Torey Thornton, ‘A Lot Pissed But Singular. Look Out’, 2014, The Studio Museum in Harlem

Image rights: Private Collection, New York; Photo: Moran Bandaroff, Los Angeles

"A Constellation" (November 12, 2015–March 6, 2016) Venue: The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York Organized by Amanda Hunt, Assistant Curator

About Torey Thornton

In his mixed-media paintings, Torey Thornton creates abstract, crudely rendered forms to explore the picture plane as both a spatial field and a medium for conjuring images and sensibilities. The Brooklyn-based painter rejects the canvas, instead preferring the textural possibilities of paper, found wood, and slatted panels, all of which serve as the grounds for spray and acrylic paint, as well as collaged objects. His paintings exhibit various influences, from color field and monochrome painting to biomorphic abstractions. Certain elements suggest recognizable forms—cars, the sun—while others are more cryptic, such as the repeated appearance of perpendicular lines. “For me, it’s a game I play with myself about how to shift the familiar but keep things recognizable enough that you think you know what you’re looking at—almost this tracer image buried in the picture,” Thornton has said.

American, b. 1990, Macon, Georgia, based in Brooklyn, New York