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Stephen Lawlor

The Sublime Divine

1 Dec 2022 - 27 Jan 2023

Oliver Sears Gallery is pleased to present of an exhibition of paintings by Dublin born artist, Stephen Lawlor.

Lawlor continues with his deep exploration of famous Old Master works. The artist describes these paintings as ‘loosely assembled’ from a decades’ long, informal analysis of predominantly biblical Old Master paintings from between the 14th and 19th centuries.

The lens through which these are focused is bent and fragmented. They depict an ancient vision of the natural world, inhabited with a motley cast of characters whose forms merge with their environment leaving only a sense of their presence. These are hauntingly refined, eclectic, and densely atmospheric echoes from the history of western painting. By revisiting these works through his contemporary practice, Lawlor creates entirely new images which often only bear a minimal resemblance to the original. Usually made on a small format, they conjure an ancient world, as if a window has been opened in time. The viewer sees the past through the contemporary lens of a modern-day painter.

A keen student of art history, Lawlor’s paintings are layered physically and emotionally, replete with nuanced references and subtle and obscure influences.


Stephen Lawlor was born in Dublin in 1958. He studied at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. He lectured for many years in printmaking and life drawing at DLCAD Dublin. He was awarded print prizes at the RHA, in the USA and in Spain. He participated in the 1st International Print Biennial, Lingshi China 2012 and 7th International Biennial Douro Portugal 2014. He was elected an associate member of the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers (RE) in London in 2016, and was a founding member of the International Academic Printmaking Alliance (IAPA) at the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing, 2016. He was elected a member of Aosdána in 2018. His paintings and prints are included in many public, private and corporate collections including the Ashmolean Museum Oxford, AIB, Axa Insurance Plc, Butler Gallery, Kilkenny, Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, Citibank Plc, Douro Museum, Portugal, DCU, Geneseo State University, New York, Glen Dimplex, Ireland, National Gallery of Ireland, University of Limerick, OPW, Smurfit Plc, UCD, Biblioteca de Catalunya and the Central Academy of Fine Arts Beijing. 






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