Index: Davi Det Hompson
Davi Det Hompson was the pen name for David E. Thompson (1939-1996), primarily known for creating mail art, book art and text-based paintings inspired by the Dada and Fluxus movements. The playful choice to create a pen name by changing the spacing in his name is fairly demonstrative of his approach to text art.
Early in his career he worked primarily as a concrete poet. It wasn't until the mid-sixties that Hompson began to deal with books as an expressive form in itself. Beginning in the 1970s, he taught in the School of the Arts at VCU. In 1978, he was one of the founders of 1708 East Main Street Gallery. Thompson also made major contributions to Special Collections and Archives at James Branch Cabell Library.
Best known for his text-based posters, artist’s books, and mail art, David Det Hompson—a nom d’art for David E. Thompson—turned to abstract painting later in his career, eventually producing monochromatic layers of encaustic on shaped slabs of concrete or burlap-covered wood. Hompson was associated with the neo-Dadaist movement, Fluxus, during the 1960s and ’70s, drawing attention to the formal quality of letters and words in booklets of statements and anecdotes in which he printed sentences such as, “A university art instructor, after reading a showing of my writings, lit his pipe and said, ‘Please tell me, do you think I should continue to paint?’” Later painting or inscribing abstract figures onto box-like supports that suggest ancient tablets, he ultimately reduced his work down to the support itself, covering them with textured wax skins.