Brian Tolle’s sculptures and installations emphasize a formal and iconographic dialog with history and context. Architecture, site and technology are recurring themes. Using a variety of media, his work draws from the scale and experience of its surroundings, provoking a re- reading by cross-wiring reality and fiction. Drawing ideas from a broad-based conceptual analysis Tolle blurs the border between the contemporary and the historical. His approach involves in depth research, which is then distilled and directed creating an intuitive personal Response.
His public works include Irish Hunger Memorial, Battery Park City, NYC, NY, a one-half acre sculpture on the Hudson River. Other notable public works include:Pageant, New York, NY, 2017, Outflow, Calgary, AB, Canada, 2015, Origin, University of Houston, Houston, TX, 2014, SimnaiDirdro (Twisted Chimney),Rhymney, Wales, UK, 2010, Remembering Walter H. Dubner, Los Angeles, CA, 2010, Tempest, 2010 recently installed at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR, 2018,and Stronghold, the University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 2007
Brian Tolle’s work has been exhibited in the Whitney Biennial, Liverpool Biennial at the Tate Modern, Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland, the S.M.A.K. in Ghent, Belgium, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati; the Queens Museum of Art, New York, Havana Biennial, Cuba, the Invitational Exhibition at the American Academy of Arts and numerous other institutions. He is the recipient of awards from the Irish American Historical Society, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, and the Design Commission of the City of New York.
Currently his sculpture Eureka (2000), a 40’ trompe l’oeil tower resembling the facade of a slender Dutch canal house, can be seen at Art OMI, Ghent, NY. The sculpture does not recreate the façade of a canal house itself—rather it is the rippled reflection in the flowing waterway. While installed at Art Omi, Eureka will be at once in Ghent and New York, the location in . keeping with Tolle’s playful cross fade of history and fantasy.
Brian Tolle received his BA in Political Science from SUNY at Albany, NY, a BFA from Parsons the New School for Design, NY, and an MFA from Yale University, New Haven, CT. He is Assistant Visiting Professor and acting director of sculpture at SUNY at Albany. Brian Tolle was born in New York in 1964; he lives in New York and works in Roxbury, NY.