Sonja Thomsen (b. 1978) is an American artist whose multifaceted practice choreographs light in space, photograph and sculpture. Working in abstraction while pointedly engaged with questions of equity, Thomsen’s installation practice engages the public in wonder as a radical way to imagine a post-patriarchal future.
She holds a Bachelor's degree in Biology and Studio Art from Kenyon College and a MFA in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute. She has exhibited with Bauhaus Archiv Berlin, Soccer Club Club Chicago, Higher Pictures NY, DePaul Art Museum, Center for Photography at Woodstock, the Reykjavik Museum of Photography, New Mexico Museum of Art, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Gallery f5,6 in Munich among others.
Thomsen's work resides in the collections of The Art Institute of Chicago, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University, DePaul University Art Museum, Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection in Flaxman Library at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago, Milwaukee Art Museum, and the Reykjavik Museum of Photography.
Publications include Experiment Photography: New Bauhaus Chicago , Bauhaus Archiv, Berlin, Hirmer Publishers; Keeper of the Hearth - Picturing Roland Barthes’ Unseen Photograph , Odette England, Schilt publishing; Un' apparizione di superfici , Luca Panaro, Italy, APM editions; "GR-09022017", Fotogalleriet, Oslo, SKREID Publishing; Earth Now: American Photographers and the Environment, Katherine Ware, New Mexico, Museum of New Mexico Press.
Accolades include the Mary L. Nohl Fellowship for Individual Artists, Milwaukee Arts Board New Work Commission, Digital Artist in Residence at Columbia College Chicago and a Hermitage Artist Fellowship.
Sonja Thomsen is a member of the international photography collective Piece of Cake Collective. Thomsen is a Assistant Professor, Adj. in the Photography Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Biamp, mondo*dr; the international publication for technology in entertainment, “Biamp Systems’ Tesira Server-IO Powers Milwaukee Art Installation,” August 2014
Patrick Leary, Neighborhood News Service, “Public art installation explores sights and sounds of Mitchell Street,” July 16, 2014
Debra Brehmer, Milwaukee Magazine, “Art: A Dynamic Mural,” July 1 2014
Tyler Friedman, Shepherd Express, “Historic Mitchell Street Speaks! Artists Sonja Thomsen and Adam Carr honor the heritage,” June 10, 2014
Francesca Cozzone, The Leader, “Making the intangible tangible,” April 23, 2009
Peggy Sue Dunigan, Shepherd Express, “Milwaukee’s Rising Artists,” December 27, 2007
Mary Louise Schumacher, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Nature shines and splashes its way into artists’ exhibit,” July 12, 2007
Jacob Stockinger, Wisconsin State Journal, Rhythm 18, July 5, 2007
Peggy Sue Dunigan, Shepherd Express, “Blue Water, Black Gold,” June 14, 2007
Kevin Lynch, The Capital Times, “Triennial Art,” May 4, 2007
Mary Louise Schumacher, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Photographer capture’s subtlety of nature in spare images,” Sunday July 31, page 2E
Dana Enfinger Benicia Herald, “Arts Benicia exhibit has a little bit of everything,” Friday Nov. 12, page A2
Meredith Tromble, Art Contemporaries, “A Journey to the bottom of the sea,” Spring issue, pages 8-10
James Auer Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Thomsen’s photographs on a different plane,” February 25 2004