BIO

Hollis Brown Thornton (1976) was born and raised in Aiken, South Carolina. In spring of 1999, Thornton received his BFA from the University of South Carolina. Following college graduation, Thornton occupied a studio space at Gallery 701 in Columbia, SC, where he had his first solo exhibition in early 2000. Thornton moved to Chicago in August 2001, taking employment as Gallery Director at Mongerson Gallery (3 1/2 years) and Assistant Preparator at Russell Bowman Art Advisory (2 years). Returning to Aiken, SC in August 2005, Thornton has been working out of his warehouse studio, as a full time artist. In April 2011, he and his wife opened the contemporary clothing boutique Threads, in downtown Aiken. They welcomed their baby girl Leona in February 2015.


STATEMENT

In my work, erasure, fragmentation and simplification represent the imperfect, limited nature of memory and the constant notion of flux we experience in an increasingly digital world. In many cases, I want to create incomplete templates, scenarios that serve as blanks to fill in, rather than specific individuals or events. The constant tech evolution is one of contemporary society's main themes, something I’ve experienced throughout my life. Pixelation and computer manipulation represent the merging of the physical and digital reality, while the people in the images and those old things that were once so important, represent how quickly things change.

Pigment transfers convert the initial digital image to a physical form. The image retains the hard edge of the pixels or the realism of the photograph, but the precision of the digital state erodes immediately through the scrubbing involved in the transfer process, representing the imminent deterioration of objects in the the physical world. Permanent marker drawings further transfer the precisions of the digital image to a hand drawn as-close-as-possible reproduction in the simplistic medium of marker. The drawings keep the idea on a smaller, more playful, colorful scale. Paintings are the ultimate attempt to convert the original digital image into the physical form. Unlike the pigment transfers and drawings, the variables in a painting have many more layers and susceptible to human error. The final image is always a slightly flawed representation of the original digital form, illustrating the inherent differences between the physical and digital, as well as the way memory, over time, changes.

For more information on the work, please see this selection of INTERVIEWS.


SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2015
A Long Time Ago, Gauntlet Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2013
The Land Between Solar Systems, Linda Warren Projects, Chicago, IL
2012
Unexplained Mysteries of the Universe, Aisho Miura Arts, Tokyo, Japan
2009
Hollis Brown Thornton: The Geography of Space, Sumter County Gallery of Art, Sumter, SC
2008
The Earth on the Back of the Giant Turtle, Linda Warren Gallery, Chicago, IL
2007
Great Sea Creatures & the Earth on the Back of the Giant Turtle, if ART Gallery, Columbia, SC
2006
Hollis Brown Thornton, Mary Pauline Gallery, Augusta, GA
2005
Great Sea Creatures & Punica Granatum, City Art, Columbia, SC
Great Sea Creatures & Punica Granatum, Jackson Gallery & Sculpture Garden, Aiken, SC
2004
The Great Fish & Every Kind of Plant that Bears Seed, Jackson Gallery & Sculpture Garden, Aiken, SC
2002
Hollis Brown Thornton, Verdir, Chicago, IL
2001
Hollis Brown Thornton, 80808 Vista Studios, Columbia, SC
Hollis Brown Thornton, Aiken Center for the Arts, Aiken, SC
2000
Hollis Brown Thornton, Gallery 701, Columbia, SC


SELECT GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2015
Beacon, Gauntlet Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2014
Group Show, 28 Matignon, Paris, France
Lost Moments: Scott Listfield and Friends, Gauntlet Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Building a Universe, South Carolina State Museum, Columbia, SC
2013
American Painting Today: Physical & Visceral, Krasl Art Center, St. Joseph, MI
Westobou Festival, Klacsmann Gallery, Augusta, GA
2012
Abstract Art in South Carolina: 1949-2011, South Carolina State Museum, Columbia, SC
2011
GROUP SHOW, Aisho Miura Arts, Tokyo, Japan
2010
2 Year Anniversary Exhibition, POVevolving Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
ULTRA003 Emerging Directors' Art Fair, Tokyo, Japan
2009
PHOTO-BASED, Barbara Archer Gallery, Atlanta, GA
Gallery Artists Group Show, Linda Warren Gallery, Chicago, IL
2008
20th Anniversary Juried Art Exhibition, South Carolina State Museum, Columbia, SC
Internationales Künstlersymposium 10, Volksbank, Kaiserslautern, Germany
The Salon I & II, if ART Gallery, Columbia, SC
2007
Art Miami, Miami, FL
Project Space, Linda Warren Gallery (Project Space), Chicago, IL
Kleinformat / Small Format, The Columbia - Kaiserslautern Exchange, if ART Gallery, Columbia, SC
A Holiday Exhibition, Mary Pauline Gallery, Augusta, GA
2006
South Carolina Birds: A Fine Arts Exhibition, The City Gallery at Waterfront Park, Charleston, SC
A Holiday Exhibition, Mary Pauline Gallery, Augusta, GA
2004
Aberration/Pollination, Linda Warren Gallery, Chicago, IL
South Carolina Birds: A Fine Arts Exhibition, Sumter Gallery of Art, Sumter, SC
2003
The Felt Moment, Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, SC


SELECT COMMISSIONS

in4mation x Society6 - Snapback Artist Series "hi" Hat, 2016
Netflix - Images for CES Opening Day Keynote Speech Video Presentation, 2016
Columbia University Press - Video Revolutions: On the History of a Medium, Cover Art, 2014
The New Yorker - Difference Maker by Meghan Daum - Image to accompany article, September 29, 2014
Rainbirds - Yonder - Universal, 2014
Elle Magazine - Cassette Drawing, September 2012
Square Enix - Hitman (Stain Removal) - Drawing for Hitman HD Trilogy, 2012
Urban Outfitters - Alpha - Painting for Dockers Anchor promotion, 2011
Small Black - Knitting Factory, 2011
Helios - Live at the Triple Door - Unseen Records, 2010
Lucky Soul - A Coming of Age, Up in Flames, and White Russian Doll - Ruffa Lane, 2010
Primary 1 - Mess Detective - Grow Up Records, 2009
Vice Magazine - The Fiction Issue - Cover Drawing, December 2009