy-pop force fed to us en masse as the innocently complacent subjects of corporate ego and violence. Fear eats us as we children swallow the sugar coated fantasies of our first man-made substance-induced reveries.

Holmes’s new paintings – two shown here of a suite of four – feature a vastly scaled-up and flattened waffle box announcing an explosive fantasy of infantile breakfast joy. The box’s graphic finish serves as ground for a flurry of abstract marks of expanded automatic drawing. Over the past two and a half years, working with a hypnotist, Holmes has sought to excavate the expressive potential of the subconscious mind through automatism, connecting a deep anxiety and fear of the inevitable with the pure communicative potential of the hand. The movement of the pen vigorously and subtly transcribes the non-verbal. In one composition comic heroines surf the sprawling lines and colorful passages ushering routes between mind and body; pop and expressionism.

If the paintings mine the abstract mind, Holmes’s sculpture delineates the limits of the physical body: bodies in formation, barricaded and at rest. In gleaming chrome and silver, these forms impose geometry on the body. For many years, Holmes has implemented the architecture of the funerary in his work. Gravestone, reliquary, urn and plot sculptures assert the power of that final, permanent application of architecture on the body. Here the rectilinear plot, composed of jaggy foiled bricks holds a poetic space of beauty and modesty. The reflective finishes of these new sculptures stresses that of surface and optical over the spatial and weighty, deepening the metaphysical nature of the show.

Tom Holmes was born in Ozona, Texas, lives in Jackson Co. and works in Putnam and Cannon Co. Tennessee. Selected solo exhibitions include ‘Piss Yellow / Bars and Stars’, Bureau New York; ‘Temporary Monument’, Kunsthalle Bern; ‘Part of This Complete Breakfast: objects for a wake’, Galerie Catherine Bastide, Brussels; ‘Painted Bones - some reliquaries’, Bureau New York; ‘Noisy Bottom’, Exile, Berlin. His work has been included in group exhibitions at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center; Freymond-Guth Fine Arts Ltd, Zurich; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Malmö Konstmuseum, Sweden and The Whitney Museum at Altria, New York. He has been awarded grants and residencies from The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Joan Mitchell Foundation; Ox-Bow and The Edward F. Albee Foundation. His work is in the public collections of the Tang Museum of Skidmore College; Stiftung Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland and FRAC Bourgogne, France.

The artist wishes to extend special thanks to the following organizations: The Haven Foundation, The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, The Joan Mitchell Foundation, CERF+, Artists’ Fellowship, Inc., Ox-Bow, and The Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Foundation.

Tom Holmes, untitled Arrangement, 2015, 11.4375 x 18.6875 inches

Tom Holmes, untitled Seating Arrangement, 2016, 30.31 x 54 x 62 inches

Tom Holmes, untitled Plot, 2017, 84.5 x 34.5 x 8.5 inches

Tom Holmes, untitled Arrangement, 2014-2017, 93.75 x 174.5 inches

Tom Holmes, untitled Seating Arrangement, 2017, 38 x 17.5 x 15 inches