Erin Lawlor’s fluid, invigorated paintings span across four dimensions—space, volume, shape, and time. Applied wet on wet, waves of oil paintebb and flow, filling the canvas with undulating rhythm and inviting theviewer in for an immersive experience. Upon closer inspection, the viewer is able to notice the subtle sophistication of Lawlor’s nuanced use of color. The enfolding and unfolding ribbons of color and tone give a sense of intimacy, as if they are revealing and concealing an allusion to memory and knowledge.
The artist’s intensely physical process is a fundamental and visible part of her work. As Zoë Miller notes, “rather than capturing an instant, these paintings capture the holistic circumstances of their creation.” By placing her canvases horizontally on the studio floor and paintingfrom above, Lawlor is limited only by the length of her brush’s reach and the time it takes for the paint to dry. The result is a dynamic visual manifestation of the artist’s intuition and reflection.
Every sweeping gesture is perceivable on the canvas; bands of thick, color flow from one to the other, creating an interconnected web of motion. These unified layers of painterly folds afford a sense of the depth, which complicates separation of line from line, plane from plane, even color from color. Lawlor explains, “My lines are my forms are my colors.” More than arrangements of separate formal properties, the compositions are comprehensive, engaging, all-consuming.
With titles such as pull + ebb, shuffle, and zip, Lawlor’s paintings do not assign meaning to the works they represent. Instead, they suggest mood and hence, remain open, inviting viewers to enter active roles in their experiences and arrive to their own conclusions.