Artspace

Isobel Thom

Isobel Thom

Portraits

13 November - 15 December 2001


New York based expatriate Isobel Thom has chosen self-portraiture for her latest investigations. Her black and white watercolours, each a head-and-shoulders view, emerge as a raft of uncertain likenesses. Sifting through a multitude of Thoms, one notices the presence of others in her image: a 1930s haircut here, a middle-aged women or teenaged boy there. Style is vague and fluctuating; some portraits tend towards cubism, others toward Cezanne. It is as if the artist had swallowed art history, without properly digesting it. Viewers may recall Thom's earlier minimalist Volume Paintings (whose dimensions echoed the estimated volumes of certain individuals, including the artist) and ponder the nature of this figurative turn.