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Abstract Expressionists We Love: Toma-L

on March 13, 2023

Marseille, France

Born in Nantes, France, in 1975, Thomas Labarthe (aka Toma-L) is said to have experienced a transformative revelation (in his words, a "veritable electroshock") in 2001 with an encounter with Jean Dubuffet's works. Then, three months later, inspired by this moment, he created his first painting, Mala Bestia. By 2006, he had exhibited 'Figures Libres' at the Centre Altercultura in Barcelona, which marked a milestone in his career. 

Abstract Expressionist artist Toma-L

By Toma-L, 2023.

Over time, his work gained structure as he explored style and colours, often the vibrant southern hues from his time living in Spain. I'm particularly drawn to his work that demonstrates a shift toward action, which seems to manifest in a tension of expressive lines and forms—which he describes as gesture intertwining with technique as it adapts to the method and materials being used.

Abstract Expressionist artist Toma-L

By Toma-L, 2023.

Toma-L draws inspiration from artists like Joan Miró, Jean Dubuffet, and Basquiat, all artists that I love and who emphasize action over reflective interpretation. Focusing on marks, lines, and motifs, Toma-L aligns with artists rooted in Lyrical Abstraction, Free Figuration, Abstract Expressionism, and Art Brut.

Check out more of Toma-L's work:


Pete Stein
Founder, Galerie Stein

Galerie Stein will be presenting several contemporary Abstract Expressionist artists both virtually at and in our gallery in Montreal in 2024.

Contact: Pete Stein - Galerie Stein at