Luke Willis Thompson, New Zealand


Luke Willis Thompson (*1988 Auckland, NZ) lives and works in Auckland, NZ. His conceptual practice exists in both tangible and intangible forms. In recent work the artist has borrowed ready-made objects – such as a local funeral home’s art collection and a black minstrel-style figure from an antique store – to trace the faultlines of race and class in his chosen context. Thompson’s objects are often taken from sites of trauma or contain references to the artist’s biography, but these are rarely made explicit. Thompson sets up estranging encounters where the viewer is invited to engage with a marginal object both ontologically and pushed into a fictional space of narrative and mythology.

Thompson graduated with an MFA from the University of Auckland's Elam School of Fine Arts in 2010. Recent solo exhibitions include: “inthisholeonthisislandwhereiam”, Hopkinson Cundy, Auckland (2012); and “Yaw”, RM, Auckland (2011). In 2012 Thompson’s work was included in: “Between Memory and Trace”, Te Tuhi, Pakuranga (2012); “Made Active: The Chartwell Show”, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki (2012); and “In Spite of Ourselves: Approaching Documentary”, St Paul St Gallery, Auckland and Dowse Art Museum, Wellington (2012).

Forthcoming exhibitions include “5th Auckland Triennial”, Auckland Art Gallery (curated by Hou Hanru); “Octopus Show”, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne (curated by Glenn Barkley); Solo Exhibition, Hopkinson Cundy, Auckland; “The Physics Room”, Christchurch New Zealand.

He is represented by Hopkinson Cundy Gallery (hopkinsoncundy.com), Aukland, NZ.