sculpture

Slick Sci-Fi Sculptures Slither Like Silky-Smooth Space Debris

Bill Thompson explores the limits of color and object art in his remarkably smooth sculptural shapes.

by Diana Shi
May 14 2017, 11:40am

All images courtesy the artist

Saturated with colors of an oil-slick opalescence, each nail-polish lacquered sculpture by Bill Thompson is hand-carved from a mass of polyurethane. Speaking about his process on his website, the Boston-based artist shares that, for over 30 years of art-making, his intent has been to explore the emotional provocation that comes from color in his art. "There has been a consistent fixation on the objectness of a painting. Early iterations included thick, textured paint applications on wood panels, followed by pristine rolled acrylic surfaces on plywood. [Later on] I began altering and carving the substrate itself in an attempt to further activate the color experience."

Thompson's spent 18 years working with this particular aesthetic, and it shows. An extension of his exploration in color, Thompson set his sights on augmenting the boundaries of the objects he was making. The artist took on the transformative potential of form, and mingled it with chroma. "Gradually, I abandoned the square and rectangular format altogether and in the process, emancipated the support from its geometric constraints. This allowed for a more physical embrace of color's expressive potential."

"At the beginning of each design session, I am confronted by the very real possibility that my limitations, both as a person and as an artist, may have finally asserted themselves in full," Thompson tells Creators. "The struggle to invent can last for days, sometimes weeks, but invariably, experience and wisdom (and a fear of failure) have a way of kicking in at the right time and guiding me toward that elusive new idea." Check out a massive selection of his recent works below:

Spawn, 2016. 28 3/4 x 19 x 7 1/2 in, urethane on polyurethane block

Dart, 2017. 25 1/2 x 30 x 7 in, urethane on polyurethane block

Oblivia, 2017. 36 1/2 x 30 1/2 x 7 in, urethane on polyurethane block

Thorn, 2017. 33 3/4 x 38 x 7 in, urethane on polyurethane block

Thorn, form and template

Viola, 2017. 22 1/2 x 25 3/4 x 7 in, urethane on polyurethane block

Swallowtail, 2017. 28 1/2 x 27 3/4 x 7 in, urethane on polyurethane block

Corsair, 2017. 33 3/4 x 38 x 7 in, urethane on polyurethane block

Corsair, form and template

Kumori, 2016. 36 x 34 3/4 x 7 in, urethane on polyurethane block

Egress, 2016. 25 x 31 1/2 x 7 in, urethane on polyurethane block

A still from Thompson's studio, September 2016

Find more artwork from Bill Thompson on his website, here.

Related:

Grumpy Cat Balloon Sculpture Gives Koons a Run for His Money

These Drippy Sculptures Look Like Alien Organisms

Iris van Herpen's Otherworldly Design Inspires Futuristic Couture in Pittsburgh