Rules of abstraction

Words by Dylan Kerr / Photography by Andreas Laszlo Konrath

Torey Thornton is a brilliant young artist whose abstract works have won praise around the world. So why does he tell Dylan Kerr that “in the back of my mind, I’m always thinking about when no one will care”?

Torey Thornton is a serious painter. This doesn’t mean he lacks levity – he’s a 26-year-old abstract painter with solo shows in taste-making New York, Los Angeles and London galleries, in an era when the market for emerging artists has achieved legendary status. By most standards, he has plenty to be happy about. Thornton is a serious painter because he takes painting seriously, making each of his striking compositions in acrylic a site for meaningful contemplation and self-expression rather than an excuse for expensive conceptual gamesmanship. It’s a refreshing (if somewhat unfashionable) gesture in the current contemporary art climate, and he’s all too aware that his success may not last forever.

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