Suggested Occupation 3

Artist: Kyle Thurman
painting | Charcoal and pastel on paper in artist's frame | 1032x1108mm | 2016

Composed on expanses of seamless background paper, the human-scaled drawings by Kyle Thurman present figures isolated from their original context, carefully rendered through delicate lines and coloring. Thurman bases the drawings on online news photographs— ephemeral and pedestrian images so prevalent that their impermanence can seem symptomatic of a cultural malaise. The works’ titles, Suggested Occupation, refer to jobs suggested to the artist as a teenager, as do the drawing’s sources—archetypal male images of soldiers, athletes, or priests. Here these images become something else altogether as photographs are translated to drawings: the production creates a heightened sense of intentionality, an invitation to look more slowly at moments that otherwise could disappear. In each drawing the artist considers the entire space of the frame, informed by his education in film and photography. Thurman’s studies in screenwriting also influence his approach to visual storytelling, with the fragmented images serving as components of a potential larger narrative. (Charcoal and pastel on paper in artist's frame)


Whitney Biennial 2019 | 2019.05.17 - 2019.09.22 | Whitney Museum of American Art(New York City, NY, United States)