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b. 1945 Washington, D.C.
Lives and works in New York, NY and Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania

Rendered in softly airbrushed tones, Betty Tompkins’s photorealist paintings of intimate sexual encounters, including exposed genitalia, penetration, and masturbation, derive from pornography. Though her series of nine “Fuck Paintings” were flagged by French customs officials for pornographic content and withheld from display in 1973, they have since received belated acknowledgment and appreciation. Tompkins carefully crops out faces or body parts to excise narrative detail, enlarging the scale to fill large expanses of wall. By emptying her paintings of signifiers of race, class, time, and circumstance, Tompkins presents erotic encounters between two (or sometimes more) powerfully consonant bodies.




2019     Fuck Paintings, Etc., J Hammond Projects, London, UK

2017     VI Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark
            Virgin, PPOW, New York, NY

            Small, Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY
            Sex Works / WOMEN Words, Phrases, and Stories, GAVLAK, Palm Beach, FL

2016     Sex Works / WOMEN Words, Phrases, and Stories, GAVLAK, Los Angeles, CA

             Viewing Room, Marlborough Chelsea, New York, NY

             WOMEN Words, Phrases, and Stories: 1000 Paintings by Betty Tompkins, FLAG Art

             Foundation, New York, NY

2015     REAL ERSATZ, Foundation University Gallery, New York, NY
2014     Art Basel Feature, Galerie Rodolphe Janssen (Brussels), Basel, Switzerland
2013     Paintings and Works on Paper 1972 - 2013, GAVLAK, Palm Beach, FL
            Home Alone 2, New York, NY (with Dadamanio)
            Woman Words, Dinter Fine Art Online, New York, NY
2012     Fuck Paintings, Galerie Rodolph Janssen, Brussels
2011     Sex Works, Galerie Andrea Caratsch, Zurich, Switzerland
2009     New Work, Mitchell Algus Gallery, New York, NY
2008     Fuck Paintings and Drawings 1973 - 2007, Lawrimore Project, Seattle, WA
2007     Sex Works, Mitchell Algus Gallery, New York, NY
2006     Fuck Paintings and Drawings, Galerie Andrea Caratsch, Zurich, Switzerland
2005     New Paintings and Drawings, Mitchell Algus Gallery, New York, NY
2002     Fuck Paintings 1969 - 1974, Mitchell Algus Gallery, New York, NY

2017     Kunstraum Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria (fourthcoming)
             Für Barbara, curated by Leo Koenig, Hall Art Foundation, Dernberg, Germany
             Flaming June VII: Flaming Creatures, GAVLAK, Los Angeles, CA
2016     Something Possible Everywhere: Pier 34, NYC 1983-84, 205 Hudson Gallery, New York, NY
            The Female Gaze, Part Two: Women Look at Men, Cheim & Read, New York, NY
            Smile!, Shin Gallery, New York, NY
            Black Sheep Feminism, Dallas Contemporary, Dallas, TX

2015     Sight For Sore Eyes, with Lucas Jardin, Artsy at Art Brussels, Brussels, Belgium
            Word by Word, curated by Francesco Bonami, Luxembourg & Dayan, London, UK
            Viewer Discretion…Children of Bataille, curated by Kathleen Cullen, Stux Haller Gallery, New York, NY
            Verganza (I don’t want to be friends), organized by Gea Polity, Milan, Italy
            Lust, HVCCA, Peeksil, New York, NY
            Fertility, presented by Jane Kim, 33 Orchard, New York, NY
            The Shell (Landscapes, Portaits & Shapes) a show by Eric Troncy, Almine Rech Gallery, Paris, France
            Eureka! curated by Kendell Geers, Galerist, New York, NY
            Ten Year Anniversary, GAVLAK, Los Angeles, CA and Palm Beach, FL

2014     Rear Window Treatment, Louis B. James, New York, NY
            A Drawing Show, Matthew Marks Gallery, New York, NY
            CORPUS, Zacheta National Gallery, Warsaw, Poland
            A Chromatic Loss, curated by Jeffrey Uslip, Bortolami Gallery, New York, NY
            Selections from the Sara M. & Michelle Vance Waddell Collection, Art Academy of Cincinatti, OH

2013      Independents, V1 Gallery, Copenhagen
             A Few of My Favorite Things, CB1 Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
            Skin Trade, PPOW, New York, NY
            Page 179, Artforum, September 2013, Brennan & Griffin, New York , NY
            She, Kathleen Cullen Fine Arts, New York, NY
            The origin of the world/the force of the source/the cause of the vigor,
            Samson Projects, Boston, MA
            Sunsets and Pussy, Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, NY
            DSM-V, The Future Moynihan Station, New York, NY
            Jew York, Untitled, New York, NY
            Sex Money and Power, Maison Particuliere, Brussels, Belgium

2012     In The Pink, Joe Sheftel Gallery, New York, NY
            Dark Garnaal, Galerie Rodolphe Janssen; Villa - Knokke, Knokke - Heist, Belgium
            ff Temporary Autonomous Zone, Lisa Ruter Gallery, Vienna, Austria
            Screw You, Susan Inglett Gallery, New York , NY

2011      No government No cry, a project by Kendell Geers, CIAP Actuele Kunst, Hasselt, Belgium
             Invitation to the Voyage, Algus Greenspon, New York, NY
            Grisaille, Luxembourg and Dayan, New York, NY

2010      Lust and Vice: The Seven Deadly Sins From Dürer to Naumann,
            Kunstmuseum Bern and Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, Switzerland
            Visible Vagina, Francis Naumann Gallery, New York, NY
            Consider the Oyster, James Graham and Sons, New York , NY

2009     elles@centrepompidou, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
             Naked! Size Matters, Paul Kasmin Gallery,  New York, NY
            Revolver, COCO, Vienna, Austria
            The Line Is A Lonely Hunter - Drawings in New Jerseyy, New Jersey,

2008     How To Cook A Wolf: Part 1, Dinter Fine Art, New York, NY

2007     La Plaissir au Dessin, Musee de Beaux Arts, Lyon, France
            Handsome Young Doctor, Cubitt Gallery, London, England
            Into Position, Baurnmarkt, Vienna, Austria

2006     Exquisite Corpse - Cadavre Exquis, Mitchell Algus Gallery, New York, NY
            Uncertain States of America, Serpentine Gallery, London, England and traveling

2005     La Beauté de L'Enfer, Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, Belgium

2004     [Untitled/Nudes], Printed Matter, New York, NY
            Nouvelles Acquisitions, Ouevres Contemporaines, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France

2003     It Happened Tomorrow, Bienniale de Lyon, Lyon, France


Weir Farm National Historic Site / National Park Service, Wilton, CT
CowParade, New York City/Museum of the City of New York, New York, NY
Islip Art Museum, East Islip, New York, NY

Centre Pompidou, Paris, France



2018    Adams, Amanda Dalla Villa. "A New Contemporary Art Museum in Virginia Leads With Politics," Hyperallergic, April 24.

2017    Pagel, David. “No wallflowers here: Sparks fly when art mingles on the walls of 'Flaming  

            June VII',” Los Angeles Times, June 27.


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