Chimes’s lifelong interest in Jarry and, in particular, ideas associated with his novel Docteur Faustroll informed a series of panel portraits followed by white paintings and what he called the Hermes Cycle. Figures in the white paintings materialize and dissipate in a void of translucence—suggestive of the author’s own neologism, ethernity, where time converges with light and the dimensions of the universe. Both the white paintings and the panel portraits were based on the few surviving photographs of Jarry. The convergence of contemporary painting and photographic documentation of the present (now perceived from the future as the past) enabled Chimes’s exploration of Jarry’s pataphysical notions of Time.
Thomas Chimes (1921–2009), Alfred Jarry (Departure from the Present), 1973, oil on panel. The Robert J. and Linda Klieger Stillman Pataphysics Collection. Courtesy of Locks Gallery.