Ann Thornycroft

Using ink stains and graphic grids, Ann Thornycroft has a way of layering the most organic of forms with a composition of shapes.  These forms organize around the verticals and horizontal lines, intersecting figurative elements with the natural.  Pulsing in and out of the canvas, her work has a depth that belies the flat plane. Colors peek through, giving the viewer a taste of what’s behind. Unafraid of color, Thornycroft melds bold with soft sprays of color with ease and confidence. 

We are confronted with an intricate web of puzzle pieces, finely crafted into one total work of art. Our minds are challenged with the pulling and pushing of these parts. References to other Hard Edge artists are natural, she’s shown with many. Grand in scale the patterns are meditative and alluring.   The work shown is comprised of acrylic on canvas and watercolor on paper.


 Born and raised in London, Ann Thornycroft completed her art education at the Chelsea School of Art.  She has worked and exhibited in LA since 1979.


Artist Interview

What is currently inspiring you? *

Ikat textiles (show now atLACMA, the drawings of Victor Hugo,August Mace-work from 1913-14, the work of Hilma af Klint.

Can you tell us about your process? *

I often start working on the big paintings on the floor, a method I have employed since I was in New York in the late 60’s and influenced by Frankenthaler and Louis . Using poured paint, I make a large gesture on the canvas which will set the direction and tone of the painting . I get obsessed with certain colors and shapes and play them off against the lyrical background wash, and each other. I am most pleased when I am allowing so -called” accidents" to happen with the paint and have to work at what this does to the painting . I don’t work from preparatory drawings for these works but I usually have some kind of idea in my head which has grown from previous paintings. The other kind of painting I make is controlled and hard-edge and these paintings begin with certain colors and composition in mind. I work in oil paint often using an acrylic paint lyrical paint wash first. The paintings always take me weeks or months to complete.

Tell us about your use of color. How does color influence your work?

Color is the inspiration, my motivator and the element which provides the emotional force in my work. From looking at Mondrian , Kandinsky and Matisse I learned early on the impact of using black as a color, it being all colors combined . Simple geometry allows me to use interesting color combinations while also giving my work structure and the color makes the composition work. I also work with painted line in the form of drips of paint and this as well as the poured paint gives texture to the paintings. I want my paintings to draw the viewer in and to give the viewer an emotional charge.

Is there specific type of music you listen to when working? 

At this time I play Early Music, Purcell, Handel, Bach and Phil Glass piano works.

If you could meet one artist (alive or deceased) who would that be? 

To visit the mysterious Hilma af Klint would have been a wonderful experience!

What is your greatest extravagance at the moment? 

Extravagance and necessity is painting and loving.

What's next for you? 

Granada, Spain for Easter

What is your biggest hurdle as it relates to being an artist? 

I strive to have no expectations.

From the collection