Mungo Thomson


Mungo Thomson’s Pocket Universe


In Mungo Thomson’s latest collaboration with Highpoint Editions, Pocket Universe, the Los Angeles-based conceptual artist focuses on the overlooked and the everyday, and invites the viewer to contemplate what is hiding in plain sight.

Highpoint "Pocket Universe" installation samples 160506a0372.JPG

Pocket Universe is a series of unique blind embossed artworks created by running Thomson’s pocket change through a printing press with aluminum or copper foil. Printed in collaboration with Master Printer Cole Rogers and Highpoint staff, their reflective surfaces are pristine, making visible every detail of each coin in the fragile foil. The work is the result of pairing two materials close at hand — embossing foil, commonly used in printmaking to achieve metallic effects, and loose coins. The configuration of coins in each artwork is the result of the artist placing the coins in his pocket onto the press bed. The resulting chance-based reliefs call to mind constellations, arrays of planets, or craters in lunar surfaces, whose positioning and movement in outer space are determined by innumerable forces. Even the spaces between the coins become shiny, flawless expanses that are strictly bound by their surrounding constellation.


*Pictured above: Pocket Universe #8 (Copper) Pocket Universe #6 (Silver)

Mungo Thomson has had solo projects and performances at ArtPace, San Antonio (2014); SITE Santa Fe, Santa Fe (2013); The Times Museum, Guangzhou, China (2013); The Aspen Art Museum, Aspen (2012); The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2008); The Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, France (2007); and Galeria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (GAMeC), Bergamo, Italy (2006), among others.

His work was included in The 2nd CAFAM Biennale, CAFA Art Museum, Beijing, China (2014); The Pacific Standard Time Public Art and Performance Festival, Los Angeles, USA (2012); Untitled (12th Istanbul Biennial), Istanbul, Turkey (2011); Compilation IV, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany (2009); The 2008 Whitney Biennial (2008); PERFORMA05 (2005), and The 9th Biennial of the Moving Image, MAMCO, Geneva, Switzerland (2001).

Thomson’s work is held in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and FRAC Ile-de-France, Paris, France, among others. He is based in Los Angeles.

Learn more about Thomson on his website.