Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tuner and the Maters at the Prado

Yet again the Spanish National Musuem in conjunction with Tate Britain has come up with a fascinating proposal for their summer exhibition and on this occasion the featured artist is William Turner. The premise of the show is to present Turner’s development and ambitions as an artist by gathering together some of the best work by the British artist side by the side with the masterpieces of some of the masters that inspired Turner such as Claude Lorraine and Rembrandt. On paper it seems like a simple exercise of comparing and contrasting. However, the way in which Turner’s work is being weighed and judged against the masters that inspired his work casts a shadow over Turner’s own brilliance. Nevertheless, there are works that shine through the exhibition such as “Calais Sand, Lower Water” of 1830, which showcase Turner’s pre-impressionism treatment of light, colour and composition.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dutch Painters at the Prado

In conjunction with the publication of the full catalogue of Dutch paintings from the Prado Museum inventory, the exhibition “Dutch Painters at the Prado” brings to the public a selection of one of the lesser known parts of the museum’s collection, not only to the general audience but also to the specialists. The retrospective helps us to understand the political context of the 17th century but also the ever-changing pictorial trends and tastes of the period. Furthermore, the exhibition is also a unique opportunity to appreciate the only Rembrandt in the museum collection, “Judith at the Banquet of Holofernes” of 1634 and rarities such as a magnificent still life by Gabriël Metsu, “Dead Cock” of ca. 1659-1660.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

"A Light in the Darkness"

Probably the best way to start the cultural year in Dublin is to visit the traditional display of William Turner’s watercolours at the National Gallery of Ireland. “A light in the darkness” runs until the end of January only, due to a special demand by the Vaughan bequest in order to preserve the delicate watercolours and protect them from intense light exposure. This annual exhibition shows thirty-one works by one of the best landscape painters and watercolorist of all time. Of particular excellence is the animated watercolour, “The Doge’s Palace and Piazetta” from Turner’s last trip to Venice in 1840. In this watercolour, Turner showcases his ability to capture light and blend it with form to create a delicate atmosphere in order to portray the spirit of the city.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Behind Smoke and Mirrors

Limerick City Gallery of Art’s latest project, Behind Smoke and Mirrors, is a unique and progressive proposal where five young artists were invited to use the exhibition space as a site of production, interaction and stimulation. The result of the open studio experiment is an interesting show where Aideen Barry, Bernadette Carroll, Garvan Gallagher, Carl Giffney and Emma Wade, using a large range of mediums, invite the viewer to interact and participate in their experience. Behind Smoke and Mirrors is a successful attempt by the group of artists to facilitate a true connection between them and their audience through honesty and total devotion to this project.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"The Royal Dublin Society Student Art Awards 2009"

Today is the last day to enjoy the RDS Student Art Awards exhibition 2009. The show is a unique opportunity for Irish Art students to exhibit their work. Furthermore, it is also a great prospect for them to advance their careers through the different awards and scholarships. The new generation of Irish Artist is resourceful and full of talent and Peter Murray’s  “This Land Again” is a worthy winner of the main Taylor Art Award. However, the most stimulating part of the exhibition is the work of the printmakers. Killian Dunne’s “Children who Probably Died in the First World War” and Malwina Ostrowska’s “Leukaemia” etchings are noteworthy due to their excellent treatment of rather obscure subject matter through technical excellence. The RDS Student Art Awards exhibition is travelling first to RUA RED in Tallaght, Dublin 24 and the Regional Cultural Centre in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

"The Quick and the Dead"

In 1986 four Irish Artists appeared in a collaborative exhibition between Northeastern University and Boston College called: “Four Irish Expressionists”. Over twenty years later The Hugh Lane – Dublin City Gallery reunites Patrick Graham, Patrick Hall, Timothy Hawkesworth and Brian Maguire in another collective show. “The Quick and the Dead” is a timely exhibition that revisits the uncertain Ireland of the 1980’s creating an analogy with the current social and economic landscape of Ireland. Social, religious and political anger is present throughout the show despite the two decades gap between some of the artworks. The artists through the use of a crude and dramatic approach to colour, form and their materials achieve the sense of anger impeccably. Of particular interest is Timothy Hawkesworth’s painting “The Sower at Night” (1986). There is an obvious link to Jean François Millet’s painting “The Sower”, however, the pleasant social reality of the peasant is transformed by Hawkesworth into inner demons and darkness due to the lack of options.

Monday, August 3, 2009

"Harry Clarke at the National Gallery of Ireland"

A few more days to enjoy the exhibition of Harry Clarke’s illustrations for Hans Christian Andersen’s “Fairy Tales” special edition of 1916 at the National Gallery of Ireland. Irish Artist Harry Clarke’s imaginative illustrations are a perfect match for Andersen’s ingenious stories. Nevertheless, they are unique masterworks in their own right. Each of the 10 illustrations eschews Art Nouveau through their richly coloured and ultra-detailed drawings. This makes the exhibition a second to none opportunity to closely appreciate such inventive watercolours, otherwise, partially lost during the printing processes.