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Tompkins digitally alters his own or found photographs, breaking down the image to about a dozen core colors and blurring the contours. This image is then projected onto a large aluminum panel so that the artist can create an under-drawing. The painting is then executed using high gloss commercial enamel sign paints.
Tompkins uses hyper-real colors inspired by Southern California. In the 2005 exhibition, Natural Selection, at the Davidson Galleries in Seattle Tompkins exhibit several works including “Samsung, Noon Effect”. This piece replicates a L.A. building with the Samsung logo stacked on above. Tompkins uses light creams, bright blues and mauves to capture the scene. His work is void of people, it focuses instead on the created environment.
In his 2007 solo show, Left Overs, at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Tompkins displayed seven still lifes inspired by the remaining products on Target department stores clearance racks. He said he was inspired by Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin’s still-life paintings that capture peasant pottery alongside silver tumblers and copper pots. Tomkins’ still lives are composed of wreaths, synthetic flowers, candles, and glass vases arranged on metal store shelves. The bright red sales stickers are sometimes painted onto objects but appear to be attached to the surface of the painting itself. These works seem to call attention to the history between art and commerce.
Tompkins’ 2007 Media Series is derived from images taken from newspapers with the purpose of creating a longer life for these images of consumption. In his Rocket Blast Series, Tompkins represents several launches of different nations. He focuses on the fuzzier areas of these photos to highlight the mystery found within the images.
During the 2008 exhibition, First Line, at the Museo De Las Americas in Denver, Tompkins was asked to respond to a horizon line drawn across the wall of the Museo. The result was his Interstate Sublime series that captures several scenes of the new American landscape- the highway. The perspective of these works is from behind the wheel of a vehicle as it approaches the horizon. Tompkins’ paintings illustrate the American landscape today as one in which nature and the built environment cannot be separated.
- Temporal Arcadia, Studio La Città, Verona, Italy
- Timothy Tompkins e Giorgio Morandi: After Still Life, Maria Livia Brunelli Gallery, Ferrara, Italy
- 101 California Street, San Francisco, CA
- Left Overs, Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Culver City, CA (2007) 
- Left Overs, La Nuova Pesa, Centro Per L’Arte Contemporanea, Rome, Italy
- Left Overs, Studio La Città, Verona, Italy
- Media, Nebula, Rocket Blast and Leftovers, Heather James Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA (2009) 
- Reenactment and Explosion series, DCKT Contemporary, New York, New York (2011) 
- Manifest Destiny, DCKT Contemporary, New York, New York
- pow-er, Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Culver City, CA
- New Paintings, DCKT Contemporary, New York, NY
- Creative Artists Agency, Beverly Hills, CA
- INCOGNITO, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, CA
- Elements of Nature, Brevard Art Museum, Melbourne, FL
- OsCene 2010: Contemporary Art and Culture in OC, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA
- Photos and Phantasy: Selections from the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Beverly Hills Municipal Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA
- Elements of Nature, Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans, LA
- Open Mind(s), Villa del Grumello, Como, Italy
- Contemporary Exoticism, Studio la Città, Verona, Italy
- Photos and Phantasy: Selections from the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Carnegie Art Museum, Oxnard CA
- Rogue Wave ’07: 12 Artists from Los Angeles, LA Louver, Venice, CA (2007) 
- The Eclectic Eye: Selections of Fantasy and Illusion from the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans, LA
- Otis: Nine Decades of Los Angeles Art, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Barnsdall Art Park, Los Angeles, CA
- The 2005 World Exposition, Aichi, Japan
- Crude Oil Paintings, White Columns, New York, New York; Akus Gallery, Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, CT
- New American Talent: The Eighteenth Exhibition, Arthouse at the Jones Center for Contemporary Art, Austin, Texas; traveled to: University Gallery, Texas A & M University,Commerce, TX; Landmark Gallery, Texas Tech University School of Art, Lubbock, Texas; Arlington Art Museum, Arlington, Texas
- Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Los Angeles, CA [no citations needed here]
- Schwartz Art Collection, Harvard Business School, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA [no citations needed here]
- Wagonfeld, Judy (2011-06-17). "Artists turn the physical into the emotional in 'Natural Selection'". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. http://www.seattlepi.com/ae/article/Artists-turn-the-physical-into-the-emotional-in-1176125.php.
- Knight, Christopher (2007-08-24). "Glossy Still-lifes from Retail's Rejects". Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/2007/aug/24/entertainment/et-galleries24.
- Borgenicht, Nicole (May 2009). "Artist Profile: Timothy Tompkins". Art Ltd. Magazine. http://www.artltdmag.com/index.php?subaction=showfull&id=1241825515&archive=&start_from=&ucat=18&page=show.
- Kolber, Georgina (November 2008). "The Horizon and the Interstate Sublime". depARTure. http://departurearts.typepad.com/departure/2008/11/the-horizon-and-the-interstate-sublime.html.
- Amra Brooks (August 15, 2007). "Must See Art: Minerva Cuevas and Timothy Tompkins". LA Weekly. http://www.laweekly.com/2007-08-16/art-books/must-see-art/. Retrieved 2013-12-29.
- Nicole Borgenicht (May 2009). "Timothy Tompkins". Art Ltd Magazine. http://www.artltdmag.com/index.php?subaction=showfull&id=1241825515&archive=&start_from=&ucat=18&. Retrieved 2013-12-29.
- Timothy Tompkins Exhibition, NY Art Beat, May 2011. Retrieved 2013-12-29.
- Leah Ollman (July 6, 2007). "The good type of `Rogue'". Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/2007/jul/06/entertainment/et-galleries6. Retrieved 2013-12-29.