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Abstract oil painter JT Thompson

Labyrinth LXIX 36x24x1.5 oil on canvas private collection
Labyrinth LXIX - 36x24x1.5 - oil on canvas - private collection

Abstract oil painter JT Thompson is known for his fragmented, surrealistic landscapes.

Thompson manipulates perspective and scale to create his dream-like, labyrinth worlds.

Raised in southwestern Ohio, he moved to Columbus to study painting at the Columbus

College of Art and Design. JT has received Individual Artist Grants from the Greater

Columbus Arts Council, was selected for the Ohio Arts Council’s 2017 Biennial and also

was the recipient of Ohio Arts Council individual excellence award for FY 2023.

Exhibition. His work is represented in the collections of the Columbus Museum of Art, the

Greater Columbus Convention Center, the downtown Columbus Hilton, and Northern

Kentucky University, Columbus Hilton Tower and Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

Labyrinth LXVI 96x48x1.5 oil on canvas Hilton Tower public collection
Labyrinth LXVI - 96x48x1.5 - oil on canvas - Hilton Tower public collection


Geometric Surrealist: The irrational juxtaposition of spatial contradictions of reality and


I call my style Geometric Surrealism, which is the manipulation of the representation of

physical spaces to create a highly distorted vision of reality. My paintings start with

architectural elements – the illusion of rooms, staircases, and hallways. I employ multiple viewpoints of these spaces and corridors, which are simplified and distorted to produce a composition of geometric shapes and planes with graphic overtones. This creates the

illusion of depth with the X-Y-Z axis, scale, foreshortening, and place in time (the figures

placed in the composition). These figures, representing past; present; and future, are based on the theory of Box Universe and the use of past memories and experiences to

mold present and future experiences. The figures act as a design element that leads the

viewer through the compositions.

Labyrinth LXXII 36x36x1.5 oil on canvas available
Labyrinth LXXII - 36x36x1.5 - oil on canvas - available

Spaces are stretched and contorted, almost to the point of becoming paradox illusions.

Varied light sources serve to deepen the impression of disjointed space. Forms rise and

recede simultaneously, as perspective seems to oscillate. Spaces that should be

comfortably familiar instead become ambiguous and conflicting. The only thing that is certain are the spatial contradictions. This framework challenges the predictability of

the observer’s point-of-view. A tension is created in trying to reconcile the spatial

contradictions. These subtle shifting spaces operate on a kind of dream-logic.

As an artist, I am interested in the subconscious workings of the psyche. My work serves as a meditation on the subjectivity that informs our interpretation of experience. This focus converges with a more formal interest in pushing the precepts of representational painting. I aim to create compositions that both surprise and intrigue.

This series of paintings depicts one’s movement through life and shows how our lives are not as linear as predicted. I believe that life gives multiple choices on a daily basis; lines break off to create new lines, new angles, doors open, planes shift, and stairways appear to reveal a Geometric Surrealism.

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