Untitled Document
Speed of Light
Karen Tompkins
Available Works

ARTIST STATEMENT

With her new series, Speed of Light artist Karen Tompkins explores the underlying architecture of the cosmos with its vast scale and infinite patterns. Tompkins describes the speed of light as, "the light that engages us and moves us through space and time. At a velocity of 180,000 miles per second, it is a trail of beauty, from the microscopic light of dendrites in the brain, to flashes of light on water and on to the far reaches of the universe in filaments of glowing galaxy clusters."

"An awe of nature and the universe, moves me to investigate the luminous objects whose light fills the night sky," says Tompkins. Her work references the 110 luminous objects of deep space catalogued by astronomer, Charles Messier as the subjects of her series. In 1771, Messier, a comet hunter, was frustrated by objects which resembled, but were not comets, so he compiled a list of them, to avoid wasting time on them. These lights, swirling and blazing through space, are known today to be galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters. Revealed with piercing points of light in this dazzling series of paintings, Tompkins evokes the mystery and complexity of nature, that inspired the 19th century, artists Frederic Church and Thomas Cole as well as contemporary artists such as Olafur Eliasson and Tomas Saraceno.

"We are all made of the "star stuff" that composes the universe and binds us to the ecstatic pulse of nature. These works reflect the complexity of an infinite cosmos in which everything is connected," says Tompkins. With Speed of Light, Tompkins depicts the universe from the micro to the macro scale in an intricate play of light and form.



ARTIST SELECTED BIOGRAPHY

The career of Karen Tompkins spans over 40 one person and group exhibitions. As an artist, Tompkins is process oriented and examines the architecture of nature through various mediums including painting, photography, drawing and print making. Tompkin’s work is included in numerous private, corporate and museum collections. She has studied drawing and painting at the Academy of Fine Art, Rome, Italy and pursued graduate studies in painting at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York. Also, she has taught at International Center of Photography, New York, NY and at Free Arts NYC, New York, NY.

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2015
Queens Museum, Artist talk curated by Miguel Luciano, Queens, NY
Karen Tompkins, Speed of Light, Solo Show MME Fine Art, New York, NY
2014
Art Southampton, Voltz Clarke, Southampton, NY
The Brucennial, Vito Schnabel & The Bruce High Quality Foundation, New York, NY
Kips Bay Designer Show House, Mendelson Group, New York, NY
2013
The Armory Show summer celebration, Voltzclarke, Sag Harbor, NY
Spring Selections, MME Fine Art, New York, NY
Karen Tompkins (one person), ARTworks, Holland Hall
Sea Symphony, MME Fine Art, New York, NY
2012
Karen Tompkins (one person), Extraordinary/Ordinary, MME Fine Art, New York, NY Elemental Structures of Nature, Cade Tompkins Projects, New York, N
ArtHamptons, Cade Tompkins Projects, Bridgehampton, NY
2011
Editions/Artists’ Book Fair, New York, NY
Blair Voltz Clarke, VIP Exhibition, Armory Show, New York, NY
2010
Monumental, Cade Tompkins Editions/Projects, Providence, RI
Blair Voltz Clarke, VIP Exhibition, Armory Show, New York, NY
Next Art Fair, Chicago, IL
Baltimore Museum of Art, Contemporary Print Fair, Baltimore, MD
Editions/Artists‘ Book Fair, New York, NY
2009
Pink Is The New Black, Cade Tompkins Editions/Projects,
Providence, RI
Edition/Fine Art Books Fair, P.S.1/MOMA, New York,NY
Jensen Fine Arts, Brookline, MA
2008
Editions/Fine Art Book Fair, Cade Tompkins Editions, New York, NY
2007
A Century of Women Painters, Jensen Fine Arts, Brookline, MA
2006
The Affordable Art Fair, Julio Valdez Prints, New York, NY
Inaugural Exhibition, Jensen Fine Art, Brookline, MA
2005
Art and the Garden, Spanierman Gallery, East Hampton, NY
Picturing Central Park, Christie’s, New York, NY
Group Show, Kraushaar Galleries, New York, NY
2004
Summer Show, Kraushaar Galleries, New York, NY
2003
Karen Tompkins, (one-person), Judith Wall Fine Art, New York, NY
Works on Paper, The Armory Exhibition, Ronnie Cohen, New York, NY
Selections, Kraushaar Galleries, New York, NY
Connections, Ronnie Cohen, New York, NY
2002
Selections, Kraushaar Galleries, New York, NY
2001
San Francisco Art Fair, San Francisco, CA
Summer Exhibition, Kraushaar Galleries, New York, NY
2000
Contemporary Art of Philbrook, The Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, OK
1999
Selections, Kraushaar Galleries, New York, NY
Works on Paper, The Armory Exhibition, Kraushaar Galleries, New York, NY
The Art Show, The Armory Exhibition, Kraushaar Galleries, New York, NY
1998
The Exchange Show, Ronnie Cohen, New York, NY
Works on Paper, The Armory Exhibition, Kraushaar Galleries, New York, NY
The Digital Print, A.I.R. Gallery, New York, NY
Still Life Painting Today, Jerald Melberg Gallery, Charlotte, NC
Artists Prints, Kraushaar Galleries, New York, NY
1997
Karen Tompkins, (one-person), Kraushaar Galleries, New York, NY
Works on Paper, The Armory Exhibition, Kraushaar Galleries, New York,NY
Scapes: Air and Land, Jane Thurn Gallery, New York, NY
Landscapes-Gardens, Jane Thurn Gallery, New York, NY
1996
Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, New York, NY
Four collectors: Richard Brown Baker, Caroline Lerner Goldsmith, Werner
Kramarsky, Michael Rubenstein, The Century Association, New York, NY
1995
Icons for a Contemporary World, Cade Tompkins, New York, NY
Bloom!, Downtown/Uptown Gallery Lok, Wainscott, NY
Paper, Downtown/Uptown Gallery Lok, New York, NY
1994
Elaine Bensen Gallery, Bridgehampton, New York, NY
1993
Kraushaar Galleries, New York, NY

SELECTED COLLECTIONS

Blue Cross Blue Shield, Providence, RI; Cabot, Cabot, Forbes, Stamford, CT;
Suzanne and Bob Cochran, New York, NY; Judith and Achille Guest, New York, NY;
Caroline Lerner Goldsmith, New York, NY: R.L. Hudson Vineyard Napa, CA;
Pam and Paul Johnson, New York, NY; Jane and Christopher Johnson, New York, NY;
Anla and Mark Kingdon, New York, NY; Eileen and Terry Kistler, New York, NY;
Philbrook Museum Of Art, Tulsa, OK; Williams Company, Tulsa, OK;
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN; James D. Wolfensohn Incorporated, New York, NY;
Sarah M. Woolworth Collection, New York, NY

BIBLIOGRAPHY

2012
ARTFIXdaily, “Exraordinary/Ordinary: Recent Photography of Karen Tompkins”
KDHamptons, “My Hamptons: Blair Clarke”
2011
CBS TV News, “Living Large”
Designers’ Collaborative, “Midnight Lace: The Art of Karen Tompkins,” Glenn Gissler
LXTV, “ Designer Living with Katie Lydon”
Avenue Insider, “Arty Party,” Jasmine Lombardi
Hotel Chic, ”Blair Clarke Checks Into The Avalon”
2010
Clovermag,com, “Best In Show,” Chesie Breen
2005
The East Hampton Independent, “In The Gallery,” Joan Baum
1996
Avenue Magazine, “Artist in Pinstripes,” Cricket Burns
1995
Flash Art, “Museums and Galleries”
The East Hampton Independent, “Art Beat,” Renee Dahl
1994
The Independent, “Art Facts and Artifacts,” Donald Kennedy
Southampton Press, “At The Galleries”
Dan’s Papers, “Kat’s Eye - Karen Tompkins Landscapes and Gardens,” Kathleen de Moncy

EDUCATION

Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, M.F.A. degree candidate, Painting
Academy of Fine Art, Painting and Drawing, Rome, Italy
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, B.A. degree, Journalism

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