Wood Picture, 1965

Miami Beach 2018
Galerie Lelong & Co.
Wood, paint, nails
74.0 x 65.4 x 5.7 (cm)
29.1 x 25.7 x 2.2 (inch)
Feeling oppressed by the racism and sexism of her homeland, the American artist Mildred Thompson spent the majority of her career in Europe. There she felt free to pursue her interests in nature and science rendered through the universality of abstraction. The ‘Wood Pictures’ is a series of works on paper created in Duren, Germany, in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They mark an important transition, when Thompson chose to reject the figuration she was taught in her youth, and look past the political climate of the time, in favor of abstraction and collective history. These minimalist, rectangular reliefs, comprised of found and manipulated wood, have rarely been seen outside of Germany. After the first ‘Wood Pictures’, Thompson made a series of white monochromatic collages assembled from cut paper. She then created her earliest known series of silkscreens, which were colorful prints of linear and rectangular forms. Both recall the geometry of the sculptures rendered in two-dimensions. Institutional attention to Thompson’s work has grown in recent years as abstraction has become recognized in the work of women artists of color. A group of the wood works and silkscreens were shown in the 10th Berlin Biennale in 2018.