Solo exhibition at Tayloe Piggott Gallery, Jackson, Wyoming
February 21 - March 20, 2022
Thomsen started work on Garden-her first major series-in 2005, when she was taking her first steps on a journey away from artisanal representation toward the fully realized abstraction seen in much of her later work. Sparked by an interest in botanical study dating from those Meissen years, each of the Garden paintings traverses the tonal range of a single color, or at most two different basic colors, applied in arrays of soft brushstrokes with no outlines.
These skillful marks, the products of years of training, at first remind us of the meticulous pages of a plant-hunter's album, perhaps depicting hanging willow fronds, standing grasses or irises, or fallen autumn leaves. But look more closely at Thomsen's seemingly carefree, almost decorative assemblages of paint and you will soon see that they disguise an urgent private project. The watercolor forms coalesce, disperse, and merge again without ever fully opening a window into depth, expressive of an unresolved inward struggle for meaning. They challenge us as viewers to follow the artist in taking nothing for granted, to look beyond the seemingly closed curtain formed by these compositions and explore them as interrogations of hue, order, space, and pattern: metaphors, perhaps, for a spirit of uneasy resilience.