THOMAS BROADBENT: SOLO EXHIBITION
OCTOBER 26TH - NOVEMBER 30TH, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, October 26th, 7-9PM
The Front Room Gallery is proud to present, “Macrocosm” a solo exhibition of new large-scale watercolor paintings and sculpture by Thomas Broadbent. This is Broadbent’s fourth solo exhibition at Front Room Gallery.
The Paintings in this exhibition probe into the human impulse for exploration. Broadbent has carefully selected and analyzed subjects that remind us of humankind’s scale and position in the universe. And while our perception of the cosmos is informed by the data and images gathered by satellites, telescopes and manned missions; the moon, planets and stars, still seem to be objects of our imagination. It is these astronomical bodies and the impulse to map them that has inspired the new works in Thomas Broadbent’s exhibition, “Macrocosm”
Thomas Broadbent presents his compositions from a naturalist point of view; his visual depictions adhere to the natural laws that govern the structure and behavior of the natural universe. These works have a photo-realistic quality to them: the object based works often have a trompe l'oeil effect, while the large scale works are visually immersive in their detail.
At over 11 feet in length, Broadbent's “Andromeda” galaxy painting captures the spectacle and wonder one feels when looking at the stars in the night sky. In this enormous painting, Broadbent’s absolute blackness of the space contrasts with the vibrant points of lights emanating from each star’s a warm bright white. Broadbent’s accurate depiction of the spiral galaxy is poignant because, while Andromeda is the closest large galaxy to the Milky Way, it is also is the most distant object in the sky that mankind can see unaided from the Earth.
In this exhibition, Broadbent juxtaposes the grandeur of space with the fragility of humankind and our attempts to explore and understand. The apparatuses for space travel are presented as isolated objects in Broadbent’s paintings and act as a metaphor for expansion of knowledge and quest for adventure. Broadbent references early technologies and methods of space exploration with a reverence and a point of nostalgia. In his Lunar Mosaic paintings, he applies the same photo-mosaic tiling technique that was used by technicians of the early lunar probes. Yet, instead of individual photographs, each panel is a photo-realistic watercolor painting. In “White Noise” Broadbent conveys a sense of peacefulness in open space, as a lone astronaut floats upside down with a cluster of distant stars reflecting in the spacesuit’s visor. These conceptual works visually expound on how images of outer space are mediated, arbitrated and reassembled to give us a translated view of the conditions of the outer space environment.
Thomas Broadbent has shown extensively throughout the U.S. as well as internationally. Broadbent’s work won the Pulse Prize for best solo booth at Pulse Art Fair. His work was subsequently featured in “Mission to Space” at the Children’s Art Museum in Manhattan. His nine-foot long “Lunar Mosaic” painting hangs in the American Consolate building in Moscow. His work is in the permanent collection of the National Museum of Wildlife Art. Broadbent’s numerous solo exhibitions include the Visual Art’s Center of New Jersey, Croxhapox Gallery (Gent, Belgium) Voorkamer Gallery (Lier, Belgium) Inspace gallery (Beijing, China) and the Newark Arts Council. Broadbent’s work has been reviewed in The New York Times, The New Jersey Star-Ledger, NY Arts, The Brooklyn Rail and numerous other publications.