Tom Holland, born in Seattle, Washington in 1936, studied at the University of California, Berkeley, where he began his formal art education, strongly influenced by significant artist and art faculty member David Park. Following his time at Berkeley, he travelled to Santiago, Chile, as a Fulbright Grant recipient.
Although his early work was traditional oil on canvas, it was when Holland began to work with aluminum during his early years teaching at UCLA in Los Angeles that he really achieved critical acclaim. In the 70's Holland began using materials that were light and strong but did not require a frame. Using fiberglass and aluminum, making pieces of color which hang on the wall like stiff tapestry, the thin edges allow Holland's paintings to become a part of the space occupied. Employing simple materials and a unique approach combining both paint and sculpture, he cuts thin sheets of aluminum or fiberglass to build either a painting or free standing form. He rivets the cut pieces to a single sheet, applies a white base coat, and finishes the piece with epoxy paint to achieve the effects of depth, light, reflection and shadow. Holland considers landscape and his bond to the natural world as the core and constant inspiration for his long career of over 50 years as a California painter.
Beyond his larger sculptural pieces, Holland occasionally cuts and bends paper, fiberglass or aluminum to make small figures such as heads or animals which are playful exercises with color, form and materials. He also makes lithographs, works on marble, copper, paper, and clay, and uses watercolor, acrylic urethane and ceramic glazes.
Holland’s work has been described as taking inspiration from Cubism, Futurism, and Constructivism; his work labeled as exhilarating and visually challenging, playing games and distorting the three dimensional space. He has been identified as one of California's most important contemporary artists and was featured in Art in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945–1980: An Illustrated History.
Holland is currently represented by galleries in Dallas, Santa Fe and San Francisco and his prints are with Crown Point Press in San Francisco and Cirrus Editions in Los Angeles.