|Bob Thompson, Untitled (Beverly Sketchbook: Ornette at the Five Spot), 1960, felt-tip pen on paper, 17 x 14 inches. |
Image via Corbett vs. Dempsey Facebook page.
Live at the Five Spot
June 13 - July 11, 2015
1120 North Ashland Avenue, 3rd Floor
Corbett vs. Dempsey is proud to present Live at the Five Spot, an exhibition of newly discovered drawings by the artist Bob Thompson. In the years leading up to his untimely death in 1966, Thompson was a habitué of downtown New York’s underground jazz clubs, where he watched the great innovators of free jazz, including Ornette Coleman and Milford Graves, as well as the towering figures of post-bop and hard-bop, including Sonny Rollins and Art Blakey. Himself an amateur drummer, Thompson was one of the most admired young figurative painters of his era, and he was friendly with many of these musicians. His masterwork “The Garden of Music” (a 12-foot wide canvas in the collection of the Wadsworth Atheneum) depicts all of these players. Organized in collaboration with Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, who represents the Thompson Estate, this exhibition unveils sizzling linear portraits of Blakey, Rollins, Graves, trumpeter Enrico Rava, and Coleman, the latter drawn during the saxophonist’s legendary 1960 run at the Five Spot Café. A single painterly watercolor, more akin to Thompson’s canvases, is titled “Charlie Parker Waits in the Wings.”
Live at the Five Spot is accompanied by a full-color catalog featuring images of all the drawings.