A native of Lincoln, Nebraska, Kim Thoman’s interest in art showed up at an early age. This inclination led her to the University of California, Davis, where she studied ceramics, and then on to UC Berkeley, where she studied painting and drawing, receiving her BA in 1972.
Thoman’s work at Berkeley gave her the opportunity to dig deep into making both two and three-dimensional work. Graduate work at San Francisco State culminated in an MFA in ceramic sculpture in 1979. About 4 years ago, Thoman discovered 3D printing which ignited her long-dormant interest in exploring sculptural dimension. Today, she continues with painting and sculpture to expand her core beliefs that duality exists in everything.
Thoman’s work has developed in distinct phases over the years and her recent work has elements that hearken back to these phases. As always, ideas about duality or opposing forces in all things dominate her expression. While in graduate school, she produced a series of drawing/paintings with attached ceramic intestine-like forms. In the early 1980s, Thoman created hard-edged paintings with cartoon-like images of men and women. In the two-panel paintings of the 1990s, the two sides were treated as independent entities, because, in the artist’s words, “each side was to hold its own…each side was informed by a different side of myself.”
In Thoman’s search for processes that aligned with her consistent interest in creating images of opposing forces, she found the computer to be a perfect tool for the more linear thinking side of herself – to be opposed by her intuitive side.
A female-like shape, The Venus, evolved in a series of diptychs and triptychs that were created digitally and printed in 2D and paired with panels she painted with traditional oil paint. The same Venus form recurs as a 3D element in her free-standing steel sculptures, today. Scanned images of her oil paintings are used as the texture or 'skin' for these 3D printed Venus shapes – once again satisfying her need for combining differing processes and images in her quest to explore duality.
Thoman’s art has also been influenced by extended stays in various sites in the U.S., including New Mexico, Vermont, Seattle and Virginia. Her work has been exhibited in many solo exhibitions including Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, VA, JFK University in Orinda, CA, Stanford Art Spaces in Palo Alto, CA, Oakopolis Gallery in Oakland, CA, Monterey Peninsula College in Monterey, CA and Bank of America World Headquarters in San Francisco. Upcoming solo exhibitions include The Anderson Art Center in Indiana, Saint Mary’s University in Minnesota, the Mendocino Art Center and SOKA University in California.