Block title

Work Samples

Work Sample 1

oil on panel

Work Sample 2

Oil on Panel

Work Sample 3

Oil on Canvas

Work Sample 4

Oil on Panel


About Karl

Baltimore City

Karl Connolly's picture
Born, Dublin, Ireland. Karl came to Baltimore in 1992 to study under Grace Hartigan at the Hoffberger School of Painting, MICA, and has been a city resident ever sinse. Karl showed with the C. Grimaldis Gallery for 16 years and currently manages his own studio practice. His work has been shown in many group and solo shows over the years at private, commercial and public spaces. Notable venues include The Contemporary, Chrysler Museum, Penn Station NYC, Walters Art Gallery. Collections include Exelon... more

Stripes - Ongoing.

Ongoing inquiry - straight stripes, diagonals to push edges, combinations etc etc - all little machines.

  • Lean 3.

    Oil on Panel, 10" x 10", 2016
  • Slide 7

    Oil on Panel, 18"x14", 2017
  • Drift

    Oil on Panel, 20"x16", 2016
  • Covfefe

    Oil on Canvas, 32" x 46", 2018
  • Lean

    Oil on Panel, 8"x8", 2014
  • Fracture

    Oil on Panel, 58" x 40", 2014
  • Lean 4

    Oil on Panel, 10"x10", 2017
  • Barn

    Oil on Panel, 16"x16", 2016
  • Fold 4

    Oil on Panel, 10"x8", 2017
  • Slide

    Oil on Canvas, 32" x 78" 2007 - 18,

Stripes 2010-2016

During this period, I began toying with conventions I played around with almost a decade earlier, even if the general concerns have remained somewhat the same regardless of form. I am fundamentally interested in how a picture "works". I think of a painting as a mechanical thing of sorts. Images make the eye and the mind move in peculiar, though specific ways. I'm a formalist at heart, always have been. I see no difference between an image that is, conventionally speaking, representational, and one which is in the same manner abstract.

An image is a mythic space regardless of form. In the simplest sense I want my images to do something, to move, to push me around. In representational images I think of this happening through the types of associative spaces we all naturally attach to semi-familiar places and objects.

In these more recent stripe paintings the relationship is much more direct and assertive. As always, I simply make the work I want to see. I still believe there is work to be done in painting...

Stripes 2010 - 16 (2)

  • Pivot

    Oil on Panel, 10"x8", 2016
  • Ghost 1

    Oil on Panel, 18" x 12", 2016
  • Autumn Walk

    Oil on Panel, 19" x 84", 2011
  • Hum 8

    Oil on Panel, 38" x 50", 2010
  • 3 Towers

    Oil on Canvas, 42" x 34", 2011
  • Gruffalo 1

    Oil on Panel, 38" x 52", 2010
  • Drop

    Oil on Canvas, 52" x 36", 2012
  • Hum 2.

    Oil on Canvas, 60" x 62", 2011
  • Six

    Oil on Canvas, 84" x 32", 2011
  • Sweep

    Oil on Panel, 14" x 16", 2012

Early Stripe Paintings 1999 - 2004

Between 1999 and 2001 I was working to explore notions of economy in painting, distilling elaborate conventions down to more elemental decisions. Initially these paintings were derived exclusively from photography as I played with retaining a concrete evocation even as the image itself disolved. In time they became stand alone formal Paintings which simply emerged through the process of the mark-making itself, with no pre-ordained order, hue or rhythm. They are beautiful paintings and develop quite literally through a conversational process.

Stories, of sorts. 2004 - 2013

The work included here represents samples of work from a 9 year period where I was playing with the natural interplay between the surface of the canvas and illusionary space it tends to contain.  As a painter I've always believed in simply making the work I want to see.

I am interested in how an image works; in how an image, though perfectly static is experienced in what might reasonably be called contemplative time. My method of practice has generally revolved around the idea of making a body of work based on current interests and aesthetic needs. Earlier work relied heavily on the ironic use of iconography and procedural conventions tied to 17th European painting. In time both my palette and my content shifted as I continued to refine my relationship with painting.

The broad interrelationships between painting and photography played a central role in my work for a number of years. I worked with a reduced palette and began to play with blur, distortion and depth of field notions. In time this led to further reductions in surface conventions resulting in a body of work which relied entirely on repeated sequences of transparent vertical marks, where the only variable was color. These Stripe paintings ran their course but as I returned to representational conventions the surface was still something I want to play on. From here I have slowly returned to procedural conventions more directly related to work I was making many years ago. Painting is a strange game. (2013).

Figure 1990 - 97

I  worked with the figure on and off for years, and as a younger painter was known primarily for large figurative images fused with Baroque conventions. No surface is as charged with the history of painting as the evocation of flesh. To paint the figure is to speak directly to history.

Landscape 1990 - 2012

I never paint from life and I never paint specific places. My landscapes have always been constructions of sorts, conjured up spaces whose form is dictated by the story I'm looking to find. I think about the landscape as a dwellable space, a thinking space. 

Objects 1992 - 2011

At times I like to simply paint an object, to focus on its surface, its form and the space it defines around itself. There is something simple and elegant in this. Realism is not the game.

Connect with Karl


Karl's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.