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Philip J. Thompson was born in Bismarck, North Dakota in 1933. He received his BA degree from Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, in 1955 and his MFA from the University of Iowa in 1958.
He was active as a painter, printmaker, banner designer, and sculptor doing commissions and one-man exhibitions. Thompson created a number of modular geometric abstractions during the 1960s. In the 1970s, he completed 35 paintings for the icon screen of the Russian Orthodox Church of St. Peter and St. Paul of Bramble, MN. He also decorated four harpsichords and one organ case with figural groupings in the 1970s. In the 1980s, he created 30 versions of the facial features of John Lennon in his Lennongrid series.
An art exhibit of Thompson’s paintings and graphics was held at Augsburg College in the Alumni Gallery of the Christensen Center in 1999 called “Looking Forward to the Past.” The artist’s statement about this show states, “Looking forward to the past is like imagining a future while remembering the past. In summing up four decades of teaching and producing artwork, my primary response is that one must seek through any activity a balanced zone between paradoxical opposites.”
Thompson is retired as a professor emeritus at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, MN, where he had been a member and chair of the Department of Art for many years (1959-1992).