After experiencing early commercial and critical success in New York, painter Thomas Chimes (1921–2009) became a hermit, spending the rest of his life in his hometown of Philadelphia, to paint idea-based portraits like no others, and read. In Painter and Pataphysician Thomas Chimes, Mari Shaw excerpts 15 years of conversations between Chimes about the arts, philosophy, alchemy, the unconscious, and living and dying courageously. Alfred Jarry, author of Ubu Roi and inventor of pataphysics, the science of exceptions, is the silent presence throughout these conversations. Chimes explored Jarry in his idea paintings, and the artists Jarry influenced, including Marcel Duchamp, Pablo Picasso, James Joyce and Antonin Artaud. With more than 80 color images, this book offers a glimpse into the thinking that inspired Chimes' famously idiosyncratic art―crucifixion paintings, metal boxes and white paintings―and his cycles of reinvention as he painted Alfred Jarry into his rightful position as a founder of modernism.

Painter and Pataphysician Thomas Chimes

  • Mari Shaw