Angell Gallery, Toronto
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach… — Henry David Thoreau
Those familiar with the history of landscape painting will see in Toronto-based Steve Driscoll’s work the influence of North American and European Transcendentalism. This 19th Century movement consisted of philosophers, poets and painters — such as Immanuel Kant, Henry David Thoreau, artists of the American Hudson River School (including Thomas Cole and Edwin Church) and, later, Canada’s Tom Thomson and the painters that made up the Group of Seven, such as Lawren Harris. These artists and thinkers saw an inherent goodness in humankind and a transformative spirituality in nature, and advocated simple living and self-reliance.
Although Driscoll draws inspiration from this long tradition of landscape painting, his work is thoroughly contemporary. Using the unique, translucent medium of urethane mixed with oil pigments, Driscoll’s paintings convey the magic and wonder of the natural world to 21st Century audiences. However, his impressionistic views of nature also serve as a reminder that the environment is becoming increasingly unnatural and precarious. As a supporter of water conservation organizations and an avid outdoorsman, Driscoll reminds viewers that human survival depends upon the careful stewardship of the earth’s natural resources, and that everything man-made will ultimately return to nature.
Driscoll has shown his paintings extensively across Canada, including a significant survey of work at the prestigious McMichael Canadian Art Collection during the spring and summer of 2017. His work has been featured in publications such as The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star and Canadian Art, and can be found in the collections of TD Bank, the Bank of Montreal and several other significant corporate collections.