A tragic loss.
"Dear Art and Art History Alumni, Faculty and Friends,
I am sad indeed to pass on to you news of the sudden and tragic death of 1987 Art and Art History alumna Denyse Thomasos. Denyse passed away in NYC this morning (July 19th, 2012) after an adverse reaction to a dye injected for a routine MRI. Denyse Thomasos, a singular and celebrated abstract painter, worked with architectural structures recording and examining political and social conditions from slavery to modern day war and genocide. She worked with both handpainted gestural forms and digital imagery. Much of her formal constructions are based on her visual research gathered during her travels to Asia, Mali and Peru.Denyse was born in Trinidad and grew up in Toronto; she has lived and worked in the US since completing her MFA at Yale University’s School of Art in 1989. Thomasos is represented by Lennon, Weinberg (Chelsea), the Olga Korper Gallery (Toronto) and The Brand New Gallery (Milan). She has had a number of solo exhibitions and been reviewed in many of the major national and international art periodicals including ArtForum, Art in America, Canadian Art, Globe and Mail and New York Times. Denyse has won numerous awards and artist residencies including a Guggenheim (1997), a PEW Fellowship (1995), Bellagio residency (2001), Yaddo Residency, Joan Mitchell Award (1998) and NYFA (2008). Most recently she was named the first recipient of the McMillan/Stewart Award, recognizing unique and outstanding contributions made by women artists.In 2006, Denyse was commissioned to complete a large‐scale wall work at the Art Gallery of Ontario during the Frank Gehry renovation. The museum acquired a major work, Metropolis, that was premiered at the opening of the building.In honour of the Art and Art History Program’s fortieth anniversary, Denyse was invited to return to Oakville to create an in situ wall painting in collaboration with current students and recent graduates of the Art and Art History Program. The resulting exhibition titled Kingdom Come was held at Oakville Galleries' Centennial Gallery location in the fall of 2011. The following students and alumni provided assistance to Denyse during the creation of Kingdom Come: Brittany Dyck, Ravneet Karir, Olga Kouptchinski, Maggie McClure, Patti Meris, Shirley Mpagi, Katelyn Noyes, and Karyn Semple. Denyse donated a preparatory study for Kingdom Come to Sheridan College's Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design.Thomasos lived and worked in the East Village with her husband and daughter.Sincerely,John ArmstrongJohn ArmstrongProfessor and Coordinator
Art and Art History, a collaborative Honours B.A. Program between Sheridan and the University of Toronto Mississauga