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100 NOT SO FAMOUS VIEWS OF L.A.
For four years, artist Barbara Thomason roamed her beloved Los Angeles, seeking the vistas, nooks, bridges, signs, streets, and landmarks that most captivated her. Inspired by Hiroshige’s acclaimed print series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, this grand project resulted in the 100 paintings reproduced in this gorgeous hardcover book. Intimate, often recognizable, and sometimes unexpected, Thomason’s paintings capture the vibrant L.A., the quirky L.A., the beautiful L.A.—the essential L.A.
With commentary and history from the artist, and a foreword by David L. Ulin, book critic for the Los Angeles Times.
Read her article on her process for the 100 Not So Famous Views of L.A. series on Zocalo Public Square here.
Below are but three of our favorite paintings:
Barbara Thomason is a Los Angeles-based artist whose paintings, drawings, and prints have been shown in exhibitions at many galleries, museums and universities. She received a masters in printmaking from California State University, Long Beach and worked as a master printer in lithography at renowned artist workshop Gemini G.E.L., where she printed for Robert Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenberg, Jasper Johns, Frank Stella, Ed Ruscha, Ellsworh Kelly and many others. She has been on the art faculty at California Polytechnic University, Pomona, the University of California, Santa Cruz, University of Redlands, Otis College of Art and Design, and other fine institutions. Learn more at 100notsofamousviewsofla.com
Abundant Praise for 100 Not So Famous Views of L.A.
Winner of the Golden Leaves Award, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
“I loved every inch of this book.”
— A MARTINEZ, KPCC/NPR
“Inspired by mid-19th century Japanese Ukiyo-e artist Hiroshige, L.A.-based artist Barbara Thomason’s collection of 100 paintings offer an alternative interpretation of the city’s often overlooked landmarks and quirky places.”
—”Holiday Books Guide: Coffee Table”, LA Times
“Inspired by 19th century Japanese artist and printmaker Utagawa Hiroshige’s series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, artist Barbara A. Thomason decided to pay tribute to Hiroshige with her own series, 100 Not So Famous Views of L.A. Her paintings are landscapes that take the format of portraits, as the subjects have become characters in Thomason’s own life story, and in many cases L.A.’s, too.”
— “Here are the 10 Perfect Holiday Gifts for Any Angeleno” LA Weekly
“Rendered with the lush texture of early 20th-century California plein air paintings, the images are romantic yet filled with tension, capturing the familiar in a way that makes you see things in a whole new light.”
— ELINA SHATKIN, Los Angeles Magazine
“Each of Thomason’s paintings is accompanied by a couple paragraphs of text, giving the exact location of the view. This sometimes creates the impression of reading a wildly eccentric guidebook to the city. I do fantasize about some hapless tourists arriving in town, and trying to organize their sightseeing using this book as their model…The view is terrific, and I’m very glad that it’s not more famous. ”
— GEOFF NICHOLSON, Los Angeles Review of Books
“The result is a series of views suggesting movie sets waiting for a director to cue the actors to step in and animate them. In his idealized prints of Tokyo, Hiroshige sought to portray the character of his city. Thomason’s series too, captures the beautiful, quirky, sometimes other-worldly character of this unique city.”
— MEHER MCARTHUR, KCET Artbound
“Capturing L.A. with a thoughtful stillness, Thomason reveals a deep sense of place through its less celebrated views.”
— MARIEKE TREILHARD, Angeleno
“Barbara A. Thomason’s vibrant paintings look at the city in a new way, faithfully documenting the view from disused street corners, tucked-away hillsides, and obscure local landmarks. This is a beautiful work of civic anthropology.”
— “5 Gorgeous Gift Books for the Holidays” by BRIAN HURLEY, Fiction Advocate
“A treasure… it’s the perfect gift for a friend who has moved away from LA (can you say FOMO?).”
— Time Out Los Angeles
“So easy to fall in love with.”
— L.A. I’m Yours
“A unique and splendid tour of the vibrancy, quirkiness, charm, and essential personality of a great American city.”
— Rafu Shimpo
“Thomason’s achievement is in showing that L.A. is neither too vast nor too ephemeral to understand, if you know where and how to look.”
— Boom, A Journal of California
“Everyone who loves L.A. is going to want this book. Once you get the idea, it becomes addicting—you’re compelled to pore over each page. She had me at Felix, the strangely ironic cat that lorded over all of my really awful late-night food choices as an undergrad at USC. It’s the perfect hostess/Christmas/Hanukkah/ Kwanzaa/anyone-who-lives-in-or-has-ever-loved-L.A. gift.”
— GREG FREITAS, Traveler’s Bookcase, Los Angeles
“A celebration of the most mundane (and, thus, most moving) landscapes of Southern California life…. What I love about these paintings is that they are recognizable; I have seen, have walked through, nearly every location they portray. What I love about these paintings is that they are commonplace; there is nothing special about their scenes, about the vistas they animate. Did I say nothing special? What I mean is: They bestow their own sort of specialness, the specialness of the every day. Thomason paints as a native, capturing Los Angeles at the level of its streets…. this is Los Angeles without its history of forgetting, no longer rootless, placeless, but instead, through Thomason’s transforming imagination, the embodiment of place.”
— DAVID L. ULIN, book critic, Los Angeles Times