Artist Tom Holland is “Californian” cool, collected, hardworking, and a reassuringly normal grandfather mixed with a mellow yet steady personality. However, on March 17th at the Berkeley Art Center’s Spring Artist Lecture Series, Tom Holland described himself as a “loner” and “9 to 5er.” It was difficult to tell if Holland was self-deprecating himself in the discussion but it sounded refreshing honest to me.
Holland attended Willamette University in Oregon, University of California in Santa Barbara and University of California in Berkeley. His impressive resume includes a NEA Grant, a Guggenheim Fellowhship, and he’s taught at the San Francisco Art Institute, UCLA, and Cal. Holland’s work can be found in the collections of the Guggenheim Museum, Chicago Art Institute, Museum of Modern Art in New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Walker Art Center, Whitney Museum of Art, and many others.
Holland’s website states: “After having painted in traditional oil on canvas, in the 70’s he began using materials in his work which were light and strong but which did not require a frame. Using fiberglass and aluminum, making pieces of color which hang on the wall like stiff tapestry, the thin edges allow the painting to become a part of the space it occupies. Using simple materials and a unique approach combining painting and sculpture, he cuts thin sheets of aluminum to build either a wall painting or a free standing sculptural form. He then rivets the cut pieces to the sheets of aluminum or fiberglass. He uses epoxy paint to achieve the effects of depth, light, reflection and shadow.”
At the talk, Holland stated: “get a hold of something that’s untouchable.” Born in 1936, Holland has been creating art for over 50 years. He takes pride in his routine and works hard with no excuses. Holland’s personality doesn’t need to be flashy or flamboyant. As a result, he lets his art do the talking.
Like Holland said “…be what it is…”