Toby Lunn (b. 1972) was born on New Providence, The Bahamas. He completed high school at Queen’s College and received an associate degree in art from the College of The Bahamas. He completed a ﬁne arts degree in painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Over the years, Lunn’s artwork has revolved around loose realist styles as well as more fluid abstract painting.
“I would describe my body of work as scattered. Throughout university, I was always experimenting with different media and techniques, jumping around with different imagery. Lately my work has become softer and earthy. Nature inspires. In my current paintings, I am feeling the earth, using warm tones and light abstract shades. My current body of work is ‘abstract earth’. It’s certainly different for the Bahamian context.
“I would prefer to think on a universal level and I want my art to do the same. I think Bahamian art is still growing. I would like to see more people talking risks within art and just keep on developing with The National Art Gallery.”
Abstract expressionism was an American post–World War II art movement. It was the ﬁrst speciﬁcally American movement to achieve worldwide inﬂuence and put New York City at the center of the western art world, a role formerly ﬁlled by Paris. The term “abstract expressionism” was applied to American art in 1946 by the art critic Robert Coates, it had been ﬁrst used in Germany in 1919 in the magazine Der Sturm, regarding German expressionism. In the USA, Alfred Barr was the ﬁrst to use this term in 1929 in relation to works by Wassily Kandinsky.
The movement’s name is derived from the combination of the emotional intensity and self-denial of the German expressionists with the anti-ﬁgurative aesthetic of the European abstract schools such as futurism, the Bauhaus and synthetic cubism. Additionally, it has an image of being rebellious, anarchic, highly idiosyncratic and, some feel, nihilistic.