Tom Meacham

Simile
04.07 — 05.18.24

Devening Projects presents Simile, New York artist Tom Meacham’s second projects with the gallery. The exhibition opens with a reception on Sunday, April 7th from 2 – 5pm and continues until May 18th, 2024.

In a recent statement about the work featured in Simile, New York-based artist Tom Meacham said “I think of myself as a spy infiltrating modernism. There is a clever phrase that is the sum of my ideas, “It’s not what it looks like.”

Every work is in some way an imposter. They are imitative. Observe them closely and you will find a caveat, an escape hatch, a knowing wink. Sometimes it is obtuse. There is a price sticker on the front of this painting. This sculpture looks like a Brancusi made of translucent fiberglass. Actually, it’s maybe not a sculpture, maybe it’s a lamp. It does light up like a lamp. The price sticker on the painting surface may signal that something is amiss. Maybe if you look at the series as a whole, you will recognize a system? Did an algorithm make the decisions for these paintings?

Maybe the work is a copy of a copy. The fiberglass paintings are, for example, casts of paintings. In order to make them visually interesting they needed to be casts of dummy (fake) paintings, constructed to be cast from the inside. But then those casts of dummies are something new visually, in the way they change from full to empty, translucent to opaque, blank to patterned, depending on the light, all the while they are still casts of dummy paintings.

Maybe the newest paintings look like abstract landscapes. The mark making is in some way reminiscent of Cezanne. Maybe the mark making is reminiscent of the insincere mark making of Jasper Johns imitating Cezanne? Maybe they were birthed from the impressionistic plaster wall they were painted on? Wait, they glow in the dark with the lights off. What an obnoxious gimmick! What a blunt signifier! But can we still get lost in their modernist beauty? Hopefully.”

Tom Meacham received his BA from Columbia University. He has been featured in solo shows in at Oliver Kamm Gallery in New York as well as Galerie Kienzle and Gmeiner in Berlin. He’s shown extensively in group exhibitions including Eyes Wide Shut, a two-person show with Cheryl Donegan at Nicelle Beauchene Gallery and Kabinett 6 with Cheryl Donegan and Wade Guyton at Devening Projects in Chicago. His exhibitions have been reviewed by The New York Times, Artforum and The New Yorker among others. He lives and works in Upstate New York.

  • Tom Meacham, Simile, installation view
  • Tom Meacham, Simile, installation view
  • Tom Meacham, Untitled, fiberglass, plywood and LED lights (lit), 87.5 x 4 inches
  • Tom Meacham, Simile, installation view
  • Tom Meacham, Untitled, 2023, fiberglass, 24 x 18 inches
  • Tom Meacham, Untitled, 2023, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18 inches
  • Tom Meacham, Untitled (dark view), 2O24 acrylic and phosphorescent paint on canvas  24 x 18 inches
  • Tom Meacham, Untitled, 2023, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18 inches
  • Tom Meacham, Untitled, 2023, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18 inches
  • Tom Meacham, Untitled (dark view), 2O24 acrylic and phosphorescent paint on canvas  24 x 18 inches
  • Tom Meacham, Saint-Victoire, 2O24 acrylic and phosphorescent paint on canvas  24 x 18 inches
  • Tom Meacham, Untitled, 2O24 fiberglass, light fixture, hardware 1O x 7.5 x 5 inches