Austin Thomas's collages, deceptively delicate studies, caught sometimes in the act of unfolding against or through the gridded skin of a graph paper background, explore enduring thoughts about the speciation of drawing and sculpture.
Thomas’s varied performative actions and artworks may be broadly described as delineating and creating “social sculpture.” In homage to Joseph Beuys’s famous formulation and the idea that social systems add up to (or can be rearranged to constitute) one great work of art, her practice has included “Perches” (hybrid sculptural/architectural objects around which events are created); an artist-run gallery in Bushwick; a traveling El Camino that provided a moving space for lectures about art; and many other public actions that have created spontaneous communities around art, discussion, and most recently a camp for kids and adults.
Thomas’s text pieces punctuate this varied practice by adding a relational narrative of overheard public conversations. In Thomas's works sense falls apart just when it begins to fall together –they're sketches of the way life is, as organisms (like us) negotiate their desires across the permeable borders of being. In one of her blog posts Thomas writes, “Next up, experiments in and with new and different, reformed, informed and all encompassing forms of selfhood (folded, presented, performed, baked, butted, and drawn crooked).”
-- written with the helpful words of Douglas Max Utter and Molly Larkey