Bruce Thorn’s Art Moves With Cues From Dance And Calligraphy.

Bruce Thorn’s Art Moves With Cues From Dance And Calligraphy.

When you meet Bruce Thorn, you quickly sense the depth and intensity he draws from, when he mixes his colors,- and creates movement and depth with pigment and nuance, on his grand format canvases.  He paints with the same thoughtful precision you hear in his conversation.  Articulate and passionate, you get the impression that his paintings are organic things that draw you into their complexity, again and again.  They contain too much detail to be inanimate.  We recognize something familiar in them.  And we instinctively want to get to know them better.

Who Will Pay The PoetHighRes- 2015 DSC_2865

“Who Will Pay The Poet”, 2015, oil on linen

Bruce was born on Chicago’s Southside in 1952.  He grew up during the cultural revolution of the 1960s, and his artwork quickly began reflecting the intensity, complexity and introspection of the times.  Although his life’s work is painting, he also spent time as a teacher, professor, sign painter, residential rehabber and gardener.

Bruce’s work reflects a deep appreciation and love of nature, wild places and the natural world. An international perspective is also evident in his approach to art and life. His vision is improvisational, intuitive, contemporary and universal.

April, 2015, untitled guache, 72 dpi DSC_3727

Untitled, 2015, guache on paper

Thorn’s current work utilizes calligraphic and choreographic movement. He mostly works in either oils or gouache.

April to May 2015, untitled guache, 72 dpi DSC_3684

untitled, 2015, guache on paper

An April 2015 artist’s residency at the Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, Illinois was a very productive and inspiring space for gouache painting.  The experience took Bruce out of his normal living and working environment, and allowed him to focus exclusively on his art without the distractions of his daily routine.

Thorn earned a B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1975 and an M.F.A. from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1987. He has maintained a vibrant art practice throughout his life. His works have been exhibited in the United States, Czechoslovakia, Canada and the Netherlands.

Recent exhibitions have included shows at the Koehnline Museum of Art,  the Beverly Art Center  and the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art.

An excerpt from the description of his show at the Koehnline Museum of Art states, “Thorn uses abstraction as a language to comment upon social and natural situations, while the material qualities of paint create journeys of visual exploration and invention, and the act of painting becomes a witness to the here and now, a frozen moment in time.”

You can see more of Bruce’s work on his web site.

Bruce currently lives, paints, and makes music on Chicago’s northwest side.


April-May 2015, 72 dpi DSC_3677

untitled, 2015, guache on paper





2015, oil, untitled, 72 dpi DSC_3461

untitled, 2015, oil on linen


April 2015, untitled guache, 72 dp1 DSC_3705

untitled, 2015 guache on paper


April, 2015, untitled guache, 72 dpi DSC_3595

untitled, 2015, guace on paper

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