Thomas Chimes and the Art of Painting at the Ringling
Aug. 3-Nov. 4, 2007
Sarasota, FL—July 20, 2007—The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art presents Thomas Chimes and the Art of Painting, featuring his large scale masterpiece Mural, on view in the Ulla R. and Arthur F. Searing Wing, Aug. 3-Nov. 4, 2007.
Generously donated by the Friends of the Ringling Museum in 1968, Mural, which measures nearly 18 feet long, is Chimes’ largest and most ambitious work to date. Also known as the “Ringling Mural,” this large scale painting (7 x 18 feet) will be accompanied by five of its preparatory pen and ink drawings donated by the artist in 1968, and two oil studies from the collections Dawn Chimes and Dimitri and Sheila Chimes.
With its flora cut-outs, bold colors, geometric shapes and crucifixes, Mural is sometimes associated with Abstract Expressionism or Surrealist imagery and is often compared to that of Matisse and van Gogh.
“His work does not fit into any such category, however,” says show organizer and Ringling Assistant Curator of European Art Alexandra Libby, “the goal of this exhibition is to both showcase this spectacular mural and locate the viewer within Chimes’ own style, so that his work may be seen not as a synthesis of other artists’ styles, but as an intensely personal vision of its own artistic merit.”
A vital presence on the Philadelphia art scene since the 1950s, Thomas Chimes is one of the most influential artists to emerge in the last 50 years. His works can be found in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art to name a few. His works have also been shown in numerous galleries in and around New York and his most recent exhibition, a major retrospective organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art that featured the “Ringling’s Mural,” was in fact the major impetus behind Thomas Chimes and the Art of Painting.
"For years the “Ringling Mural” had been rolled up in storage and off view,” said Ulla R. Searing Curator of Collections Dr. Stephen Borys. “After the painting was requested for the Philadelphia Museum retrospective, I thought this was a perfect time to bring it out for our Sarasota audience.”
This unique show will display Mural and its preparatory drawings together at the Ringling for the first time since the Museum acquired the painting and organized the first Thomas Chimes retrospective in 1968.