Laurence O'Toole - Without Borders
Preview: 6.00-8.00 pm Thursday 12 April Continues until Saturday 21 April 2007
Listing: Without Borders, a solo exhibition of oils and pastels by Irish landscape Laurence O’Toole opens 6pm Thursday 12 April; continues until Saturday 21 April 2007 at Oisín Gallery, 44 Westland Row, D2. For further information, contact +353 1 661 1315 email@example.com or visit www.oisingallery.com to view online catalogue.
Biography: Born in Bray, County Wicklow in 1968, Laurence O'Toole launched his career with a series of solo-exhibitions in and around Dublin before migrating to the United States in 1987. He moved to South Africa in 1988, where he joined the National Group Show, a regional artists association, with whom he exhibited in five major cities. He returned to the United States in 1990 and for five years traveled extensively throughout America, exhibiting in San Diego, California and Phoenix, Arizona as a member of the California Artists' Guild. He returned to his native Bray in 1995 and worked as a motion picture set and scenery artist, collaborating with many eminent artists and directors on films such as The Count of Monte Cristo, Michael Collins and the award-winning Saving Private Ryan. In 1997, he decided to focus all of his attention on painting, and has since held two solo-exhibitions at Oisín Gallery, together with numerous showings in galleries throughout Ireland and the United Kingdom. A move to Carlow in 2003 saw measured change in both the artist's choice of subject matter and style. Today, Laurence's concern is with challenging traditional ways of interpreting and framing the landscapes of Ireland and relating the impact of increasing land development.
The Work: The smooth and fluid surfaces of Laurence's canvases are a leitmotif of his work. He is the antithesis of an expressionist painter and explains; 'I paint flatly because I want everything to be clear. I don't want to make a great show of me on the canvas. I purposefully remove any evidence of my hand as I believe showiness often gets in the way in landscape paintings. I don't want to grab an audience's attention in that way. Instead, I want the scene to be everything and for the viewer to bring something of themselves into the picture.'
As a rural artist, Laurence is a particularly unusual example. Although his paintings dramatise the skin of the land and are poetic reflections and evocations of his experiences in nature, they are at all times literal. These are modern images rooted in the present and are far removed from the romanticism represented in much of popular Irish landscape painting today. By the topographic precision of his observations, this most recent body of work provides an engaging panoramic view of the artist's epic mission to document his evolving surroundings.
Paintings in the exhibition