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SoiL Thornton
Choosing Suitor
15.9. – 12.11.2023

SoiL Thornton, Choosing Suitor, Ausstellungsansicht, Secession 2023, Foto: Sophie Pölzl

SoiL Thornton’s works resist categorization along preconceived notions of genre, medium, artistic subjectivity, biography, as well as gendered and racial identity. They have been traversing boundaries between media such as painting, sculpture, and photography and, in turn, their work expands to installation, and they frequently act as a curator. Based in Brooklyn, New York, they have exhibited widely and internationally.


A multifaceted play with language and meaning can be grasped in their work and exhibition titles. In their practice, they have been working against the grain of some of the art world’s conventions, from medium specificity to questions of branding and commodification. In so doing, they inquire into modes of circulation of artworks and into how artists can become brands and accrue value with their public personas. To the artist, renegotiating the limits of artistic media and common presentation formats seems as crucial as unsettling expectations and conceptions of identity directed at individuals––above all, artists.


For their exhibition Choosing Suitor at the Secession, SoiL Thornton has created a new body of work that addresses issues of gender identity and blurs their common attributions. The works range from photo series to paintings, combined acquired materials, and an inflatable sculpture.


This tailor-made inflatable is entitled Husband Chair (VS) and blocks the main entrance to the exhibition space. The air-filled bulging tube of brown vinyl stretches across almost the entire width of the exhibition space and stands, clearly visible, just behind the glass doors. Husband Chair is a recurring element in installations and exhibitions by SoiL Thornton. Its measurements are based on the room’s dimensions, on the one hand, and on the height of the respective curator on the other. Invariably, the sculpture blocks access to a space and obstructs the view inside. With this deliberately restrictive set-up, the artist comments on a theme they have been paying attention to for a long time, namely the question of the postulated social accessibility of institutions, spaces, and discourses of art.


Visitors can enter the exhibition through the entrance at the back of the Secession.


SoiL Thornton. Choosing Suitor, Publication 

Digital Publication 

SoiL Thornton. Choosing Suitor

SoiL Thornton. Choosing Suitor, photo: Iris Ranzinger

SoiL Thornton

wurde 1990 geboren und lebt und arbeitet in Brooklyn, New York.

Programmiert vom Vorstand der Secession

Kuratiert von
Jeanette Pacher

Vereinigung bildender Künstler*innen Wiener Secession
Friedrichstraße 12
1010 Vienna
Tel. +43-1-587 53 07