Thomas Lawson (born 1951, Glasgow, Scotland) is an artist, writer, and Dean of the School of Art at California Institute for the Arts. He has exhibited paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City as part of the Pictures Generation exhibit, Metro Pictures Gallery in New York, Anthony Reynolds in London and LAXART in Los Angeles. Surveys of his work have been organized by the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art at La Jolla, the CCA in Glasgow and the Battersea Arts Centre in London. He has created temporary public works in New York, New Haven, Glasgow, Newcastle and Madrid.
His essays have appeared in such journals as Artforum, Art in America, Flash Art, frieze and October, as well as numerous exhibition catalogues. An anthology of his writing, Mining for Gold, was published in 2004 by JRP/Ringier. From 1979 until 1992 he and his wife, writer Susan Morgan, published and edited REALLIFE Magazine, an irregular publication by and about younger artists interested in the relationship between art and life. From 2002-2009, he was co-editor of the contemporary art journal Afterall. Since 2010, he has been editor-in-chief of East of Borneo, an online magazine and book imprint focused on contemporary art, and its history, as seen from Los Angeles.
Inspired by the restoration of Scotland's Parliament in 1999, Lawson wrote a two-act play based on the trial of the Scottish radical Thomas Muir for sedition in 1793.
He lives and works in Los Angeles.