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Issue 222

Leslie Thornton Is Still Searching for Peace

The artist answers the frieze Questionnaire

BY Leslie Thornton in Interviews , Questionnaires | 19 OCT 21

Do you have a desert island book?

Rebecca West’s chronicle about the Balkans, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (1941), which tracks the wonders of geography and its impact on culture and history: you can travel one mile to another village and find different customs and beliefs as well as a unique dialogue and way of dress. West’s book presages the way small differences can be exploited by others, who stir people to hatred and violence. It resonates today.

Where do you go for peace and why?

I haven’t figured that out yet. I could use some help right now.

What do you wish was still a secret?

Our own lives, wishes, desires, habits, politics, friends, health and phone numbers.

What makes someone an artist?

Perseverance against all odds and sufficient trust in yourself. It’s a state of mind that is not exclusive to the arts.

What should people avoid?


What’s the best quality in a friend?


If you could be anywhere right now, where would you go? 


‘Leslie Thornton: Begin Again, Again’ is on view at MIT List Visual Arts Center, Boston, USA, until 13 February 2022.

This article first appeared in frieze issue 222 with the headline ‘Leslie Thornton’

Main image: Leslie Thornton, Jennifer, Where Are You?, 1981. Courtesy: the artist and Rodeo, London/Piraeus


Leslie Thornton is an artist. She lives in New York, USA.