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 or visit 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.


Career History:

1968        Born in Bray, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

1986        Solo Exhibition, Bank of Ireland, Bray, Co. Wicklow

1987        Resident of United States of America for one year

1988        Resident of South Africa for one year

                Member of National Group Show

                Exhibited in five cities as featured member

1990        Resident of United States of America for five years

                Member of California Artists’ Guild

                Group showings in California and Arizona

1995        Returned to Ireland

                Solo Exhibition, Escape Gallery, Bray Co. Wicklow

1997        Solo Exhibition, Bobby Dawson Gallery, Dun Laoghaire

1998        Solo Exhibition, Signal Art Gallery, Bray Co. Wicklow

2000        Corporate works commission, Philips Electronics Dublin

2001        Solo Exhibition, Grafton Gallery, Dublin

                Solo Exhibition, Cudos Gallery, Co. Wicklow

2002        Camileen Calerton Gallery, Columbia, South America

                Solo Exhibition, Cudos Gallery, Co. Wicklow



2003        Solo Exhibition, Oisín Gallery, Dublin

                Invited Artist, Sardinia Arts Festival, awarded 2nd prize,

                works accepted into permanent collection

                Wexford Opera Festival

2004        Group Exhibition, Tramway Gallery, Blessington, Co. Wicklow

                Wexford Opera Festival

2005        Solo Exhibition, Oisín Gallery, Dublin

                Group Exhibition, Barbara Stanley Gallery, UK

                Solo Exhibition, Bank of Ireland, Kilkenny Fine Arts Festival

                Group Exhibition, Irish Fine Arts Gallery, Kiliney, Co. Dublin

                Wexford Opera Festival

                Art Ireland, RDS, Dublin

2006        Group Exhibition, Barbara Stanley Gallery

                Group Exhibition, Gormleys Fine Art, Northern Ireland

                Group Exhibition with ArtCore, Kilkenny Arts Festival

                Wexford Opera Festival

                Art Ireland, RDS, Dublin

                Christmas Exhibition, Oisín Gallery, Dublin


Paintings in the exhibition