Lex Thompson

(American, b. 1977; resides in Minneapolis, MN)

Lex Thompson’s series Frame Drag (2013) is a collection of photographs, drawings, videos, and installations created collaboratively with his son Oliver. Once a landscape photographer, Thompson’s artistic practice changed with the birth of his son, redirecting his attention to those smaller, more intimate spaces closer to home. Working within his own neighborhood, Thompson and Oliver create art objects from daily materials, photographing their collaborations and further transforming those photographs together.

In physics, “frame dragging” is a term used to describe the distortion of space and time by the gravitational field of a rotating body, pulling space and time alongside it as it spins. Thompson and his son’s collaboration mimics this phenomenon, with each affecting the other as they contend for creative control of a shared artistic process, layering ideas and materials in new, unexpected combinations. The resulting work playfully explores notions of childhood and creativity in a domestic setting. Thompson exhibits the series as a chaotic and colorful installation comprised of photographs, masking tape, and magazine cutouts—materials that he and Oliver use daily.

Thompson completed a BA in history at New College of Florida (1999), an MA in Religion and Visual Arts at Yale University (2001), and an MFA in Photography at the San Francisco Art Institute (2004). He is the recipient of several grants and awards, including Magenta’s Flash Forward Emerging Photographer Award (2009), the McKnight Artist Fellowship for Photographers (2010), and the Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant (2008, 2011). His work is included in collections at the Getty Research Institute, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Stanford University, University of California Los Angeles, and Yale University, among others. Thompson is Professor of Art at Bethel University in St. Paul, MN.