Cromlech is a Welsh word for prehistoric standing stones.
It primarily signifies two large upright stones and a capstone, but it can also denote the remains of multi-stone chambers,
single stones or stone circles. Whether describing these ancient megalithic monuments of the Celtic landscape or those
found in Asia, Africa or anywhere across the globe, the cromlech stands on singular ground. And if the fullness of its
ancient significance is now lost to conjecture, it is certain that extraordinary events transpire in its solar and lunar
shadow. The paintings in my cromlech series developed out of a narrative concept conceived with the widest poetic latitude.
I offer this series, not so much as an evocation of things Celtic, but rather as one being before the stones of time.
Thom Burns: Chromlech SeriesAlena Goldberg
Owner and Art Director, Showspace Gallery
“I recall a wondrous moment: You appear before me like a fleeing vision, like a spirit of pure beauty”
Lacking any rhetoric, Thom Burns’ paintings are nevertheless the recollections of such passing
moments which, almost forgotten, return like dreams with mythical beauty that are strangely unique
as well as profoundly universal.
Mr. Burns is a painter, poet, musician and performance artist, known in the USA and Europe.
As a great artist that he is, he is capable of plunging himself into the shadow worlds of preexistence,
time before the birth and after the death, where love itself is reconsidered as a great
His Cromlech Series is the artistic universe that reflects the mystery of passion capable of
dissolving the antimony of the man and woman, object and subject, darkness and light and love
The painting series presents a challenge to the viewer. Poetically narrative, yet arguing nothing,
each painting can stand on its own, giving the observer a chance to reflect upon it, to search for an
answer that could come from autonomous or collective conscience.
Although very harmonized and balanced within the series, the choices of cold or warm colors
for singular paintings create a dichotomy between them. Sometimes shockingly bright, other times
dimmer, passively neutral or pleasantly peaceful, the tonality of the singular work of art is
referential to certain mood or particular feeling. The paints are often applied in very thin layers
creating an illusion of transparency and a feeling of infinity.
Thom Burns’ Cromlech Series is exhibited for the first time publically at Showspace Gallery,
Flagstaff, Arizona. The gallery is honored to be the first host for these very special works of art and
the author of such an esteemed distinction.
Originally drawn to surrealism in his early teens, he associates with various manifestations of the Surrealist Movement from
1973 to 1985. First appearing in The City Lights Anthology (1974), he continues to exhibit and publish
selectively. His works are included in international exhibitions, journals and editions. Some of these are: Phases
(edited in Paris by Edouard Jaguer, co-founder and French editor of COBRA); Textos de Afirmação de
Combate do Movemento Surrealista Mundial by Mario Cesariny (Portugal’s foremost poet and founder of the
Portuguese surrealist movement); The Imagery of Surrealism by noted scholar J.H. Matthews (University of
Syracuse Press). Recognized by Edouard Jaguer as a “shimmering and extremely dynamic.” animator of surrealism
in the 1970s, he co-organizes a number of exhibitions, collaborates with the Alice Farley Dance Theater Company
and travels to Paris to meet surviving members of André Breton’s group, Toyen most appreciably . From 1980 to
1983 he is a founding contributor to the original RE/SEARCH magazine in San Francisco. He moves to
Northern Arizona in 1991 where he sustains a friendship with Hopi artists and writers, and many longtime
collaborators from his surrealist roots. He lives and works in Flagstaff and Los Angeles.
● 2008, The Reverse of the Look, International exhibition, Museo Municipal, Coimbra, Portugal
● 2007, A Voyage to Arcturus, Museo Municipal, Estremoz, Portugal
● 1985, Magnets of the Polar Horn (Contributing organizer & curator), Project Artaud, San Francisco
● 1984, Surrealismo e Pintura Fantástica, Teatro Ibérico, Lisbon
● 1983, Solo-exhibition, Will Stone Gallery, San Francisco
● 1983, Harvest of Evil, International exhibition, Ti Rojo Gallery, Columbus
● 1983, Remove Your Hat, group show concurrent with surrealist film festival, Medusa Gallery, Los Angeles
● 1983, Almanac Demi Stock, Gallery 1900 2000, Paris.
● 1980, Incubus Ramapithecus, Solo-exhibition, Gallery Waara, San Francisco
● 1977, Surrealism in 1977 (two group exhibitions), Chicago and Gary
● 1976, World Surrealist Exhibition (Contributing organizer), Gallery Black Swan, Chicago
● Fundación Eugenio Granell, Spain
● Fundação Cupertino de Miranda, Portugal.
● 2004, Ceremonies for the Poetry of Laurence Weisberg, Beyond Baroque, Los Angeles
● 2004, The Wind’s Skeleton, with The Alice Farley Dance Theater Company, New York & Brooklyn
● 1980-2008, Mal Occhio, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, CD forthcoming
● 1978, Land’s End, with The Alice Farley Dance Theater Company, San Francisco
● 2008, Roma Amor, Allan Graubard, Tiranë, Albania
● 1985, Apparitions, Marie Wilson, San Francisco
● 1984, Uxmal, Allan Graubard, San Francisco
● 1980, Incubus Ramapithecus, Thom Burns, San Francisco
● 1977, The Imagery of Surrealism, J.H. Matthews, Syracuse
● 1977, Textos de Afirmação de Combate do Movemento Surrealista Mundial, Mario Cesariny Editor, Lisbon
● 1976, Marvelous Freedom, Vigilance of Desire, Franklin Rosemont Editor, Chicago
● 1974, City Lights Anthology, Lawrence Ferlinghetti Editor, San Francisco
● RE/SEARCH: 1-3, San Francisco
● GRID, Paris
● Melog, Paris
● Arsenal, Chicago
● Phases, Paris
● Living Blues, Chicago
● Brumes Blondes, Amsterdam
● Fragments From Nomad Days, Allan Graubard, Vancouver
● Thoth’s Top Hat , C. Brooke Rothwell, West Palm Beach
● The Man Who Remembered to Laugh, C. Brooke Rothwell, West Palm Beach
● Ontogenesis by Fire, Tom Burghardt, Marquis de Sade Editions, San Francisco
● The Ascent of Sublime Love, Allan Graubard, Marquis de Sade Editions, San Francisco