The bad social conditions of the Carroll family in the 1950’s in Australia, made the parents of Lawrence Carroll decide to emigrate to the United States of America in 1958. In the hope to get a better life abroad, they settled down in Santa Monica, California. Two years later they bought a house and moved to Los Angeles.
In the 1970’s Lawrence Carroll went to the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. It is in June 1984, at the age of 34 and after he had moved to New York with his own wife and children, that he began his artistic career.
Since 1984 Lawrence Carroll has developed a consistent body of very personal, specific works, mostly called White Paintings. These paintings have a more sculptural aspect than most paintings do. We talk about big canvases, on which he pasted or stapled his own graphics and which he finally covered with white paint, not pure white, because of the soft green, yellow and pink accents. He thus achieved a ‘white canvas’ on which he could restart painting again. His works are re-mades, in which the recycling of materials and a worn-out character are pronounced.
For Carroll, his paintings are like organisms, they are in no way dead objects. It is the evolution each artwork is going through that is at the core of his oeuvre, not the perfectly finished result of the work. Witnesses of these processes are the cracks, folds and other ‘injuries’ that we observe at the uneven surfaces of the works.
The White Paintings cover a wide range of different types of Paintings. There is a difference between the Cut Paintings, paintings from which a piece of canvas is cut and that is set onto the painting again afterwards, or Shadow Paintings, paintings made of a lot of little pieces of canvas, and Stacked Paintings, an accumulation of painted canvas and wood. Calendar Paintings are paintings that are attached to the wall in a way that resembles the pages of a book; Sleeping Paintings are big paintings composed of different pieces of canvas and in which a niche is cut out, covered with a painted piece of cloth. And finally there are the Slip Paintings being works that consist of two paintings, attached to each other like pages of a book, and the box where the work fits in.