|(Born)||1945 in Washington D.C, USA|
|(Based)||New York, NY and Mt. Pleasant, PA, USA|
Way back in the 1960s at the exact same moment that Chuck Close was doing it with the faces, Betty Tompkins was making enormous black-and-white photorealist paintings — not of faces — but graphically pornographic images (…), ripped from straight male porn magazines (yes, kids — people used to masturbate to still black-and-white pics back in the day; not color videos like all of you); beautiful paintings of blow jobs, female fingerings, spread-eagle women doing anything you might imagine. I remember seeing images of this work back then and thinking, Wow! I like these way more than Chuck Close; this is someone really going for it in scale, technique, and holding nothing back about image. Sadly and undeservedly — and probably because it was too scary for a woman to be handling in-your-face imagery and scale like this — Tompkins was dealt out of a little history before storming back in about 15 years ago; she’s one of the strongest artists out there now, always sparing nothing, using contemporary porn (all-shaved, of course, and bigger dicks, not sure why), in a show that is a must-see for the legions of curators who are always beating the bushes to “rediscover” other “older women artists.”
— Jerry Salz in Vulture, 23.09.2015
In 2002 Mitchell Altus Gallery offered Tompkins her first show in NY. Since, her work has later been presented in solo exhibitions at Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, Belgium; GAVLAK Palm Beach, Palm Beach, FL USA; P·P·O·W, New York, NY USA; MO.CO Montpellier Contemporain, Montpellier, France. She has participated in notable group exhibitions at Biennale de Lyon, Lyon, France; Oeuvres Contemporaines, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon, France; Kunstmuseum Bern and Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, Switzerland; ZKM Zentrum für Kunst und Medien, Karlsruhe, Germany; Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP), São Paolo, Brazil; Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany.
Her works are collected by: Allen Art Museum, Oberlin, OH USA, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY USA; Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris, France; Fondation d’entreprise Francès, Senlis, France; Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC USA; Islip Art Museum, East Islip, NY USA; Museum of the City of New York, New York, NY USA; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA USA; Shelly & Donald Rubin Foundation, New York, NY USA; Stamford Museum, Stamford, CT USA; Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ USA; 21c Museum Hotels, Louisville, KY USA.