Art we love: About the River by Thrush Holmes

About the River, 2011 Oil and spray paint on canvas with artist's frame, 72 x 48 inches, 182.9 x 121.9 cm

When a relatively unknown, soft-spoken, 26 year old artist with the lyrical name of Thrush Holmes (his full name is Thrush Keats Byron Holmes) came from what appeared to be out of nowhere (actually out of Welland, Ontario) in January of 2007, and suddenly set himself up in a gigantic, 3100 Square foot gallery and studio space at Queen and Dovercourt (just one block from the Art Condos building) modestly called Thrush Holmes Empire, there was a good deal of blowback.

Inevitably, there was skepticism, disbelief, envy, hostility, enthusiasm, speculation —a heady brew of hyper-reaction in which, sometimes, the high quality of the work Holmes actually made and exhibited there (paintings, neon works, sculptures) tended to get folded into the fable the artist had constructed for himself and consequently did not always receive the attention we feel they deserved.

Now, five years later, a still soft-spoken Thrush Holmes, now 31, is giving up the Empire.  “Five years after it dropped like an alien craft on the Queen West art scene,” wrote critic Murray Whyte in the Toronto Star last September 22, Thrush is “pulling back and taking stock.”

Actually, there’s a new condo going where the Empire has been defiantly standing lo these past five years, and now the prolific young artist is having his first solo exhibition outside his former domain—at Toronto’s Angell Gallery.
The show, which consists of big, loud, gloriously unruly still life paintings—a notoriously traditional, conventionalized subject for Holmes—as well as surrealist-inspired, photographically-generated pigment prints, is titled Noiseless Moon.

Critic and Art Condos consultant Gary Michael Dault spoke with Thrush Holmes recently at The Empire—about still life painting:  Noiseless Moon runs until December 3 at The Angell Gallery at 12 Ossington Avenue.



  1. small cars wrote:

    Love what you are doing with the blog man!