Blair Thurman, And now, a bubble burst, And now, a world, 2017, acrylic on canvas on wood, 72 1/2 × 54 × 5 inches (184.2 × 137.2 × 12.7 cm) © Blair Thurman. Photo by Rob McKeever.
As a boy in the 1960s, Blair Thurman spent afternoons at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, where his mother was director. Something of a mascot, he spent his childhood looking up to figures such as Andy Warhol, Nam June Paik, Carl Andre, and Ed Kienholz—openings, installations, a literal behind–the–scenes education. As an art student in the 1980s, he sought to escape prevailing theoretical concerns. He recalls wanting the subject matter or content of art to have as deep a personal connection as its formal aspects. Thurman combines this personal iconography with an acute awareness of the inherent challenges of painting, resulting in a Pop–Minimalist sensibility infused with tribal patterns and American car culture. Thurman’s work owes as much to his command of a broad range of media as to subconscious influences.
Blair Thurman was born in 1961 in New Orleans, Louisiana, and currently lives and works in New York. He received his B.F.A. from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Canada, and his M.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. His work is featured in the collections of the Centre national des arts plastiques, Paris; Fonds régional d’art contemporain, France; and the Syz Collection, Switzerland. Recent solo exhibitions include Le Magasin—Centre National d’Art Contemporain, France (2014); and “Honeybadgers,” Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma (2015). Thurman’s work was included in the 46th Biennale di Venezia in 1995.