I have admired Thornton Walker’s paintings for years, although had only ever seen one in the flesh. So going to see Thornton’s paintings at Australian Galleries last week was truly inspiring… Packed into the upstairs gallery – mentioned as ‘normally reserved for the Jeffrey Smarts‘ – painting after painting could be found around each nook and cranny. The exhibition was a somewhat eclectic mix of Thornton’s work, created over a number of years. Showing his beautiful still lives with a peppering of his Japanese winter works (my personal favourites) and some beautiful portraits of Chinese monks, created from early 20th century photos. Peranakan II, was one of these and it stole the room, with its sheer size.
Thornton’s book (designed by Melbourne studio Trampoline) itself is stunning. I admire the design and layout of the book, and Thornton’s paintings shine out of the pages. It’s a beautiful collection of work, showing not only a retrospect of Thornton’s paintings to date, but also sketches, thoughts and ideas.