SoiL Thornton’s work and persona resist categorization along preconceived notions of genre, medium, artistic subjectivity, biography, as well as gendered and racial identity. A 2012 Cooper Union graduate based in Brooklyn, New York, their work has since been exhibited widely and internationally. Until mid-2020 known by their given name Torey, they have been traversing boundaries between media such as painting and sculpture. In turn, their work expands to collage and installation, and they frequently act as a curator.
A steady play with language and meaning can be grasped in their work and exhibition titles, perhaps most strikingly in Painting (2017): Hung on the wall, this work consists of a large steel saw blade adorned with a series of found painted rocks. In their practice, they have been working against the grain of some of the art world’s conventions, from medium specificity to questions of branding and commodification. In so doing, they inquire into modes of circulation of works of art and how artist-personas accrue value. To the artist, renegotiating the limits of artistic media and conventions of presentation seem as crucial as unsettling expectations and conceptions of identity directed at individuals––above all, artists.
SoiL Thornton: Choosing Suitor
15 Sep 2023 - 12 Nov 2023
Vereinigung bildender Künstler*innen Wiener Secession
Secession, Friedrichstraße, Wien, Österreich
SoiL Thornton, Decomposition Evaluation, 2022, installation view, Kunstverein Bielefeld, photo: Fred Dott