Robert Thornton: New Works
Robert Thornton 2009: New Works, a collection of recent paintings by Robert Thornton, was on view at Bert Gallery from September 15 through October 16, 2009.
Year after year, Robert Thornton continues to intrigue us with his large-scale, figurative scenes in acrylic. He has a never-ending repository of characters that emerge on the painted surface; children or adults are misbehaving, having happy thoughts, having sinister thoughts or no having no thoughts at all. These highly evolved personalities amuse and engage. Visit Bert Gallery and see the latest cast of characters rendered by this prodigious artist, who continues to paint with wild abandon, fifty years after graduating from RISD.
Robert Thornton came to Rhode Island after World War II for his BFA in painting at the Rhode Island School of Design and he never left. He retired from RISD in 1989 after 35 consecutive faculty shows. His large canvases, in acrylics and oil, are unfailingly innovative and mildly controversial. His early style, formed with a wry edge and cynical opinion of the human psyche, extends otherwise familiar forms of anatomy and places to create darkly humorous compositions, where the two-dimensional design overrides accurate portraiture. His later investigations capture even darker political themes, or provide contrast in the storm softness of impressionistic Rhode Island seascape.