Freehand – recent works by Ann Thomson

Dates & times

Fri 20 February — Sun 5 April 2015

(detail) Ann Thomson

Image: (detail) Ann Thomson


(detail) Ann Thomson

Freehand is a survey of Sydney artist Ann Thomson’s exuberant recent paintings, mixed-media collages and drawings. All works were made during the last 7 years.

Thomson came to maturity at a time when abstract expressionism arrived in Australia. It influenced her teachers and immediate forerunners – Jon Molvig, Godfrey Miller, John Passmore and John Olsen.

Fifty years ago, in 1965, she held her first solo exhibition at Watters Gallery in Sydney. It was two years ago, in 2013, that she entered her eightieth year.

Five years previous to that, in 2008, there were noticeable signs of change in her art – changes that could not be ascribed to the attrition of age. In fact her paintings and drawings were growing noticeably stronger, wilder and freer – to all intents and purposes, growing younger.

Ann Thomson’s pictorial conceptions are characterized by their great vivacity. She has a remarkable feeling for pulse and rhythm, for dynamic energy unleashed into space.

Some of her paintings can be read as sequences of dance-steps while at the same time they suggest embryonic landscapes or seascapes.

A keynote of her recent work is its feeling of spaciousness, flow and respiration – as if every part of a work were breathing as one.

A CATALOGUE of the exhibition and Ann Thomson Monograph are on sale at the front desk of the Drill Hall Gallery or can be ordered on line.

Freehand 2014 (detail) acrylic on linen, 93 x 93 cm. Courtesy Ann Thomson and Olsen Irwin Gallery, Sydney


Updated:  21 April 2015/ Responsible Officer:  DHG Director/ Page Contact:  Exhibitions Officer