In 1960, Thompson was very much a part of the avant-garde art community as a participant in some of the earliest happenings, and a close follower of the downtown jazz scene. He was one of the regular artists who went to the Five Spot, and his friendship with jazz musician and composer Ornette Coleman is well-documented. Thompson also included his favorite musicians like Coleman, Charlie Haden, Nina Simone and Steve Lacy in his paintings, which can be viewed in the June 24th sale, Out of the Blue: Modern Art & Jazz.
Top: Bob Thompson, Tribute to an American Indian, gouache, pastel and pencil on printed paper, 1963. Estimate: $8,000 to 12,000. Bottom: Bob Thompson, Steve Lacy, pen and ink on wove paper, circa 1959-60. Estimate: $2,000 to 3,000.