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Alumni News

Gifted Painter Gave Back to Sheridan

September 11, 2012

Denyse Thomasos, a celebrated abstract painter, died suddenly in New York City on July 19, 2012 after an adverse reaction to a dye injected for a routine MRI.

The 1987 Art and Art History alumna worked with architectural structures, recording and examining political and social conditions from slavery to modern day war and genocide. Much of her formal constructions are based on her visual research gathered during her travels to Asia, Mali and Peru.

Denyse was born in Trinidad in 1964 and grew up in Toronto. She had lived and worked in the United States since completing her MFA at Yale University’s School of Art in 1989. Her work has been reviewed in many of the major national and international art periodicals.

Denyse won over 40 awards and artist residencies including a Guggenheim (1997), a PEW Fellowship (1995), Bellagio residency (2001), and New York Foundation for the Arts (2008). Most recently she was named the first recipient of the McMillan/Stewart Award, recognizing unique and outstanding contributions made by women artists.

In 2006 Denyse created a monumental 50-foot mural for the Art Gallery of Ontario. The AGO acquired her major work ‘Metropolis’ that was premiered at the opening of the newly renovated Frank Gehry building.

In honour of Sheridan’s Art and Art History Program’s 40th anniversary in 2011, Denyse created a wall painting in collaboration with current students and recent grads of the program. The resulting exhibition (Kingdom Come) took place at the Oakville Galleries in 2011.

Denyse lived and worked in the East Village with her husband and daughter.