Helen O'Toole

Helen O'Toole (born 1963) is an Irish-born painter based in the United States, who is known for abstract paintings suggestive of landscape. She has exhibited throughout Ireland and the United States, in Singapore, and at venues including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Portland Art Museum, Chicago Cultural Center, Tacoma Art Museum, and Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore. Her accomplish has been featured in the journals Artforum, Arts Magazine, New Art Examiner, and Zyzzyva, as well as the Chicago Tribune, The Irish Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and National Public Radio. Art writers frequently discuss the interplay in her work between abstraction, the evocation of otherworldly light, land and space, and a loyalty to investigating meaning through a painting process akin to the processes of cultivation and excavation. Artforum critic James Yood wrote, "echoing the often inchoate quality of nature, her paint surges toward ambiguity and hints at a nice of chiaroscuro of the spirit"; curator Bonnie Laing-Malcomson suggests her "richly colored monumental paintings evoke the moody landscape of her rural Irish homeland, summoning the force of J. M. W. Turner and Mark Rothko." She has been endorsed with a Guggenheim Fellowship in Fine Arts, a Contemporary Northwest Art Award (both 2016), and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award (2013), among supplementary awards. O'Toole lives in Seattle, Washington and is Professor of Art and Chair of the Painting and Drawing Program at the University of Washington.

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