This last week in London was hot and dry when we visited Erin’s Fish Island studio to see her newest paintings. Despite the warm summer light, Lawlor’s studio retains an atmosphere and temperature that feels driven more by the meteorological drama that inhabits her paintings and envelops us, rather than the variability of England’s summer. More than ever her paintings transcend the limitations of “process”. Though she places us well inside the anatomy of her gesture, making us hyper-aware of her action, the brushes pressure and the pigments behaviour, there is an allegorical potential in the accumulation of twists and turns. Each gesture seems to fold upon another with varying degrees of ferment, weaving and deepening the space, conserving the rhythm and energy that are central to our involvement with each painting.

By placing us so near to this tumult, the paintings arouse and heighten our sensitivity, quickening our pulse with their coquetry with Romanticism, needling us with their wry dalliance with Pop, but ultimately establishing their own ground. In front of Lawlor’s paintings we are made aware of what only painting can do – gather emotion and history, sensuality and soul and broadcast a newer experience of it all.

Erin has had solo presentations at the Daugavpils Mark Rothko Centre in Latvia and the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Muesum in Copenhagen. This will be her first exhibition in Auckland following very successful presentations in Sydney, Madrid and Paris earlier this year.

– Andrew Jensen