Brian Tolle

b. 1964 New York, NY 

Lives and works in Roxbury, NY

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.

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.

His public works include Irish Hunger Memorial (2002), Battery Park City, NYC, NY a one-half acre sculpture on the Hudson River, reshaping the landscape with a full-scale replica of a hillside Irish farm desiccated by the potato famine. Most recently he completed a public artwork in Brooklyn, NY titled Pageant, 2017 and Outflow (2015), Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Other notable public works are Simnai Dirdro (Twisted Chimney) (2010), Caerphilly, Wales, UK, Remembering Walter H. Dubner(2010), Los Angeles, CA., and Stronghold (2007), University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

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.

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.

Brian Tolle was born in New York in 1964; he now lives and works in New York City.


1992-94      Yale University School of Art, MFA

1988-92      Parsons School of Design, BFA

1982-86      SUNY at Albany, Political Science, BA



Bent, C24 Gallery, New York, NY


POTUS, CRG Gallery, New York, NY


Bordering Utopia Sculptures by Brian Tolle, University Art Museum University of                Albany, Albany, NY


Commander in Chief, CRG Gallery, New York, NY


Levittown, CRG Gallery, New York, NY


Gadget (serial exhibition), Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH

Die or Join, ICA, Philadelphia, PA


For the Gentle Wind Doth Move Silently Invisibly, Cleveland Public Art, Mall B,                     Cleveland, OH


Llano del Rio, Shoshana Wayne Gallery, CA


Llano del Rio, Parsons School of Design, New York, NY


Schmidt Contemporary Art, St. Louis, MO

Common Consent, Basilico Fine Arts, New York, NY


Overmounted Interior, Basilico Fine Arts, New York, NY



3rd Western China International Art Biennale, Inner Mongolia Art Museum, Hohhot,      Inner Mongolia, China


In/Dwelling, Rowan University Art Gallery, Glassboro, NJ


HOMELAND [IN]SECURITY: VANISHING DREAMS, Dorsky Gallery Curatorial                        Programs, Long Island City, NY


Inaugural Exhibition, The Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH


2nd Western China International Bienniale, Tian Ye Art Museum


On and Off the Wall: Seven Sculptors, CRG Gallery, New York, NY

Far Away, near By, Addressing Suburbia, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS


Parsons Pink Slips: Selected Work by the Department of Fine Arts Adjunct Faculty,              George Adams Gallery, New York, NY

Chelsea visits Havana, Tenth Havana Biennial, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, Cuba(cat.)

Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY


Ours: Democracy in the Age of Branding, The Sheila C. Johnson Design Center,                  Parsons The New School for Design, New York, NY

Mildred’s Lane, Alexander Gray Associates Gallery, New York, NY


Mr. President, University Art Museum, University at SUNY Albany, Albany, NY

40 Years of Public Art, The Arsenal Gallery, Central Park, New York, NY (cat.)


THE BONG SHOW or This Is Not a Pipe, Leslie Tonkanow Gallery, New York, NY

Liverpool Biennial International 06, Liverpool, United Kingdom(cat.)

Collection/Selection, Esso Gallery and Books, New York, NY


Down the Garden Path: The Artist’s Garden After Modernism, Queens Museum of                Art, Queens, NY (cat.)

Li·brar·y, Contermporary Art Galleries at University of Connecticut, Stamford, CT


The Voting Booth Project, Parsons School of Design, New York, NY

Lustwarande 04: Disorientation By Beauty, De Oude Warande, Tilburg, Netherlands (cat.)

Extinct Extant: Art in the Environment II, part of The Big Nothing, The Schuylkill Center, Philadelphia, PA


Absence into Presence: The Art, Architecture and Design of Remembrance,                        Aronson Galleries, Parsons School of Design, New York, NY

Metrospective, New York City Hall Park, New York, NY

Pursuit of Happiness, Kunsthalle Bern, Bern, Switzerland (cat.)

Eire | Land, McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA (cat.) 


I Bienal Ceará América, De ponta-cabeça, Bienal de Arte Contemporânea das                    Americas, Fortaleza-Ceará, Brazil (cat.)

The Presidential Suite, Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor, NY

Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (cat.)

Never Never Land, Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts, Camden, NJ

Pictures, Patents, Monkeys, and More… On Collecting, guest curated by Ingrid Shaffner for Independent Curators International (traveling), Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA (cat.)


Alumni Choice: An Exhibition of Works on Paper, Yale School of Art, New Haven,                  CT(cat.)

Sonsbeek 9: LocusFocus, Sonsbeek, Arnhem, Netherlands (cat.)

Crossing the Line, Queens Museum of Art, Queens, NY (cat.)

Never Never Land, Contemporary Art Center, Tampa, FL

Pictures, Patents, Monkeys, and More… On Collecting, guest curated by Ingrid Shaffner for Independent Curators International (traveling), Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA (cat.)


Over the Edges: The Corners of Ghent, a part of the Charles V 1500-2000 Project,              organized by Jan Hoet for the Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent,                    Belgium (cat.)

Innuendo, Dee Glasoe, New York, NY

Never Never Land, University Galleries at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL (traveling)


Comfort Zone: Furniture by Artists, curated by Amy Wolf, organized by the Public Art          Fund, Paine Webber Art Gallery, New York

Free Coke, GreeneNaftali Inc., New York

Holding Court, Entwistle, London, England


Genius loci, Kunsthalle, Bern, Switzerland (cat.)

Young Americans 2, The Saatchi Collection, London, England (cat.)

Here: Artists’ Interventions at the Aldrich Museum, The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, CT

Light on the New Millennium, Pusan Metropolitan Art Museum, Busan, Korea


projects.doc: Selections from the Robert J. Schiffler Collection and Archive, Aronoff            Center for the Arts, Cincinnati, OH

9 to 5 @ MetroTech: New Commissions for the Commons, sponsored by Public Art Fund, MetroTech Center, Brooklyn, NY

Tableaux, curated by Bonnie Clearwater, Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL and The Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, TX

AJAR, curated by Atle Gerhardsen, Galleri F15, Moss, Norway (cat.)

Heaven-Private View: Public View, curated by Joshua Decter, P.S.1, Long Island City, NY


Intermission, curated by Matthew Ritchie and Toland Grinnell, part of “Can We Talk:        A Forum on Dialogue,” Basilico Fine Arts, New York

Adicere Animos, la Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea e Pinacoteca Nazionale, Cesena, Italy (cat.)

Verrückt, Museum der Stadt, Arlosen, Germany (cat.)

Handmade/Readymades, Bertha & Karl Leubdorf Art Gallery, Hunter College, New York (cat.)


Verrückt, Schloss Agathenburg, Agatheburg, Germany (cat.)

Summer Fling, Basilico Fine Arts, New York

Customized Terror, Artist’s Space, New York (cat.)

Möbius Strip, Basilico Fine Art, New York (cat.)


The Shape of Time, Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT


City of New York, NY 

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia, PA

City of Calgary, Calgary, AB, CA 

University of Houston, Houston, TX

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, NZ

Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH

Collins Park, City of Miami Beach, Miami Beach, FL

Public Art Wales, Rhymney, Wales, UK

Los Cerritos Center, Cerritos, CA

Oppenheimer Collection at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS

Franklin County Courthouse, Columbus, OH

Rennie Collection, Vancouver, BC, CA

Wieland Collection, Atlanta, GA

University of Washington, Seattle, WA

New School University, New York, NY

Cleveland Public Art, Cleveland, OH

Irish Hunger Memorial, Battery Park City, NY        

Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum, New York, NY

Queens Museum of Art, Queens, NY

S.M.A.K. (Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art), Gent, Belgium

Public Art Fund, New York, NY

GSA, Federal Courthouse, Jackson, MI, proposal


The Art Commission of the City of New York Award for Excellence in Design
Irish American Historical Society
Irish American Heritage Committee - Irishman of the Year
Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award