Thomas Lail exhibits widely and is represented by One Mile Gallery. Lail performs and records with the experimental-music project soundBarn. He has published numerous reviews and essays including two catalogue essays on the work of Robert Longo and publishes poetry and experimental writing through soundBarn Press. Since 1993, Thomas Lail has taught drawing and painting at Hudson Valley Community College, SUNY in Troy, NY where he is Professor,Department of Fine Arts, Theatre Arts & Digital Media and a recipient of both the President's Award and the State University of New York Chancellor's Award. He is a past recipient of numerous New York State Foundation for the Arts Special Opportunity Stipend awards as well as a Fulbright-Hays award from the United States Department of State.
A native of Upstate New York, Thomas Lail grew up across the street from a geodesic dome- perhaps foreshadowing his current interest in Utopian dreams. Lail received a Bachelor of Science in Studio Art from The College of Saint Rose, Albany, NY and a Master of Fine Arts from the University at Albany. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s Lail was involved in the Greenpoint/Williamsburg art communities in Brooklyn. From 1991 to 1994 he co-published Soup Magazine.
Thomas Lail lives and works in a bricolage former-tractor barn on what was once Heald Orchards in Kinderhook, NY with artist Tara Fracalossi and their son, Coltrane.
About the work
Formatively exposed to both the work of the Pictures Generation and the material politics of the Arte Povera artists, Thomas Lail appropriates fragments of images that look to idealized communities, protests, Edenic floral patterns, flags, and maps. These readymade pictures, often reproduced to degraded obscurity, find form in the common, cast-off materials of our everyday.
In rag-picking images and materials of late-capitalism, Lail's works are ad-hoc banners and standards to be raised by post-peak castaways. Both anxious projections of the boundaries we draw across pictures-of-the-world and repeated hopes in our moment of global-weirding, Lail's work suggests our struggle to envision and depict our world, its developing state, and our once-dreamed-futures now encircled by rising tides and viral beachheads.