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Thornton Willis
Working Man, Large Oil Painting by Thornton Willis 1981

1981

$22,000

About

Artist: Thornton Willis, American (1936 - ) Title: Working Man Year: 1981 Medium: Acrylic on Canvas, signed and titled verso Size: 84 x 94 in. (213.36 x 238.76 cm) The Wedge Paintings: After returning to New York City, Willis began his formalist compositions exploring Form and Field ambiguity that led to his “Wedge” series, 1974-1982. During this time he co-founded “Review: Artists on Art” with his wife. He showed his work at the Holly Solomon Gallery, NYC, in 1976, and in 1979 Thornton Willis won a Guggenheim Fellowship for painting. In the same year his work was included in the controversial exhibition “American Painting: The Eighties, a critical interpretation” organized and curated by Barbara Rose.[6] The exhibition opened at the Grey Art Gallery, NYC and traveled first to The Houston Museum of Fine Arts, then to the American Center, Paris, France before traveling around the world as a United States Ambassadorial show to over twenty other countries. In 1979, Thornton Willis exhibited his “Wedge” Paintings at the 55 Mercer Street Gallery where the work attracted the attention of British collectors, Robin Symes, and Charles and Doris Saatchi. He showed the “Wedge” paintings at the Sidney Janis Gallery, NYC, in 1980 is an exhibition entitled “Seven Young Americans” curated by Sam Hunter which included friend and fellow artist Sean Scully. In 1980 he had a one-person show at the Oscarsson Hood Gallery who would represent the artist until 1986. In 1980 he met the European dealer, Claes Nordenhake, and exhibited his “Wedge” paintings in Malmo, Sweden, Gothenburg, Sweden and Helsinki, Finland and Geneva, Switzerland. In 1982, Willis began a series of overlapping “wedges’ or “double wedges’ that allowed exploration of the vertical colored bands created where the edges met. “Striped Suit”, 1982, a large double wedge canvas was featured on the cover of Arts Magazine with an essay by Steven Henry Madoff, Looking for Thornton Willis: A Treatise. With the re-opening of the Museum of Modern Art, NYC, in 1984, Willis exhibited Red Warrior in An International Survey of Recent Painting and Sculpture.

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