A belief in Le Corbusier’s dictum “creativity is a patient search”.

Joel Wilkinson
3 min readJan 17, 2019
Blue Cohosh, mixed media painting (detail), by Tom Dimond.

Blue Cohosh, by Tom Dimond, appeared in the exhibition “A Patient Search: Paintings by Tom Dimond” at Brooks Center for the Performing Arts, Clemson University, Clemson, SC.

A Patient Search
For the last five decades Tom Dimond has been following a creative trajectory that dances between minimal and maximal; playing a highly controlled geometric structure against the openness of intuition and chance. Dimond came of age in a moment of cultural transition and artistic experimentation. It was an era that saw the triumph of high modernism and the institutional dominance of abstract painting, a new playful, exploratory approach to sculpture and an emerging interest by artists in issues of ethnicity, identity and global politics. While the next generation of artists were focused on the reinvention of realistic narrative painting the examination of the past stylistic approaches and emergent genre’s like film, performance and installation art, Dimond’s generation often held on to a universalist approach to abstraction, an interest in the possibilities inherent in the medium and process of painting, mining the rich modernist tradition of non-objectivity and abstract illusionism’s last chapter before the advent of the unbridled anything- goes pluralism of our troubled times.

Tom Dimond was born 1944 in Middleboro, Massachusetts. He studied at the Massachusetts College of Art (BFA 1966) and the University of Tennessee (MFA 1969). He has taught at several schools, but has spent the majority of his professional career at Clemson University, where he was the Director of the Rudolph E. Lee Gallery from 1973 through 1988, and a professor of painting from 1988 through 2006, when he became Professor Emeritus.

The most recent series moves away from the imagery and techniques of the tile works and combine gestural watercolor painting coated with a slightly textured medium and finished with monoprints on Japanese paper collaged to the surface. The first of this new body of work mimicked earthen walls and were named after the famous sites of prehistoric cave paintings. Later iterations returned to complex layered surfaces with scans, distressed surfaces and collaged comic book imagery. These works are at once autobiographical in chronicling the artists visual influences, but also an amalgam of fifty years of techniques and studio practices.

As a retrospective, this exhibition has an historical element at it’s very core. I am also fortunate to be a part of this history. After joining the Clemson University faculty in 1990, the first exhibition I mounted was a Tom Dimond solo exhibition whose main focus were the works from the Tangent Series. I was fortunate to work closely with Tom for a decade, and admire his devotion to students and teaching painting and exhibiting. Tom Dimond’s commitment to art and teaching, is for him, a way of life. His trajectory as an artist, based on a few common concern’s, and sometimes a bit of a twisting path, unfolds with a wonderful exploratory logic all his own. As suggested by his artist statement, he shares the belief of his generation that abstract art is an intuitive language of emotion and ideas that is based on the dialogue between artist and artwork, artwork and viewer, that is ultimately about the medium itself. His most recent series, his most open, complex and exploratory yet, is a culmination of that belief in Le Corbusier’s dictum “creativity is a patient search”.
— David Houston, August 2018

David W. Houston is an art historian and curator with The College of the Arts, Columbus State University

Also: you can find works by Tom Dimond available for sale through Joel Wilkinson ART, in Greenville, South Carolina. See website below.

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Joel Wilkinson ART
Greenville, South Carolina
WEBSITE: joel wilkinson studio and gallery

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Joel Wilkinson

Art dealer. Selling art on paper: Over 300 works including printmaking, drawings, collage, paintings, by recognized artists. Greenville SC.