Mungo Thomson

AUGUST 11, 1980 (DALLAS)

enamel on low-iron mirror, poplar, and aluminum
74 x 55 7/8 x 2 3/8 inches

LA-based Mungo Thomson’s TIME series uses the familiar red-bordered TIME magazine cover and logo silkscreened onto a mirrored surface. Each of Thomson’s TIME works are based on the format and logo of a specific issue, in this case the August 11, 1980 issue that featured Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing and the headline “TV’s Dallas WHODUNIT?”. Drained of this content, the border stands as a framing device for whatever passes by, simply announcing that time exists. As Thomson explains:

…the idea was, at least in part, to recast the Time logo as a stand-in for ‘time’ itself — vast, unknowable, cosmic time. To see if I could take the culture out of something — which of course you can’t. So where Time magazine positions itself as possessing authority and certainty (“Why Your Drugs Cost So Much,” “Why Israel Can’t Win,” “The Meaning of Michelle Obama”), as steering things toward literacy and intelligibility, toward a kind of mass-consumption, fine-grain detail, I am interested in steering the whole enterprise toward abstraction and doubt.

Thomson’s work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions at venues in the US, Canada, and Europe. His work is in numerous public collections, including LA MoCA; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; MoMA, New York, and the Whitney Museum, New York.