Ptolemy Mann: Thread Painting


This book is not yet published, but will be available from May 2024.

ISBN: 9780903696746 Category:


The first monograph on British artist Ptolemy Mann is a celebration of her unique weaving and painting practice and extraordinary use of colour. Thread Painting is an original exploration of the relationships between dye, thread, paper, paint and time.

British artist Ptolemy Mann’s studio practice bridges weaving and painting, creating distinctive, refined and radiant wall-based work, often on a large scale. Her early work was focused on weaving and she then turned to painting on paper, later combining the two to paint directly onto her handwoven artworks. The results are simultaneously linear and gestural, meditative and vibrant.

Focusing on the past decade, Thread Painting features over 140 stunning full-colour images of these three phases in Mann’s artistic career, and is the first published monograph on the artist. In her introduction, Ann Coxon, curator of international art at Tate Modern, explores the relationships between dye, thread, paper, paint and time in Mann’s work, while considering her place within the history of textile art. Arts critic and author ChloĆ« Ashby charts a significant period in Mann’s life when, approaching her forty-fifth birthday, she made the decision to channel her energy into making abstract paintings alongside her weaving practice. A conversation between Mann and childhood friend, artist and stage designer Es Devlin sheds light on Mann’s early influences, including her family, film and literature, and includes an in-depth discussion of her meticulous process.

At the heart of Mann’s work is a deep respect for the craftsmanship of both weaving and painting. Through her innovative technique of thread painting, she challenges the viewer to consider: What is a painting? Thread Painting is a celebration of Mann’s unique practice during a fascinating decade of artistic output.

Additional information

Weight 300 g
Dimensions 23.5 x 30 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 9 May 2024
Number of pages 200
Format Hardback
Contributors Text by Ann Coxon and Chloƫ Ashby
Dimensions 23.5 x 30 cm
Weight 300 g


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Ptolemy Mann (b. 1972) is an artist based in East Sussex, England, who creates paintings and hand-dyed and woven artworks underpinned by intelligent colour theory. She describes her largescale, emotive work as flirting with the dynamics of restriction, control and spontaneity. Mann studied at Central Saint Martins and the Royal College, where she explored the possibilities of her chosen materials. Mann lectures regularly, writes for the magazine Selvedge, curates and has received three grants from the Arts Council of England. She is represented by Taste Contemporary in Geneva, Gallery Lau in Munich and Findlay Galleries in the USA.