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In anticipation of our solo exhibition with Hank Willis Thomas later this November, our presentation at The Art Show highlights two aspects of Thomas’ career: his quilt works as well as his lenticulars.

Through his quilt works, Thomas investigates the fabric of our nation beginning with deconstructing the literal fabric of the United States flag. These materials are remade into a quilt of abstract design in an attempt to construct new meaning for our country and its symbols. This interest, for Thomas, is a further investigation of American Icons—flags, stars, prison uniforms and sports— and is a way for him to highlight some of the work that needs to happen. It also acts as a call to action for new ways of relating to this country’s promise.

Thomas’ lenticular text-based works, on the other hand, provide a more experiential approach to the viewer. It requires viewers to shift positions as they view them in order to fully absorb their content. Meaning, therefore, changes depending on one’s perspective—and in the case of Thomas’ installation, only emerges when one knows that there is always something hidden...always more to one of his works than immediately meets the eye.

Thomas is a recipient of the Gordon Parks Foundation Fellowship (2018), Guggenheim Fellowship (2018), AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize (2017), Soros Equality Fellowship (2017), Aperture West Book Prize (2008), Renew Media Arts Fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation (2007), and the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship Award (2006). He is also a member of the Public Design Commission for the City of New York.