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.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"National Gallery of Norway"

Norway’s National Gallery possesses one of the finest collections of fine art in Europe. While they could make use of a more updated curating model, there are a few true masterpieces amongst their permanent exhibition. Picasso’s “Le Pauvre Ménage” (1903), Manet’s “Mrs. Manet in the Winter Garden”(1876/79) or Degas’s “Morning Toilet” (1892/95) are hidden gems. However, the highlight of the show is Erik Werenskiold’s “Peasant’s Burial” (1885), a masterwork of naturalism where the artist allow us to witness the grief of a family just as we have been spotted nosing by a secondary character. Werenskiold uses local colours to create a dichotomy between the subject matter and the setting. The bright summer day jars beautifully with the deep inward experience of the funeral.