Connect with us
Stephen Lawlor (centre) with Author John Banville and Jill Cousins, Director at the Hunt Museum at the official opening of Stephen Lawlor's retrospective exhibition "A Liminal State"at the Hunt Museum, Limerick. Picture: Eamon Ward  Stephen Lawlor (centre) with Author John Banville and Jill Cousins, Director at the Hunt Museum at the official opening of Stephen Lawlor's retrospective exhibition "A Liminal State"at the Hunt Museum, Limerick. Picture: Eamon Ward 

art

In a Liminal State: Retrospective of Artist Stephen Lawlor Runs until July 3 at Hunt Museum

Published

on

Stephen Lawlor (centre) with Author John Banville and Jill Cousins, Director at the Hunt Museum at the official opening of Stephen Lawlor’s retrospective exhibition “A Liminal State”at the Hunt Museum, Limerick. Picture: Eamon Ward 

Booker Prize Author John Banville Opens New Exhibition 

Author John Banville with Artist Stephen Lawlor. Picture: Eamon Ward
Author John Banville with Artist Stephen Lawlor. Picture: Eamon Ward

Author John Banville was in Limerick to support the launch of In A Liminal State, a retrospective exhibition displaying the work of painter and master printer Stephen Lawlor at the Hunt Museum.  Running until Sunday, July 3, the exhibition explores many of the artworks featured in the newly published Gandon Publication “Profile 29: Stephen Lawlor”.  

Born in Dublin in 1958, Stephen has exhibited and worked regularly in Sweden, Belgium and China. His figurative images can border on abstraction but there is always a strong connection with the history of European painting. His use of light and his focus on the past makes his work instantly recognisable. Images of women started to appear in his work after an uncanny encounter in 2004. His recent paintings have been described as ‘like Dutch Master on acid’ and can seem far removed from the spectral Geisha or Royal figures in his etchings, encased in the liquid black of their inky spaces.

In his introduction to Profile #29, author John Banville, says “Considering the paintings and prints of Stephen Lawlor, I am struck by how apposite is that notion of an art that makes visible the invisible space of air … That world exists, in these works, in a liminal state, oddly resistant to the eye’s grasp and yet wholly palpable, wholly there. Gazing into one of his canvases you find yourself being drawn deep and deeper into a landscape – or a ‘landscape’ – sumptuous yet uncertain, that is at once familiar and ineffably mysterious. It is a magical, slightly eerie sensation; you seem astray in a forest, a garden, a numinously shadowed cityscape, under a turbulent gold-and-umber sky that seems more solid, more grounded, than the ground you tread on.”

Speaking about the exhibition, Jill Cousins, Director at the Hunt Museum, said “In a Liminal State is a fascinating study of the influences on Stephen’s work. The exhibition contains gems from his early period as well as more current work, many of which give you feelings of tension and unease. You are in an uncertain place or space.”

Stephen Lawlor said, “From the mid 1980’s, I focused on multi-plate etching and I started painting in 1990. I have worked from the landscape and from the human figure, but I always return to exploring the lexicon of European painting and I am interested in incorporating the compositional structure, colour and light from classical antiquity.

Iconography by artists such as Titian, Veronese, Rubens and Van Eyck has been at the heart of my practice since I began in 1983. After an encounter in 2004, I went through a radical change of perspective which shifted my focus to include the portraits of powerful women from those same centuries. I surround myself with these women from Tudor and Medici periods, the Royal Courts of Europe and the Floating World to try to reach back into the haze and absorb their emotional presence.

The scenes and characters I explore inhabit our collective consciousness and, in recent years, I have started looking into images from cinema in the same way.”

Several prints and paintings by Stephen Lawlor are available for purchase ranging from €160 to €9,000 as well as copies of the Profile #29.

 For more information on Stephen Lawlor go HERE

For more stories on art go HERE

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.

THE LEADER COLUMN

Archive

X