Document Type

Forum Theme 1


Jerré Tanner's splendid (but by no means exhaustive) monograph, On the Origins and Applications of the Grid in the Art of John Paul Thomas presents the first internet presence, in the twenty-first century, of one of the most significant artists of the twentieth. That a chasm of close to two decades could gape between the most recent examples of Thomas studies, when the internet had not yet begun its astonishing career, seems no less astonishing than that a species of "dark ages" could descend upon the work and fame of an artist of "light," and-as Tanner reveals-a re-creation of pictorial space. Perhaps Thomas's choice to leave Europe, New York, and Los Angeles behind in favor of life and work in Hawai'i placed him too far from public view, from the surveillance of several sorts of "bottom-liners." Gaugin's work and career prevailed in the face of such ignorance, apparently. Art historians will sort out this sort of thing eventually. We trace a trajectory in the Thomas career from Rome, to Life magazine, to the Whitney, to the Hirshorn, to lectures at university to…well…to Universitas.

Publication Date

Fall 2007

Journal Title






First Page



©2007 Harvey Hess and Jerré Tanner



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