02/27/15

Ann Thomson | Freehand exhibition at the Drill Hall Gallery

A survey of recent paintings by Ann Thomson is currently on show at the Drill Hall Gallery in Canberra. ‘Freehand – Recent works by Ann Thomson’ exhibits paintings, mixed media collages and works on paper from the past seven years.

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Ann in her studio in Reims, France where she spent three months of 2014 on an artist’s residency

For an artist in her 80s, Ann’s work is remarkably youthful displaying a remarkable lightness of touch and gestural freedom. Her works have always been very generous, exuberance being as much an identifiable characteristic of the artist herself as much as it is of her paintings.

Indeed in his speech to open the exhibition, author David Malouf was quick to express his awe at the energy in each work, a testament to the energy of Ann and the vitality imparted upon each painting during the act of creation. And while her brush is loaded with an unbounded energy, her often overlooked collages embody a wondrous fascination with the world’s systems and the way they work, at once existing as reflections of the place in which Ann lives as well as evidence of a spirited inner logic.

Freehand (detail), 2014, acrylic on linen, 93 x 93cm

“Ann Thomson’s pictorial conceptions are characterised by their great vivacity. She has a remarkable feeling for pulse and rhythm, for dynamic energy unleashed into space.” – Freehand, recent works by Ann Thomson

As Terrence Maloon wrote in his foreword to the exhibition: ‘in 2008 one began to notice signs of change in her art – changes that could not be ascribed to the attrition of age. On the contrary: her paintings and drawings were growing conspicuously stronger, wilder and freer. To all intents and purposes, they had begun to grow younger.”

To coincide with this important exhibition, Olsen Irwin is exhibiting a small collection of works on paper at the works on paper gallery. These gouaches were all created last year, 2014 while Ann was on an artist’s residency in Reims, France. Their shifting forms are suggestive of aquatic bodies, something that Ann attributes to her morning swims.

Ann Thomson
Freehand – Recent works by Ann Thomson
19 February – 5 April 2015
Drill Hall Gallery, Kingsley St Acton, 2601. ACT

Ann Thomson
Variations
Opening 28 February 2-4pm
Exhibition 25 February – 14 March 2015
Olsen Irwin works on paper, small paintings and sculpture
40 Queen St, Woollahra NSW

01/21/15

Ann Thomson | studio visit

We recently visited the studio of Ann Thomson to look at some new works. Ann spent three months of last year living and working in Reims, France. The gouache on paper and acrylic on linen works she made there were a highlight of the visit. Ann has also been organising paintings in her studio for a show in Canberra at the Drill Hall. ‘Freehand – Ann Thomson’ will open on the 20th of February, and it was a lovely opportunity to see some of the pieces that will be in the show.

Born in Brisbane in 1933, Ann Thomson has been exhibiting since 1965. Thomson moved to Sydney to study at the National Art School after initially learning from Australian expressionist Jon Molvig. Ann has had a long relationship with France. in 1978 she was awarded a residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris. She would be awarded this residency again in 1995, 1999, 2000, 2003 and 2006. Ann lives and works in Sydney.

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