• Tom Slaughter, Untitled (Country),2006

    Tom Slaughter (American, 1955–2014), Untitled (Country), 2006. Flashe paint on cut paper, 46 ½ x 32 ½ inches. Collection of the Estate of Tom Slaughter

  • Tom Slaughter, Red Windows

    Tom Slaughter (American, 1955–2014), Red Windows, 1994. Flashe paint on canvas, 72 x 60 inches. Collection of Keith and Stacy Miller

Tom Slaughter: Primary Colors


The quality of freshness, the familiar world re-seen, from the water towers of New York City to the rural pleasures of boating, is the most immediately arresting aspect of Tom Slaughter’s art. . . Bold bright colors swiftly laid down echo with resonances: Léger and Stuart Davis, Raoul Dufy and Roy Lichtenstein.” —Henry Geldzahler

Bold colors and sharply and graphically expressed shapes and lines define Tom Slaughter’s vision of urban and country life. Made in primary colors or stark black-and-white, his images are pared down icons of everyday life made joyful by his hand. 

The simplicity of Slaughter’s compositions is underscored by his ability to describe and interpret a scene or object while stripping the image down to the essential visual facts. By using flashe paint, with its matte, velvety, and opaque finish, Slaughter achieves a surface both painterly and distanced, with the mark of the artist’s hand so subtle as to be almost invisible. Pictures, such as Untitled (Night City IV), Untitled (Seaside), and Untitled (Country), show Slaughter at his best. Addressing classic architectural shapes through a practiced, reductive eye, he turns water towers, sailboats, and houses into cultural symbols. There is a sense of musicality and syncopation in his work: windows and doors play across an urban façade with the regularity of 4/4 time; water towers and back-lit windows create a jazz-like improvisation.