Kevin O'Toole

Detail from:


walnut & silver leaf

24" x 24" x 2.5"

Artist's Statement

Over the past thirty years I have developed an increasingly spare vocabulary of forms. At one time more organic, my pieces have gradually become more geometric through the influence of both process and choice of material. My earliest works were designed as clay models and then scaled up into laminated hardwood, kiln dried boards glued together to create a stable mass. Wood was initially a choice of convenience, a permanent material, readily available and easily worked with common tools. As I moved towards more regular solids I eliminated the clay models and began to design pieces on a graph pad. This process of working with a grid has influenced the shapes, as has the continued use of dimensional hardwood lumber. Although I have never considered myself a “woodworker”, I now rarely think in terms of another material.

My work has always been about simple, subtle curves, shifting planes and how light reveals them. Free standing pieces are most often about transitions from one shape to another. The use of a contrasting material, most often silver leaf or paint, not only plays off the sensuous quality of the wood and adds a secondary design element but also emphasizes the play of light across the surface. While not strictly serial, my pieces tend to evolve one out of the other. One piece will often generate ideas for other variations. Ultimately, the decision of which pieces work aesthetically and which do not is intuitive. Scale and proportion are both very important. Although formal and abstract in design, my pieces are intended to be appreciated on a more intimate level as objects we encounter on a very human scale.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Kevin O'Toole graduated with a MFA from The Pennsylvania State University, and a BFA from Cornell University after studying at the Tyler School of Art in Rome. Kevin's works have been exhibited widely, and can be found in public and private collections around the country.


cherry & copper leaf

24" x 36" x 3.75"



walnut & silver leaf

24" x 24" x 2.5"



maple & enamel

12" x 18" x 2"


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