Memories: Thomas Stempel


The starting point for Stempel’s works is always the circle. Drawing one circle after another, the meditative repeated action builds over hours in which his fragile forms grow quite organically, leading the viewer beyond the familiar, into an undiscovered sphere.


With the help of a simple compass and repeated action, detailed forms emerge. Some light and playful, others dark and intense; through such a seemingly simple method, so much complexity is created.


Stempel was first gifted a compass by his grandfather, an architect who had used compasses throughout his professional life to plan and draw buildings. Stempel however began to use his compass in a completely free, experimental way, developing his own aesthetic and visual language.


In his debut solo show ‘Memories’, Stempel looks back over the past couple of years and those intimate moments which made them special. Each piece has a deeply personal and emotive subject matter which he has expressed through his aesthetic language. He offers the viewer an insight into his memories, relationships, feelings and moments which guide each works’ composition and embrace and flow around each other.


Although the works appear perfect, even digital, it is when the viewer looks closer they see the small imperfections which make these works so mesmerising. The delicate pencil marks from a preliminary sketch, or the puncture holes of the compass make these works feel raw and real. You can see the method and time taken to create them, and that is what makes them so unique.


It is with delight that Rhodes Contemporary Art present this debut solo show by this emerging artist, right at the start of his career. We are excited to see what is to come.


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