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, California.

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 Gallery, CA.

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, CA.

Close Window