LAWRENCE CARROLL

1954 – 2019

In an art world that I often don’t understand and at times don’t like very much, meeting Lawrence and Lucy last year in Bolsena on a gorgeous clear autumn day reminded me why we are involved in this unlikely liaison.

When we first set foot in Lawrence’s viewing room, a raw and fundamental room adjacent to his work space, cleared so that he could sit quietly and see, I turned to Emma who was quietly crying as she looked at the vast painting in front of us. What kinds of objects illicit such responses? Lawrence Carroll paintings it seems.

Seldom, if ever have I felt such instant joy and a sense of longing with paintings and seldom have I have enjoyed sitting with new friends as Emma and were to do with Lawrence and Lucy. 

After our lengthy, conversation filled and occasionally teary studio visit we re-joined Lucy to sit in a beautiful and discreet restaurant somewhere between Bolsena and Orvietto, planning their trip to Australia and New Zealand, talking about painting, writing, making books, about our previous lives as runners, about their plans for New York, about children and all the while recognising that we had both been fortunate to have found a kindred spirit in each other.

I cannot imagine the immeasurable sadness that Lucy must feel as their love and intimacy was so happily evident over those two days. In total, the time Emma and I spent in their company was measured in just hours, but we continued to write to each other as if we had been friends for a life time. 

Earlier this year we showed a single painting at Art Basel Hong Kong. Amidst all the chaos and anxiety of such an event there was no other work I wanted to see installed so eagerly. Lawrence’s small painting, an exquisite votive image was a still point in that relentless and at times, silly turning world. I felt reassured by its presence, reminded of my duty to speak with care and conviction about the work – consideration that aimed to match that with which it was made…and because it was a Lawrence Carroll painting, with a little poetry.

Emma and I feel so terribly sad today. We had started a friendship with Lawrence and Lucy that immediately felt sustaining and uplifting. Our hearts go out to Lucy and all of Lawrence’s family.