Every day, 11am to 5pm Friday 5 January to Sunday 3 March Except Monday 8 January, Monday 15 January, Monday 22 January, Friday 26 January, Monday 5 February, Monday 12 February, Sunday 18 February, Monday 19 February and Monday 26 February
Ann Thomson, is a major survey exhibition of one of Sydney’s most important artists, curated by Terence Maloon, former Director of the Drill Hall Gallery, and comprises key works created over the past two decades.
Born in Queensland in 1933, the daughter of a prominent Brisbane bookseller, she was genteelly brought up but was given plenty of leeway to express her natural physical exuberance. At her school, Somerville House, all of her art teachers (Caroline Barker, Patricia Prentice, June Meek, Betty Churcher) were practicing artists; they not only stood as role models for their young pupil, they recognised Ann’s talent and encouraged her to consider art as her life’s pursuit.
In Anna Johnson’s monograph on Ann Thomson there is a photograph of the teenaged Ann leaping down the side of a sand dune – an image that reveals the high-spiritedness of her character. Such physical vigour has come to define her painting idiom, an idiom that has never stood still, never lost its momentum or intensity, and has grown more robust and fearless with the passing years.
Ann Thomson’s extraordinary achievement over the last decade and a half is to “lose herself in the throes of creation”, however she also manages to regain and to re-impose her composure and clarity quite infallibly, seeming to land true every time, apparently with the minimum of struggle and effort. “Painting is composition”, she says matter-of-factly, and what we witness in her work is composing-in-action performed by an inveterate and virtuosic improviser.
Special guest curator Terence Maloon believes that the artist is painting the best works of her career and this exhibition focuses on these works and key antecedent works which demonstrate their genesis.