Ruth Bachofner is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Ann Thornycroft, titled Beehive. There will be a reception for the artist on Saturday, January 12, 4-6 p.m.
From early in life, nature has played an important role in Ann Thornycroft’s life. Born and raised in the English countryside, Ann was surrounded by the cycles of nature, and her awareness of the interconnectedness of the seen and unseen, above ground and below ground took root in her childhood. The effects of those early influences remained intact and have figured in her artwork to this day.
While the role of nature has evolved over the course of her artistic career, her practice has always, almost contrarily, included solid architectural foundation. For many years, she has employed the grid as a jumping off point for investigations of nature-based forms. This dichotomy has long been a driving force behind her work.
In this body of work, titled Beehive, she once again brings the grid to the fore. While each of the intimate 24" x 18" canvases adheres to the same basic template, each receives a different treatment, imparting dramatically different emotional tenors. In some pieces, the grids become fluid, both in their imperfect, slightly jostled arrangement and with Thornycroft’s chosen medium of encaustic. Rather than rigid and dominating, the grids are playful and bouyant partners with brushy layers of color percolating below. In other works, background paint cements the individual rectangular cells into a solid structure. Still in other pieces, a tremendous sense of depth emerges from a distinct separation between sweeps of color and opaque quadrants.
With these paintings, Ann uses a formal artistic language as means of bringing together elements that are at odds with one another. She begins her statement with quote from Piet Mondrian:
“The life of civilized man today is turning aside, little by little, from natural things, to become increasingly an abstract life. As natural (external) things become more and more automatic, real interest, as we see, turns rather to things internal. The truly modern man’s life is determined neither in a purely materialistic way nor purely by feeling. Rather, it assumes the guise of a more autonomic life of the human spirit grown aware of itself.”