Conor Walton


Technique : Peinture

La figure humaine : Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad.
– Salvador Dali

A drawing is an autobiographical record of one’s discovery of an event – either seen, remembered or imagined. A ‘finished’ work is an attempt to construct an event in itself.
– John Berger

Drawing has always been important to me. The foundations of my artistry were laid in my childhood and teenage years, most of which were spent (as I remember it) drawing: from imagination, copying comic books and old-master drawings, and working directly from nature. In secondary school I held portrait sessions at the back of French class, while our teacher screamed “Messieurs! Attention s’il vous plaît!” rather ineffectually. This may partly explain and (I hope) excuse my dreadful French.

Most of the drawings in this exhibition derive from my Thursday life-drawing sessions. For the last fifteen years I’ve been part of a group of Irish artists that get together each Thursday to renew their drawing skills, sharing the cost of a live model.

Working communally in this way results in work with a particular ethic and aesthetic. When I paint I usually work alone in my studio, where I exercise, as far as I can, complete control over every aspect of the work in order to achieve my aims, the chief among these being a personal significance—a meaning. But when I join my friends to draw the model, I have, by and large, to accept what I find: a pose of limited duration, a particular light, a space to work in, a collective mood. What emerges is less controlled, perhaps less deliberate than most of my studio work, but often more spontaneous, more natural. Accepting what is before me as a fait accompli, I seek to allow my drawings manifest the same quality; to have the authority of simple truthfulness, and the inevitability of fact.

Working without colour, without photographic aids and with a limited time to complete the work pushes me to explore the limits of my means. I only have line and tone, but there are so many different kinds of lines! So many different weights and vibrations of tone! The essence of drawing is abbreviated description of form. But I’ve only discovered how to abbreviate—what I can get away with—by improvising; trying to get the whole down with what, on the face of it, are completely inadequate means. This process of improvised decision and discovery is deeply personal. It is the crucible from which an artist’s unique calligraphy and sense of style emerges in essence. That is why artists often value drawings more than ‘finished’ works. The whole drawing becomes a sort of improvised, unrepeatable performance. It expresses, above all, the simple joy of looking and the blissful immediacy of the moment.

Lieu d’exposition :

30 rue Cardinet – PARIS | Voir la carte »


Conor Walton est né à Dublin (Irlande) en 1970. En 1993 il est diplômé d’un Bachelor en Histoire de l’art et Beaux-arts, NCAD Dublin. Deux ans plus tard, en 1995, il part en Angleterre où il obtient son master en Histoire et Théorie de l’art à l’université d’Essex. Quelques temps après avoir eu son diplôme, Conor décide d’étudier la peinture et les techniques des anciens maîtres à Florence (en Italie) avec Charles H.Cecil.
Aujourd’hui, Conor Walton vit et travaille à Wicklow avec Jane Carney et ses trois enfants, Daniel, Ciaran and Caoimhe.

Portrait Ireland 2005 Major Award, Newtownbarry House Gallery (2005)
Fourth Prize, BP Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery, London (2005)
Third Prize `Lorenzo Il Magnifico’ for Painting, Florence Biennale (1999)
Don Niccolo D’Ardia Caracciolo RHA Medal
Keating McLoughlin Medal, awarded by the ESB
Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, Montreal, Canada, Scholarship (1994)
Royal Dublin Society Taylor Art Bequest, First Prize (1993)

Solo Exhibitions
2015 Drawings, Galerie L’Oeil du Prince, Paris, France (forthcoming).
Conor Walton, CK Contemporary,
San Francisco, USA (forthcoming). 2013 Vanitas, Peppercanister Gallery, Dublin.
Elements, Beaux Arts Bath, UK.
2012 Allegories of Painting, Dunamaise Arts
Centre, Portlaoise, Ireland. Allegories of Painting, Galleri PAN, Oslo, Norway.
2011 Allegories of Painting, Galleri Nexus, Tinglev, Denmark.
2010 New Paintings, Beaux Arts Bath, UK. 2009 Landscape and Still Life,
Jorgensen Fine Art, Dublin, Ireland. 2006 Philosophical Paintings,
Jorgensen Fine Art.
2003 New Work, Jorgensen Fine Art.
2003 Shelter Portraits, Jorgensen Fine Art. 1999 Conor Walton, Jorgensen Fine Art.

Selected Group Exhibitions
2014 Dublin Biennial 2014, CHQ Building, Dublin.
Beaux Arts Bath @ The Affordable Art Fair, London (also ’11, ‘12’ 13).
RHA Annual Exhibition, RHA Gallagher Gallery, Dublin (also ’97, ’98, ’01, ’04,’05,’07, ’08, ’11, ’12 & ‘13). Objects of Beauty, CK Contemporary, San Francisco USA.
Winter Exhibition, The Biscuit Factory,
Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. 2013 Group Exhibition,
Galerie L’Oeil du Prince, Paris, France. The Boyle Arts Festival, Ireland (also ’04, ’05, ’09, ’10, ‘11).
Janus, Peppercannister Gallery, Dublin
2012 Travelling Exhibition, Galleri PAN, Geilo & Stavanger, Norway.
Group Exhibition, Windsor Fine Art, New Orleans, USA.
Dublin Biennial 2012,
Point Village, Dublin.
Group Exhibition, CK Contemporary, San Francisco, USA.
Apokalips, Grattacielo Pirelli, Milan, Italy. Postcards from a Small Island, Beaux Arts Bath, Avon, UK.
12 X 4, Gormleys, Belfast.
CK Contemporary @ Red Dot Art Fair, Miami USA.
2011 La Situazione, Spazio Giuccardini, Milan, Italy.
Nude – Blatant Exhibitionism,
Kenny Gallery, Galway.
Level, Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise (also 2010).
Life Room, Bourn Vincent Gallery, University College Limerick.
2010 The Myth of the True, Palazzo Litta, Milan, Italy.
The Guardians of the Spirit, Castello di San Leo, Italy.
30th Anniversary Exhibition, Beaux Arts Bath, Avon, UK.
Kitch Biennale 2010, Palazzo Cini Gallery, Venice, Italy.
Julesalong, Galleri PAN, Oslo, Norway. Christmas Exhibition, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh, UK (also 2009).
2009 Best of BP Portrait Painters,
The A Gallery, London.
Mick O’Dea Selects, Lavit Gallery, Cork. CASe, Lavit Gallery, Cork (also 2008). Summer Exhibition, Newtownbarry House Gallery, Wexford (also 2008).
Christmas Exhibition, Beaux Arts Bath,
Avon, UK (also 2008).
2008 Portal to Dreams, Agora Gallery,
New York, USA.
Kitch Biennale 2008, Pasinger Fabrik, Munich, Germany.
Group Exhibitions, Jorgensen Fine Art (also ’97, ’98, ’99,’00,’01,’02, ’03,’04, ’05, ’07).
2007 Artists of Fame and Promise, Beaux Arts Bath, Avon, UK.
New Realism, The Scottish Gallery,
Edinburgh, UK.
2006 Highlights of the Taylor Art Prize, 1878 – 2005, National Gallery of Ireland.
Mirror Image, Artonomy, Cornwall, UK. 2005 Portrait Ireland 2005, Newtownbarry
House Gallery, Wexford.
BP Portrait Award 2005, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK.
The Irish Show, Wykeham Gallery, Hampshire, UK.
2004 RHA Banquet Show, RHA Gallagher Gallery, Dublin (also 1997).
Additions 2004, National Self Portrait
Collection, University of Limerick. 1999 Florence Biennale, Fortezza da Basso,
Firenze, Italy.
1996 NCAD Drawing 250, RHA Gallagher
Gallery, Dublin.
Oireachtas Exhibition, Guinness Hops Store, Dublin (also 1994).
1993 Taylor Exhibition, RDS, Dublin. NCAD Degree Show, RHA Gallagher Gallery, Dublin.
Public Collections
Archdiocese of Dublin, the Boyle Civic Collection, Club na MuinteoirÄ, Dublin Dental Hospital,
the Electricity Supply Board, the Humanist Association of Ireland, the Irish Armed Forces, Maynooth College, the National Library of Ireland, the National Self-Portrait Collection, the Northern Ireland Assembly, the Office of Public Works,
An Post, The Royal Dublin Society, St Patrick’s Cathedral Dublin, St Patrick’s College Cavan, Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin
Conor’s commissioned portraits can be found in many public and private collections, and his work has featured on book covers and postage stamps in Ireland and abroad.
Select Bibliography
Contemplating Higher Things
Interview with John Seed, Huffington Post (USA edition), 1 September 2014.
Access to Incandescence, Interview with Andres Orlowski, Combustus Magazine, 23 May 2014.
Niall MacMonagle, Black Hole, Sunday Independent, 24 November 2013.
« This is a great time to be a cultural pessimist »
Interview with Conor Walton, Penduline Press, 15 June 2013.
Jane Humphries, Elements, Irish Arts Review, Winter edition 2012/13.
Conor Walton, Under Wraps,
Artists & Illustrators, London, October 2012.
Conor Walton, Paintologically Speaking, The Painting Imperative, Autumn edition 2012 Sarah E. Fensom, Contemporary Still Life,
Art & Antiques Magazine, New York, October 2011.
Lise-Lotte Blom, Conor Walton – en fascinerende irsk maler, Kunstavisen, 21 October 2011 (Danish).
Kjeld Thomsen, Alt und Neu, Neu Verpackt: Irischer KÇnstler in der Uker Galerie, Der Nordschleswiger, 1 October 2011 (German).
Conor Walton, Happy Days,
The Irish Independent, 2 December 2010
Paolo Lesino, Lo Spirito del Guardiano,
‘I Guardiani dello Spirito’, Milan, 2010 (Italian).
Barry Egan, ‘I’d rather be up a mountain than in the museums’, Sunday Independent, 8 March 2009.
Martin Murphy, Irish Artist Reinvigorates Vanitas Genre, Epoch Times, New York, 26 February 2009.
Gemma Tipton, ‘Surfaces and Truths’, catalogue essay for Conor Walton: Landscape and Still Life, Jorgensen Fine Art 2009
Aidan Dunne, Best to Ease off on the Symbolism, Irish Times, 28 June 2006.
Sherna Noah, A Monkey Does the Business in Prized Portrait Gallery, Sunday Independent, 1 May 2005.
Dalya Alberge, Gorilla Apes Sitters on Art Shortlist, London Times, 30 April 2005.
Declan McCormack, Kerry Lovers and a Gung- ho Pagan, Sunday Independent, 13 April 2003.
Bruce Arnold, ‘Conor Walton’, New European Artists, ed. E. Lucie Smith, Amsterdam, 2001.
Aidan Dunne, Charts for a Way Forward, Irish Times, 7 April 1999.
Declan McCormack, Solitary Enshrinement, Sunday Independent, 28 March 1999.
Mary O’Sullivan, The Italian Connection, Sunday Independent, 29 November 1998.

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