Thomas Solomon (art dealer)

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Thomas Solomon is an American art dealer and curator who owns the Thomas Solomon Gallery in Los Angeles. Considered a "leading figure" in the Los Angeles art world, [1] he represents 1960s and 1970s conceptual and emerging artists. He also provides art consulting services through Thomas Solomon Fine Art Advising. He is the son of New York City art collectors and patrons Horace and Holly Solomon.


Life and career

Born in New York City in 1960, Solomon's parents, Horace and Holly Solomon, were collectors of contemporary art, who supported the Pop Art and Conceptual Art movements. [2] [3] Solomon’s early world was full of art and artists including Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Indiana, Gordon Matta-Clark, Alexis Smith, William Wegman (photographer), and others. [4] [5] [6] The artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude were named his godparents. [7] [8]

Solomon received a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, then directed White Columns, the New York alternative art space. [9] [10] In 1985, he curated his first show in Europe, an exhibition of 40 New York artists titled A Brave New World, A New Generation, at the Charlottenborg Exhibition Hall in Copenhagen. [11] After that, he migrated to the West Coast where he next curated shows for the Piezo Electric Gallery in Venice. [12]

In 2002, he curated an exhibition at the newly established Pasadena Museum of California Art, the inaugural show titled Beyond Boundaries: Bay Area Conceptual Art of the Nineteen-Seventies. [13]

Thomas Solomon's Garage

In 1988, Solomon started his own gallery in a two-car West Hollywood garage down an alley, called The Garage. [14] [15] [16] [17] He later moved to a larger industrial space on Fairfax Avenue in 1991, also in West Hollywood. [18] During this time, he established a program that showcased emerging artists from Los Angeles, paired with well-known and internationally respected artists. This program led to the first solo exhibition of Jorge Pardo, which art critic Christopher Knight dubbed "among the more impressive debuts of recent memory." [19] [20] He also organized a solo show of work by Tim Burton (his first ever solo exhibition in a gallery) [21] and brought early attention to Damien Hirst. [22]

Since 2004, Los Angeles’ Chinatown has been Solomon’s base of operations, starting with spaces at Rental Gallery, then at Cottage Home in a converted movie theater. [23] His latest gallery, which opened in 2009, is located on Chinatown’s Bernard Street. [24]

Thomas Solomon Gallery focuses on contemporary art by established as well as emerging artists with a roster of artists that includes Robert Barry, Juan Capistran, Bart Exposito, Peter Harkawik, Robert Levine, Josh Mannis, Dennis Oppenheim, Ry Rocklen, Miljohn Ruperto, Analia Saban, Mitchell Syrop, and Rosha Yaghmai. [25] Additional exhibitions featured the work of Gordon Matta-Clark [26] and Nam June Paik. [27] [28]

Thomas Solomon Fine Art Advising

Thomas Solomon Fine Art Advising is a Los Angeles-based art consulting practice run by Thomas Solomon. In an advisory capacity, Solomon has worked with software publisher and philanthropist Peter Norton (publisher of Norton Utilities) on a number of projects. Solomon helped organize The Peter and Eileen Norton Museum Donations Program that bestowed over 1,000 artworks to dozens of museums around the world, notable for being one of the largest gifts of contemporary art by a private donor. [29] [30] Solomon also consulted for Peter Norton on a $26.8 million Christie’s auction in 2011 and 2012. [31] [32] As a consultant, he also curated LA25, which featured the work of 25 emerging Los Angeles artists, for the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. [33] [34] The project culminated in a catalog and 2008 exhibition at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) in Hollywood. [35] [36]

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  1. Michael Cohen (March/April 1995), Cityscape: Los Angeles: Interviews with Art World Professionals Flash Art International.
  2. Roberta Smith (January 16, 2014), A Dealer’s Eye, and Life: ‘Hooray for Hollywood!’ Recalls Holly Solomon’s Eye for Art New York Times .
  3. Brooks Adams (August 1989), Alley Cat Interview Magazine .
  4. Grace Glueck (June 10, 2002), Holly Solomon, Adventurous Art Dealer, Is Dead at 68 New York Times .
  5. G. Luther Whitington (June 1990), Art + Auction .
  6. David Colker (November 19, 1989), Gallery in a Garage: Second-Generation Art Entrepreneur Thomas Solomon Shuns Tradition and Displays Artwork in a Space that Opens on an Alley Los Angeles Times .
  7. G. Luther Whitington (June 1990), Art + Auction .
  8. Brooks Adams (August 1989), Alley Cat Interview Magazine .
  9. Grace Glueck (January 23, 1990), For Galleries, It's Westward Ho to Santa Monica New York Times .
  10. David Colker (November 19, 1989), Gallery in a Garage: Second-Generation Art Entrepreneur Thomas Solomon Shuns Tradition and Displays Artwork in a Space that Opens on an Alley Los Angeles Times .
  11. David Colker (November 19, 1989), Gallery in a Garage: Second-Generation Art Entrepreneur Thomas Solomon Shuns Tradition and Displays Artwork in a Space that Opens on an Alley Los Angeles Times .
  12. G. Luther Whitington (June 1990), Art + Auction .
  13. Christopher Knight (June 1, 2002), Ambitious Goals, Modest Results for Museum of California Art Los Angeles Times .
  14. Steven Holt & Michael McDonough (June1989), Now, Our Inalienable Right to Tinker Metropolitan Home.
  15. David Colker (November 19, 1989), Gallery in a Garage: Second-Generation Art Entrepreneur Thomas Solomon Shuns Tradition and Displays Artwork in a Space that Opens on an Alley Los Angeles Times .
  16. Roberta Smith (December 29, 1992), The Los Angeles Art World’s New Image New York Times .
  17. G. Luther Whitington (June 1990), Art + Auction .
  18. Nancy Kapitanoff (July 28, 1991), Gallery Moves Up and Out, but Still Calls Garage Home Los Angeles Times .
  19. Christopher Knight (April 27, 1990), Art Reviews: Impressive Debut Los Angeles Times .
  20. Suzanne Muchnic (April 1, 2001), Ascent of the Early Risers Los Angeles Times .
  21. Jan Tumlir (December 1, 1994), Playing Dead: Thomas Solomon's Garage, Los Angeles Artweek
  22. Damien Hirst Biography Walker Art Center .
  23. (2009), LACE Benefit Art Auction: Thomas Solomon Biography Archived 2014-07-02 at LACE.
  24. Suzanne Muchnic (July 26, 2009), L.A.'s Galleries Reframe the Recession Los Angeles Times.
  25. Artist Roster Archived 2014-04-18 at the Wayback Machine Thomas Solomon Gallery.
  26. Hunter Drohojowska-Philp (October 17, 2013), Art Talk: LA in London KCRW.
  27. 2013 Exhibitions Archived 2014-04-30 at the Wayback Machine Thomas Solomon Gallery.
  28. (2014), SFAQ Pick: Nam June Paik Solo Exhibition at Thomas Solomon Gallery, Los Angeles Archived 2014-05-06 at SFAQ International Arts & Culture.
  29. Michael Kimmelman (January 18, 2000), Handing Out Modern Art By the Bushel; A Couple Gives 1,000 Works To 29 Museums, Big and Small New York Times.
  30. Diane Haithman (July 8, 1998), Framing an Art World Merger Los Angeles Times.
  31. Jori Finkel (November 11, 2011), Culture Monster: Peter Norton Cashes In Los Angeles Times.
  32. (September 9, 2011), Works From the Peter Norton Collection: Ahead of the Curve Christies.
  33. About LA25 Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
  34. Curatorial Project with Skadden & Arps, Sep 1, 2006-Nov 16, 2008 Archived July 6, 2014, at Thomas Solomon Gallery.
  35. (October 2008), LA25 Half-Life LACE.
  36. (October 8, 2008), LA25 Half-Life Archived 2014-07-02 at Flavorpill LA.