Thomas Doyle was born in Michigan, USA and now lives and works in New York. Doyle’s work combines his formal training as a painter and printmaker with a fascination with scale models that began at an early age. His sculptures, rendered in 1:100 to 1:43 scale, often depict human figures beset by quiet calamities, often of the natural kind. Doyle’s work has been shown at the Diesel Art Gallery, in Tokyo, Japan (2019), Hudson River Museum, in Yonkers, New York (2016) the Centro di Cultura Contemporanea at the Palazzo Strozzi, Florence (2012); Museum of Arts and Design, New York (2011); and at museums and galleries across the US, Europe, and Asia. His work has been appeared in the opening credits for the HBO series Murder on Middle Beach, as well as in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Newsweek, and other publications. He is a MacDowell Colony fellow.
My work mines the debris of memory through the creation of intricate worlds sculpted in 1:43 scale and smaller. Often sealed under glass, the works depict the remnants of things past—whether major, transformational experiences, or the quieter moments that resonate loudly throughout a life. In much the way the mind recalls events through the fog of time, the works distort reality through a warped and dreamlike lens.
The pieces’ radically reduced scales evoke feelings of omnipotence—as well as the visceral sensation of unbidden memory recall. Hovering above the glass, the viewer approaches these worlds as an all-seeing eye, looking down upon landscapes that dwarf and threaten the figures within.
Conversely, the private intensity of moments rendered in such a small scale draws the viewer in, allowing for the intimacy one might feel peering into a museum display case or dollhouse. Though surrounded by chaos, hazard, and longing, the figures’ faces betray little emotion, inviting viewers to lose themselves in these crucibles—and in the jumble of feelings and memories they elicit.
The glass itself contains and compresses the world within it, seeming to suspend time itself—with all its accompanying anguish, fear, and bliss. By sealing the works in this fashion, I hope to distill the debris of human experience down to single, fragile moments. Like blackboxes bobbing in the flotsam, these works wait for discovery, each an indelible record of human memory.
b. Grand Haven, Michigan
Lives and works in New York
Small Worlds: Miniatures in Contemporary Art / University of Vermont / Burlington, Vermont
Castles in the Sky: Fantasy Architecture in Contemporary Art / Coral Gables Museum / Coral Gables, Florida
Thomas Doyle: Hold Your Fire / Diesel Art Gallery / Tokyo, Japan
Downsized: Small Scale Sculpture by Contemporary Artists / Bruce Museum / Greenwich, Connecticut
Memory of Place / Flinn Gallery / Greenwich, Connecticut
Exquisite Abandon: Contemporary Miniature Works / Laguna College of Art + Design / Laguna, California
Thomas Doyle: If the creek don’t rise / The Hudson River Museum / Yonkers, New York
Feel Big Live Small / The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures / Tucson, Arizona
The Miniature / Grunwald Gallery of Art / Indiana University / Bloomington, Indiana
50 for 50 / Westchester Arts Council / White Plains, New York
Feel Big Live Small / apexart / New York, New York
Miniatures: It’s Not All Small After All / Prichard Art Gallery / University of Idaho / Moscow, Idaho
Prep School: Prepper & Survivalist Ideologies and Utopian/Dystopian Visions / Torrance Art Museum / Torrance, California
Unpredictable Gravity / Roq la Rue Gallery / Seattle, Washington
Dream No Small Dreams / Ronchini Gallery / London, England
No Man’s Land / LeBasse Projects / Culver City, California
Otherworldly: Optical Delusions and Small Realities / Musée des beaux-arts Eugène Leroy / Tourcoing, France / In association with Museum of Arts and Design / New York, New York
Media Matters / Foster/White Gallery / Seattle, Washington
Minimal / Hå gamle prestegard / Håvegen, Norway
American Dreamers / Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina at Palazzo Strozzi / Florence, Italy
Surface to air / LeBasse Projects / Culver City, California
2112: Imagining the Future / RMIT Gallery / Melbourne, Australia
Otherworldly: Optical Delusions and Small Realities / Museum of Arts and Design / New York, New York
Mini-Size Me / Bakersfield Museum of Art / Bakersfield, California
Suggestivism / Grand Central Art Center / Santa Ana, California
Collateral damage / LeBasse Projects / Culver City, California
Synesthesia 2010 / Electric Pear Productions/The Wild Project / New York, New York
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum’s Radius exhibition / Ridgefield Guild of Arts / Ridgefield, Connecticut
Tragic sense of life / Fine Arts Gallery / Westchester Community College / Valhalla, New York
There’s no place like here / Tower Fine Arts Gallery / The College at Brockport / Brockport, New York
Eniminiminimos: Artists Who Make Things Small / Jendela Gallery, The Esplanade / Singapore
X: Mixed Greens Anniversary Show / Mixed Greens Gallery / New York, New York
Seasonal change / LeBasse Projects / Culver City, California
Ten / The West Collection / Oaks, Pennsylvania
Next (I)s: Over the Rainbow / Yoo Art Space Gallery / Mushroom Arts / Seoul, South Korea
Forces of Nature / Limn Art Gallery / San Francisco, California
Synthetic Supernova / Mixed Greens Gallery / New York, New York
My little/Membrane / NURTUREart / Brooklyn, New York
31st Small Works Exhibition / 80 Washington Square East Galleries / New York, New York / Richard Witter, juror
NYNYNY / Flux Factory / Long Island City, New York
Pretty little things / Gallery Ocho / Santa Barbara, California
Human remains / Go North – A Space for Contemporary Art / Beacon, New York
In summer, the song sings itself / Pentimenti Gallery / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Red Dot Art Fair / With Pentimenti Gallery / New York, New York
30th Small Works Exhibition / 80 Washington Square East Galleries / New York, New York / Jim Kempner, juror
Der Hammer Performance & Auction / Chashama / New York, New York
Group Exhibition / Go North – A Space for Contemporary Art / Beacon, New York
Summer Group Show & Auction / 3rd Ward Gallery / Brooklyn, New York
Art of the Northeast / Silvermine Guild Gallery / Stamford, Connecticut / Ben Barzune, juror
Not to Scale / Target Gallery / Alexandria, Virginia / David C. Levy, juror
Urban Visionaries / Fourth Annual Award Dinner & Silent Auction / Cooper Union
New York, New York
29th Small Works Exhibition / 80 Washington Square East Galleries / New York, New York / Jack Shainman, juror
(all you’re houses) / Art Quad / Humboldt State University, Arcata, California
Juried Student Exhibition / Reese Bullen Gallery / Humboldt State University / Arcata, California / Faculty jury
Unknown explosions / Foyer Gallery / Humboldt State University / Arcata, California
Juried Student Exhibition / Reese Bullen Gallery / Humboldt State University / Arcata, California
Juried Student Exhibition / Reese Bullen Gallery / Humboldt State University / Arcata, California / Faculty jury
Selected publications and press
Costa, Antonio. La mela di Cézanne e l’accendino di Hitchcock. Giulio Einaudi Editore. Torino, Italy. 2015.
Manco, Tristan. Big Art x Small Art. Thames & Hudson. London, England. 2014.
Calvi, Nuala. “It’s a small world.” Mayfair Times. London, England. September, 2013.
“Artist Thomas Doyle gets big with miniatures.” Ragmag Magazine. Beirut, Lebanon. September, 2013.
Brownlee, John. “Humanity’s Bleak, Phanstamagoric Future, Sealed Beneath Glass.” FastCoDesign.com. September 17, 2013.
Stinson, Liz. “13 Strange Miniature Worlds, Crafted by Hand.” Wired.com. September 11, 2013.
Lane, Mary M. “The Big Ambition of Miniature Art.” The Wall Street Journal Weekend. New York, New York. August 31/September 1, 2013.
“The Interview: Thomas Doyle.” Hunger.tv. August 27, 2013.
Bland, Bartholomew F. “Dream No Small Dreams.” Catalog essay for “Dream No Small Dreams” exhibition. Ronchini Gallery. London, England. 2013.
Cornell, Alex, editor. Breakthrough! 90 Proven Strategies to Overcome Creative Block & Spark Your Imagination. Princeton Architectural Press. New York, New York. 2012.
Morris, Roderick Conway. “An Exposition in Florence Focuses on American Artists in the City.” New York Times. New York, New York. May 17, 2012.
Fayard, Judy. “Americans Invigorate Florence. At Palazzo Strozzi, Impressionists and Dreamers Stun.” Wall Street Journal. New York, New York. March 15, 2012.
Di Genova, Arianna. “Quando l’happy end è solo un sogno.” Il Manifesto. Rome, Italy. March 10, 2012.
Rau, Gaia. “Le promesse infrante dell’America 11 artisti in mostra alla Strozzina.” La Repubblica Firenze. Florence, Italy. March 8, 2012.
Zarrilli, Ludovica. “Il sogno americano. Con baratro.” Corriere Fiorentino. Florence, Italy. March 6, 2012.
Nori, Franziska. “The American Dream: Reality or Imagination?” Catalog essay for “American Dreamers” exhibition. Silvana Editoriale. Milan, Italy. 2012.
Bland, Bartholomew F. “Age of Anxiety: The Fantasy Impulse in American Art.” Catalog essay for “American Dreamers” exhibition. Silvana Editoriale. Milan, Italy. 2012.
Roth, Jesse. “Thomas Doyle.” Pork & Mead. Detroit, Michigan. February/March 2012.
Williams, Linda. “Contemporary Art as Futuristic Fiction – All That is Solid Melts Into Air.” Catalog essay for “2112: Imagining the Future” exhibition. RMIT Gallery. Melbourne, Australia. 2012.
Gómez, Edward M. “Irresistible Illusions and Other Worlds.” Sculpture. Washington, DC. September, 2011.
Rosenberg, Karen. “Alternative Worlds Where Even McMansions Are Tiny.” New York Times. New York, New York. June 16, 2011.
McFadden, David Revere. “Seeing and Knowing.” Catalog essay for “Otherworldly: Optical Delusions and Small Realities” exhibition. Museum of Arts and Design. New York, New York. 2011.
Spoor, Nathan. Interview with artist in “Suggestivism” exhibition catalog. Santa Ana, California. 2011.
Valli, Marc. “Growing Concerns in an Ever-Shrinking World.” Microworlds. Laurence King Publishing, Ltd. London, England. 2011.
Klein, Richard. Catalog essay for “Radius: Emerging Artists from Connecticut and Southeastern New York” exhibition. Aldrich Museum. Ridgefield, Connecticut. 2010.
Olaussen, Hege. “Snøkuler som samtidskunst.” Kunst og Kultur. Universitetsforlage in cooperation with The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo, Norway. Number 4, 2009.
New York Times Book Review. Cover illustration. New York, New York. November 8, 2009.
New York Times Magazine. Cover illustration. New York, New York. June 14, 2009.
Viveros, Christian. Catalog essay for “Ten” exhibition. Artist dialogue with Peter Garfield. The West Collection. Oaks, Pennsylvania. 2009.
Spoor, Nathan. “Thomas Doyle–The Fundamentals of Being Human.” Hi-Fructose Magazine, Albany, California. Vol. XI, Spring 2009.
Cohn, Melanie Franklin. Catalog essay for “New York, New York, New York” exhibition. Flux Factory, Long Island City, New York. 2008.
Strauss, R.B. “Some First Friday Jewels for July.” University City Review, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. July 4, 2007.
Rubin, Brian. “‘Go North’ Young Art-Lovers.” Ellenville Journal, Ellenville, New York. July 5, 2007.
MacDowell Colony Fellowship. 2009.
West Prize Acquisition Finalist. West Collection. 2008.
Fine art, Humboldt State University. Arcata, California. 1997-2000.