AXOM Gallery is pleased to announce our new exhibition, “The Visionary works of Cathal Brendan O’Toole”. Cathal O’Toole was a painter, printmaker and teacher born in Dublin, Ireland on September 2, 1904. Trained as a sign painter, O’Toole then decided to study fine art at the Glasgow School of Art.
In 1925, he moved to New York where he became a fairly successful commercial artist, but lost everything in the crash of 1929. He decided to return to his study of art for the next six years in New York, where he studied at the Art Students League and at the National Academy of Design School under Kroll, Neilson, Olinsky and Covey. He received two Tiffany Foundation fellowships and, in 1934, he received a $1500.00 Pulitzer award which he used to help fund three years in the British Isles, France, and Switzerland. While in Paris, he studied painting with Andre Lhote and printmaking at Atelier 17 with Stanley William Hayter.
O’Toole returned to the U.S. in 1938 and began a teaching career. He taught drawing and painting at Fitch Junior College (1938-1941), lectured on drawing at Columbia University (1948-1949), and then taught art and became chairman of the art department at Wilkes College (now Wilkes University) in Pennsylvania (1950-1959). He later moved to Rochester, New York where he worked as an art director in television until his retirement in 1971.
O’Toole was a member of the Salmagundi Club in New York City and the Society of American Etchers. He became an associate of the National Academy of Design in 1939 and was elected a full Academician in 1944. He received an Arts and Letters Award in Art in 1941 from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. O’Toole was also a founding member of the Rockland Foundation (now the Rockland Center for the Arts) in Nyack, New York. His work is represented in the collections of the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art and the National Academy Museum.
O’Toole’s works are in many private collections, and he has exhibited extensively, both in the U.S. and abroad, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Princeton University Museum, and the National Academy of Design, The Art institute of Chicago and the Corcoran Gallery in Washington D.C.
While much of O’Toole’s work ranges from a considerable volume of work that identifies with The early expressionists and abstract expressionists. He also produced a number of figurative works and landscapes that were sympathetic to both twentieth century realism and regionalism. He was actively painting well into the 1980’s. Cathal O’Toole died on April 16, 1991, in Rochester, New York. His wife, Delores is still alive and is presently in nursing home care. As part of their effort to take care of Delores, her family decided to liquidate the artwork in O’Toole’s estate in their continue efforts to raise money to cover costs. This brings to the collectors and art lovers in Rochester an opportunity to purchase some significant works of art at very reasonable prices.
This exhibit will feature a cross-section of works from his long career, with an emphasis on his abstract expressionist works.