Maralynn Cherry | Charlie Black


Lasting Impressions - Seven Printmakers

Richard Toms uses a combination of computer-manipulated photographs and traditional printmaking techniques. His imagery is quite dark and explores its relationship to "language, meaning and their various levels of interpretation." The complexity of the plate lithograph, Major Arcana, recalls a late Jackson Pollock, but embraces the integration of what appears to be found patterns and faces.

These images seem to originate from ancient stained glass windows, they are composed in such a way as to give the illusion of a shattering of the glass. The apparent looseness of these prints stands in sharp contrast to the complexities of the compositions. For his Icarus Fallen series, Toms employs techniques such as screen, etching, lithography and relief prints to create his images.

The mythological references seem to strike a balance with the artist's personal life. In his own words, "the work functions as a classic cautionary tale, but also functions as autobiography. It is an experiment in interpretation and improvisation."

Charlie Black - University of Toronto

© Richard Toms, 2023