Modern Art Helmet Row opens an exhibition of works by Torey Thornton
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Modern Art Helmet Row opens an exhibition of works by Torey Thornton
Torey Thornton, Subdominium Edges Y Assumed Legalities, exhibition view, Modern Art, Helmet Row, London, 25 October 2019 - 1 February 2020. Photo: Ben Westoby. Courtesy the artist & Modern Art, London.

LONDON.- I’ve never known whether to collaborate with someone on a text, have them write something for me that won’t stand in or hold up the work, but gets near it without blowing the surprise or the slower arrival. Patience and sensitivity.

How honest should a press release be, transparent. There are mouths that water for writing as the strengthener to an artwork or show, the hardening component in the mixture, historicizing it, firming it. Is a body of work stronger when it’s fully explained and squeezed out? Wrung? We have been taught that explanation, speaking, telling, writing equates to a presentation of knowledge and cultural wealth, so at every turn there’s the need for the hand hold or at least the mirroring of ideas in order to prove or match. Although, some are privileged to rarely have to speak, maybe they never explain their work and yet they are held and coddled into importance and praise. Who are these people and why? I have thoughts but maybe this question should be looked at closer in the free time.

Shaping, a term attached to paintings around the early 1960s whose supports moved outside of the traditional rectangular format, maybe a quite boring term. Maybe it should have been irregular shaping? Extrusion? I thought that I was working in and against this space for this show but really I have little interest that overlaps with shaping just as I have even less concern or relation to the term abstraction. Maybe, if I’m clearer, I have no interest in the term abstraction and the fetish of the non-reference, the romantic island of paint, in relation to my work. While discussing these ideas with a friend I realized that I do relate more to the term nonrepresentational art but that’s also not quite it as this still doesn’t allow for certain content to creep in and swell the work, if need be. But naming is boring anyways in that regard, content, context and presence in space and time are more fun and complicated versus an umbrella term for capitalistic and historical ease. I hope that thought towards naming is me mentioning something that we all know.

Thursday September 26, 2019 at 4:34am EST I think to myself, in a pre-sleep state, is the cross somehow the most common shaped painting worldwide?

Best, sincerely, yours, as ever, thanks to everyone for looking at these works here in the space and considering the various locations they live in at once.

Torey Thornton was born in 1990 and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, NY, USA. In 2012 they completed a BFA at the Cooper Union, New York, NY, USA. Thornton’s work has been included in group exhibitions at Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, USA (2018 & 2017); Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA, USA (2018); Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL, USA and Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA, USA (both 2017) and The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY, USA (2015). Thornton was included in the 2017 Whitney Biennial and in 2015 their work was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, NY, USA.

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