Born in Texas, Matthew Thomas Jr.
attended the Honolulu Academy of Fine Arts, Hawaii and completed
his studies at the Chouinard School of Fine Arts, Los Angeles,
Since 1974 Matthew Thomas has exhibited extensively in the
United States and abroad. Solo exhibitions include Jamjuree
Art Gallery, Thailand; Ruth Bachafner Gallery, CA; Long Beach
Museum of Art, CA; L.A. Artcore Gallery, CA; Oranges & Sardines
Gallery, CA. Group exhibitions include the California African-American
Museum, CA; Oceanside Museum of Art, CA; Milwaukee Art Museum,
WI; Virginia Museum of fine Art, Nagasaki Museum, Japan; Pyong
Take City Museum, South Korea; Otto Galerie, Germany; Oceanside
Museum of Art, CA; International EXPO'99, South Korea. Thomas
has also exhibited in Spain, India, Netherlands; Mexico.
Matthew Thomas' paintings, wax encaustics, mixed media works
and installations are primarily based on Geometric Abstraction;
his personal interest in the natural and physical sciences.
His geometric configurations suggest personal hieroglyphics
and encrypted codes, whether expressed in a nebulous or linear
form. Through the sensitive nuances, innuendo and allusion
found in Thomas' artwork, the viewer may perceive and interpret
its inner meaning. "Thomas uses the direct physicality
of materials to approach the essential. Unfired clay, earth,
ashes, dry pigments and gold leaf are used to build up surfaces
rich in visual and actual texture…evoking differing
emotions, a sense of purity, a luxurious intensity" (
Ruth Bachofner Gallery).
"His [Matthew Thomas'] grandfather's African Methodist
altar in his home and the sight of him laying carefully whitewashed
stones at the boundaries of his property left a lasting impression
on him" (Ronn Byrd, Entertainment Ed.). This experience
led him into a lifelong and dynamic exploration of cultural
identity and spiritual beliefs in art.
Among Thomas' Public Art Commissions are Capitol Plaza, Ohio;
Columbia Pictures, CA; Grand Hyatt Hotel, Washington DC; First
Mortgage Corporation, CA; Biltmore Hotel (Music Suite) CA;
Sheraton Plaza Hotel, Palm Springs, CA. His gallery installations
include those installed at the Jan Baum & Iris Silverman
Galleries, CA; Municipal Art Gallery, a facility of the L.A.
Cultural Affairs Department; Frederek S Wight Gallery, CA;
Hebrew Union College, CA.
Articles and reviews of Matthew Thomas' artwork have been
covered in numerous magazines and newspapers such as the Fine
Art Magazine of Thailand; Los Angeles Times, CA (William Wilson & Susanne
Muchnic); City Lights & Long Beach Press Telegram (Shirle
Gottlieb), CA; LA Weekly (Peter Frank); Newsweek (Peter Plagens);
Art Scene (Bill Lazarow), CA; Fine Arts Report Magazine (Hisaka
Kojima), Japan; San Antonio Light (R.F.Thompson, TX; American
Visions & Visions Foundation, Washington DC; Ruth Bachonofer
Matthew Thomas has also appeared on KCET (Channel 28) and
KABC (Channel 7) demonstrating and teaching art to children.
He has taught children and adults for nearly thirty years including
the Otis School of Art & Design, UCLA; L.A. County Museum
of Art; Junior Arts Center, Barnsdall Park, CA. Thomas also
acted as the Regional Consultant in Visual Arts for Southern
California; received prestigious grants from the National Endowment
for the Arts, Washington DC.; California Arts Council, Sacramento,