Built up gradually, layer after layer, Lawlor’s paintings slowly reveal the trace of individual old master works, paintings that for the artist are the genesis of his process. Most of the works are drawn from images, in whole or in part, of the 16th Century trilogy of Venetian masters: Titian, Veronese and Tintoretto. The artist describes painting as "a fundamentally satisfying occupation that is never anything else but painfully difficult".
Often the image that provides meaning is achieved only when a layer of paint is removed in an area. There is certainly an element of archaeology to the artist’s practice. Broadly speaking, the artist is searching for contemporary meaning in the works of old master paintings that have, over many years, imbedded themselves in his visual lexicon. The exhibition comprises ten works, eight of which are small scale, but the large scale ‘Canopy’ succeeds in drawing the viewer into a 500-year-old landscape from a 21st century position. With Remnants, Stephen Lawlor has added an important body of new work to a career that, for over thirty years, seeks to represent currency through detailed study of the past.