I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and started my art career with oil painting. As a young artist I was intrigued with the romance of painting in the tropics and found myself living in Hawaii where I eventually had several one-man art shows including showings at The Gallery of Fine Arts (Hilo) and the Unitarian Gallery (Honolulu). After winning the top prize in the Hilo art fair two years in a row, the state purchased one of my paintings to add to their collection at the Hawai‘i State Art Museum in Honolulu.
The allure of the 60s brought me to the San Francisco Bay Area where I had several one-man shows and was an invited artist at the San Francisco Art festival. During this time I founded a printmaking collective in Berkeley, East Bay Media, where I designed and printed social justice leaflets and posters, including the well-known “Bring the Monster Down” poster, that was included in the “All of Us or None: Social Justice Posters of the San Francisco Bay Area” exhibit at the Oakland Museum in 2012.
During the late 70’s, I traveled to a tiny Mexican fishing village, Yelapa, where I lived and produced a series of pastel drawings that were later exhibited in the U.S. I eventually moved to Spain where, for 12 years, I worked and exhibited in numerous galleries such as The Galeria La Cortina in Barcelona, The Galeria Internacional in Ibiza, and the Galeria Torres Begue and Galeria Kandinski in Madrid. I also worked as a free-lance illustrator and was published in several periodicals in Barcelona.
Upon my return to the United States, I became interested in art conservation and worked as a free-lance fine arts conservator for many years at San Francisco Bay Area museums including the Oakland Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. One of my many projects was the restoration of the Jade Pagoda at the Oakland Museum. I was also awarded the contract for the restoration of the San Francisco Palace of Legion of Honor Museum; including renovation of several period rooms and the conservation/installation of the Spanish ceiling.
Over the next 20 years, I focused on dry point print-making in limited and numbered editions. More recently, I have found oil pastels on paper to be my medium of choice. With a tendency toward figurative art, I am influenced by native and primitive artifacts as a connection with our past.
“The drawings of Lawler are full of pathos, without becoming caricatures. In our opinion this is the most difficult and risky of styles. His message is clear while obscure, something he achieves magically.” -- M.D. Muntane, “Artes Plasticas”, Madrid, 1978
“I.D. Lawler is a painter with roots firmly established in the most violent expressionism of Spanish art. His oils are distant siblings of Goya and Solano. They have the force of questioning our placidity.” -- Mario Antolin, “El Imparcial”, Madrid, 1980
“The American painter, Lawler exhibits an expressionism; powerful and all encompassing." -- Lina Font, Radio Barcelona, 1978