More about Glenn Thomas
From 1944 to 1954, I lived at 878 Stuyvesant Avenue in Irvington, New Jersey. There,In a toy store,I bought a Dinky toy Bedford truck and was aware that it was clearly not an American truck, that it was a European truck, and this was the beginning of my curiosity about Europe. In 1954 we moved to Montclair New Jersey. In Montclair High school I studied technical drawing for three years, also wood working and French. In 1962 I was accepted into the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and was mainly a student of Hobson Pitman, ( an extraordinary and encouraging teacher. ) During my year there the composer, Karlheinz Stockhausen, gave a lecture at the University of Pennsylvania and played a tape of Momente, the piece he was working on at the time. ( I was astounded by the piece ). I learned that he was planning to give a composition course in 1964 and suggested to my brother, who was studying composition at the Manhattan School of Music, that it might be good to take his course which he did, forming a close relationship with Stockhausen. While he was taking the course, I was in Europe with a fellow artist from the Academy, Steve Heimel, on a study trip traveling from Paris to Rome on a Velosolex, visiting as many museums, cathedrals, etc. as possible. On my return home, my brother and I exchanged our extraordinary experiences and I gave him a small painting I had made at the academy to give to Stockhausen. This he did, and when Stockhausen’s then wife, the artist Mary Bauermiester, saw it, she contacted me and came to a studio in East Orange New Jersey that my brother and I, along with Steve Heimel had. We became good friends and she later helped me to move to Europe in 1970 by having her collectors buy many of my works. I arrived on March 17th in Antwerp and took a train to her house in Forsbach Germany, outside of Cologne. I rented a house near her and stayed there for 3 months before moving to Amsterdam. While there we went to Stockhausen’s Interesting house ( with no right angle’s ) in Kurten to check his mail ( he was in Japan at the time ) There I saw that the small painting I had given him was on the desk where he worked. In Amsterdam I met Pauline van Rijn, we lived together for 45 years until her death in 2015. In the years that I have been in Europe I have traveled and exhibited extensively.
Making art seems to be a reaction to my being in this temporary human visit we all experience. It began with the impulse to make things, chairs, tables, even a small boat. I ran out of functional objects to make and at my brothers suggestion began to paint and make art. I was free of the functional objects and unknown to me at the time, began an inner journey with endless possibilities. This practice continues to this very day. There is a never ending joy in the process of making something that has never existed, that collaborates with me in it’s development. Primal fears, complex relationships, eternal questions, disappear. The often violent events that take place on the planet, and a society that seems to accept being born, growing up, and dying as something logical has always puzzled me and I have done my best to try and avoid getting too involved. The proverbial space between art and life seems to be disappearing as I approach the end of my visit. Where the forms, images, colors, come from I have no idea… As luck would have it, I am not alone in this occupation and can derive great comfort in perusing the history of art, which inspires and eases any loneliness…..