Storm Tharp was raised in Ontario, Oregon. He attended Cornell University and graduated from the College of Architecture, Art and Urban Planning in 1992. He is a painter and sculptor whose work has been acquired by various public collections including The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Albright Knox Gallery and The Cleveland Museum of Art. In 2010 Tharp participated in The Whitney Biennial, and in 2013 a mid-career survey of his work was presented at The Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University. He is represented by PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, and Galerie Sébastian Bertrand, Geneva, Switzerland. Tharp lives and works in Portland, Oregon.
I’ve come to regard my work as representational – in a rather liberal assignment of the word. The portrait, the contour and the field are in reference to the senses, the intellect, and the uncanny. The work elicits meaning or feeling that is recognizable. Abstraction and representation walk hand in hand and share the same body.
When making choices with materials, my instincts, and strategies are at play. However, there is never one, singular, organizing principal. In my figurative work, the primary interest has been to unfold various traditions of painting and sculpture into my own, emerging with something altogether new. It involves fumbling around in the dark while simultaneously maintaining the driving projection of where I want the work to land and reflect what I believe in. If one portrait imbues an entire life story, the colorfield works exercise an emotional code of unraveling that story. And in this way, I believe the portrait and the field are equivalent; like twins from different fathers.