Mungo Thomson

Mungo ThomsonArtist’s Statement

My work in a range of media concerns cosmology, mass culture, and reception. I make installations, sounds, films, sculpture, drawings, and books. I am interested in the gaps, pauses, and digressions that occur in our common cultural narratives and institutions, and, phenomenologically speaking, in the idea that we don’t really see the lenses through which we see. Another way of saying this is that I am interested in the obvious, and as Charles Ray has written, obvious things are the most easily overlooked and the most enigmatic.

I use a common grammar that people readily speak, I help myself to existing contexts, or both. I play with the tropes of consumerism and entertainment but I try to embed them in a model of subtlety and delay rather than one of spectacle and instaneity. My work has a relationship to a tradition of West Coast conceptual art, but it also keys off a vernacular of counterculture, fringe mysticism, and popular science (wind chimes, Bob Dylan, whalesong records, Carl Sagan, 16mm film, National Geographic, abalone diving, Voyagers 1 & 2) that I grew up around in Northern California in the 1970’s and 80’s.



Select Solo Exhibitions from 2007-2011

Western Bridge, Seattle

John Connelly Presents, New York

UCLA Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles
Margo Leavin Gallery, Los Angeles

Kadist Art Foundation, Paris

Select Group Exhibitions from 2007-2011

Untitled (12th Istanbul Biennial), Istanbul, Turkey

Exhibition, Exhibition, Castello di Rivoli, Torino, Italy

Compilation IV, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany

2008 Whitney Biennial Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago / Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami

Select Community-Based Artwork

Billboard Project, LAXART, Los Angeles


M.F.A., 2000
University of California, Los Angeles

Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program, New York

B.A., 1991
University of California, Santa Cruz