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abstract art

Whimsical Pastel Collages Are Just like your High School Notebook Doodles, Only Better

Austin Thomas’s collage world is full of avant garde formations.
All images courtesy the artist

For those who—in the long history of Matisse and Picasso and Rothko—are more interested in forms and colors than actual subjects, a series of graphic prints offer a modern, pastel take. In Austin Thomas's abstract compositions, the artist proves portraits and snapshots are not the only way of capturing the world. Thomas's latest prints were created while on residency at Guttenberg Arts. During her time there, she explored watercolors and geometric drawings. Her work evolved until it became a wholly unique translucent collage.


Thomas's collage process follows slightly in the vein of Matisse. First, using a unique "collagraphic" process, she loads the forms with ink and then juxtaposes them on found paper. Thomas is interested in how paper reacts to materials, according to her gallery, and explicitly chooses surfaces that are imperfect.

The result is a merry dance of colors and shapes that feel free and playful. The effect is similar to the sensation of visualizing shapes behind closed eyes, shortly after you have stared into a lightbulb for too long. Displayed on a pink background, each print shows a kind of powerful and graphic femininity.

According to the Morgan Lehman gallery, Thomas's work references Modernist styles like Russian Constructivism, Minimalism, and Color Field painting.

For more of Austin Thomas's work, follow her on Instagram or visit her website. Her work is on display at the Morgan Lehman gallery in New York City through March 25. Find more information, here.

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