Friday, March 11, 2011

Davi Det Hompson





Davi Det Hompson was the pen name for David E. Thompson (1939-1996), primarily known for creating mail art, book art and text-based paintings inspired by the Dada and Fluxus movements. The playful choice to create a pen name by changing the spacing in his name is fairly demonstrative of his approach to text art.
     Early in his career he worked primarily as a concrete poet. It wasn't until  the mid-sixties that Hompson began to deal with books as an expressive form in itself. Beginning in the 1970s, he taught in the School of the Arts at VCU. In 1978, he was one of the founders of 1708 East Main Street Gallery. Thompson also made major contributions to Special Collections and Archives at James Branch Cabell Library. 






Above is an example of his work published on the cover of Art Journal, Vol. 42, No. 2 (summer of 1982).


I'm most impressed with his very deconstructed and unbound books, which consist of sheets of paper with typed observations folded to create a gutter, pages and spreads. They are a joy to read. 



Hompson's work explores the visual value of type on a page, how the placement and scale of typography effects communication and how the written word expresses itself differently and is experienced in a way that is unique from spoken language.
    To the right is an example of his Stamp Book exhibition in which he stamped the red text and the lines, on a series of white sheets of paper, then hand scrawled various observation that would fit within the confines of the alloted space. 

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