Artist biography

Thomas Erma 1939-1964

American abstract painter. Born in Tartu, Estonia. His family left Estonia in 1941 and settled in Germany, then in 1948 emigrated to the USA. He spent 1949-57 in Texas and New York; took US nationality 1957. Moved to Paris the same year and studied philosophy at the Sorbonne, then in 1958 painting at the Académie Julian. Made abstract gouaches with dense, gestural compositions, followed from 1960 by collage-paintings. Worked in New York for several months 1962-3. There were two one-man exhibitions of his work in his lifetime: at the Galerie Karl Flinker, Paris, in 1962 and Arthur Tooth and Sons, London, 1963. Died in Paris in 1964.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.203