Lex Thompson ~ Minnesota

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ND Magazine: " Lex Thompson’s work focuses on manifestations of hope and failure in the American landscape."

By Lex Thompson
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Lex Thompson, 2007. Edition of 7.

13.5 x 8"; 32 pages. Inkjet and letterpress printing. Pages printed on BFK Rives Gray, Epson Enhanced Matte, and Fabriano Moss Green Paper, using a Vandercook Press and an Epson 2200 Archival Ultrachrome Printer. The cover label and bookmark are actual items recovered from the factory.

Lex Thompson: "Target is a book comprised of photographs taken in the abandoned Winchester Rifle Factory in New Haven, Connecticut. Intermingled with the images are old photos and textual excerpts taken from items (a time card, manufacturing inspection sheet, newsletter, etc.) found in the factory. Included with the book are an actual time card, as a bookmark, and an address label inset into the front cover. The photographs document the now hollow place where labor and social life intermingled. But, only so much can be known from these remnants alone. The spaces are filled by the artifacts gathered off the factory floor. They present the life and activity of those that inhabited this building. The beauty and romanticism of the ruin is populated by a specific, if incomplete, record of the building's life."

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Greetings from Colma
By Lex Thompson
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Lex Thompson, 2004. Edition of 150.

4 x 6", 34 postcards in red paper wrap case with slip-in tab closure. Printed on a four color press by Nomad Printing. Standard in red paper wrappers. Deluxe edition, in blue cloth covered box with map of Colma lining interior.

Since 1902 it has been illegal to bury or cremate bodies in San Francisco. This is done in flourishing Colma, situated strategically just south of the city limits. Sandwiched between immaculately landscaped cemeteries are flower shops and headstone suppliers necessary to complete the economic community of the dead, a peculiar amalgam of life, death, ethnicity, religion, consumerism, and tourism thanks to the gods of zoning.

This set of over forty postcards features photographs of the mortuaries, florists, and monument retailers. The postcards pose as mementos for tourists as well as sales pitches for future visitors and residents.

The places are real. Thompson’s presentation allows and even calls for both critique and celebration. Satire? Documentation? Yes. Yes.

Lex Thompson: “Three quarters of Colma's inhabitants are decomposing. The majority of them are housed in a series of establishments stretched along El Camino Real….The deceased come to stay, but the living visit. And it is not just relatives who come to the next world. The cemeteries have tourist appeal. Groups travel to see this city of tombs for the novelty of the area and for the famous San Franciscans who reside there. Gothic teens with morbid fixations join history buffs and the idly curious in their fascination with this assemblage of remembrances of life and death….In order to synthesize and commemorate this unique blend of remembrance, tourism, and resort atmosphere, it is appropriate that the city of Colma have a series of postcards from its attractions. The set of over forty postcards…features photographs of the mortuaries, florists, and monument retailers. They are mementos for tourists as well as sales pitches for future visitors and residents….Greetings from Colma takes its language directly from the city's resort like façade. By mimicking already present elements of the landscape, and associating them with the consanguine form of the postcard, the cards muster a good-humored, loving, and respectful critique of both Colma and the postcard format. They harness the touristic, cultural, and commercial dynamics of these cemeteries, capturing the curiosity of this second San Francisco….It takes the physical place as it is presented, and emphasizes the aspects that make the city simultaneously so bizarre and so grand."
Deluxe: $150
Standard: $ 45




Greetings from Colma
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Lex Thompson Out of Print Title:  
Cave Drawings
By Lex Thompson
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Lex Thompson, 2012. Edition of 100.

8.5 x 11"; 50 pages. Photographs and drawings printed on a digital press. Perfect bound.

Lex Thompson: "Like Plato’s allegorical cave, a physical cave is a place distended with mystery. Photography records dark shadows and vignettes of otherworldly light, while the delicate intimacy of the bright drawings depict the formations that are hidden within. Together, they generate some understanding of the place and what is necessary to represent it, depicting both the darkness and the detail of the underground landscape."

Travel guide, artist's sketchbook, photographic essay/meditation – Cave Drawings leads us on a trip of many pleasures into the depths of Carlsbad Caverns.

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Page last update: 04.07.15


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