Tom Malone: Art from Influence

A series of women’s faces fill the Customs House Museum’s Crouch gallery from September 13th through October 20th. The first thing one notices about Tom Malone’s figurative works are the eyes. Expressionistic and haunting, there is a continuity that is Malone’s signature style. Displayed in chronological order, the viewer can sense the development of Malone’s talent. Tom Malone: Art from Influence includes many of his figurative pieces that have never been exhibited before.

Curator Terri Jordan says of the exhibit: “there have been retrospective type shows done in the past that included a variety of mediums that Tom worked in. We wanted to focus on primarily one aspect – the figurative pieces. Early works reveal innocence in style, a more simplistic approach. As he works through the years, Tom’s figures become stronger. He is more confident in the application of color. Works from the 80s and early 90s demonstrate the influence of pop culture with bright swishes of pigment that are reminiscent of famed 80s illustrator Patrick Nagel.”

A side gallery space highlights some of the other mediums Malone worked in. He studied under the mentorship of regional artist Olen Bryant at Austin Peay University in 1971-1972, and 1974-1975. Included in the space are stone fish and a wall piece of wood, characteristic of Bryant’s teachings. Tom’s love of music is evident in his lap harps and guitar renderings.

Artists have always taken their experiences in life and painted, wrote, or sang about them to express their feeling on their lives. Tom Malone died in 1998 as a result of an aneurism, but through his art we can get a sense of his passions. Art from Influence gives the viewer a glimpse into the thinking of the artist; as well as celebrates his talents.

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