Efremidis presents RAZOR BLADE CANDY, Tom Holmes’ first exhibition at Efremidis and their most recent solo exhibition in Europe since Temporary Monument at the Kunsthalle Bern in 2013.
The works mark a new stage in Holmes’ painting practice, where a virtuosic image making meets their funereal excavation of American death, depravity and hope. Widely recognised as a sculptor and deployer of ready-mades, Holmes’ recent exhibitions have seen their interests in the automatism of both art making and life-living find their way onto the canvas.
In this exhibition a series of works show children wearing halloween costumes, posing and leering towards the viewer. Built in layers and flurries of strokes of oil paint and acrylic ink, the paintings are related to the photographic, they are often backlit and seem to mark a movement frozen in time. Their execution however is resolutely painterly and they can be understood in relation to a history of mannerist and baroque painting, a period of time that one might see in either accordance or opposition to the current situation in art making.
Alongside the figures are depictions of readymades, painted and modulated in a style that moves in and out of the recognizable and abstract. From minimal to maximal, Holmes’ marks burst out of these objects in irresistible groupings of sparks, as if the objects were in a moment of celebration of their own production or destruction. The trick-or-treaters share this emotive state and appear to be in moments of infantile revolution.
The exhibition is accompanied by a written interview between Tom Holmes and the curator and writer Dominic Eichler as well as a poster bearing a poem by Shannon Hamann taken from his publication Biblia Pauperum that is available to take.
Tom Holmes’ (*1979, USA) works has been included in exhibitions at Kunsthalle Bern; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Contemporary Art Biennial, Sélestat, France; Malmö Konstmuseum, Sweden and the Whitney Museum, New York among many other solo and group exhibitions. Holmes received the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2015 and the Reed Foundation Grant in 2011. The artist wishes to extend special thanks to the Joan Mitchell Foundation. They live and work in Tennessee.