The Black artist Bob Thompson was born in Kentucky in 1937. In 1958, at age 21, he moved to New York City, where he was part of the jazz and literary scenes and had his first solo exhibitions. Heading to Europe in 1961, Thompson began studying compositions by the Old Masters—Piero della Francesca, Poussin, Goya—organically absorbing them, through echoes and allusions, into his own paintings. It was a heady visual synthesis, sophisticated and vibrantly colored, and it won him critical acclaim. In 1966, Thompson died tragically young from a heroin overdose, but his output during a short career was prolific. This is the first exhibition on Thompson in 20 years. —E.C.
Traveling to: Smart Museum of Art, Chicago (February 10 – May 15, 2022).