Calling All Galleristas and Museum Mavens! 30 Exhibitions To Visit - The Gloss Magazine

Calling All Galleristas and Museum Mavens! 30 Exhibitions To Visit

It’s recognised that the art world experienced a revolution during lockdown as galleries and museums were forced to find new ways to connect with their customers and collectors. With many opening this week, it’s time to support them and also acknowledge the important role culture plays in our collective recovery from Covid-19. Some of Ireland’s leading gallerists share their experiences and tell us about their exciting new exhibitions …

The Olivier Cornet Gallery, 3 Denmark Street, Rotunda, Dublin 1

Reflecting on the last year, Olivier Cornet says it has been positive in many ways; “With Covid, we have attracted a new clientele who are moving away from purely decorative artworks and are interested in topics such as the environment, social issues, art that shows empathy for others, embraces diversity, art that creates dialogues and asks questions. It has been a great satisfaction for our gallery and artists to see this new generation of collectors joining the ranks of our existing socially-engaged patrons and supporters.” Cornet has also seen a rise in online sales; “In our experience, people are more willing to buy online as long as they are familiar with the artist’s work or if they can get a chance to see the work in better light when they are unable to come to the gallery. Our 3D virtual space, introduced in May last year, has been a great tool for that.” The gallery is reopening with its current show Eoin Mac Lochlainn‘s “Is glas iad na Cnoic” which has been extended to run until May 30. Visitors are requested to to book a slot that suits them before visiting the gallery;

SO Fine Art Editions, Powerscourt Townhouse, 59 William Street South, Dublin 2

“Both lockdowns have totally changed the way we communicate and sell to our audience,” admits Caroline O’Riordan, director of SO Fine Art Editions. “We introduced an e-commerce section to our website with the assistance of our Local Enterprise Office as trading in all sectors moved online. This addition has proved indispensable. Our clients have been so supportive in helping us survive this lockdown and in turn our artists. We have seen an increase in sales across all mediums; hand editioned prints, paintings and ceramics. However, we have really missed the physical interaction and face-to-face conversation with people and look forward to opening on the May 17. We plan to have an all day closing event for our current exhibition ‘Timeline – Amlíne’ by Matthew Mitchell on Saturday May 21”.

The Oriel Gallery, 17 Clare Street, Dublin 2

“When we watched Leo Varadkar’s address on St Patrick’s Day last year we all collectively took a moment to digest the news. What did it mean and what would we do next?” says Mandy Williams, Managing Director of The Oriel. “Only a couple of months previously, I had been sorting through ledgers belonging to Oliver Nulty, my late father-in-law and the original Proprietor (or Proper-Rioter as he called himself). These books included years when the business was affected by economic downturns, political division, booms and some pretty big busts. One thing that stood out was making alternations to your business in times of change can open new pathways and opportunities for both the artists and the gallery. These small changes have seen the gallery not only survive but thrive for over half a century, so we adapted again. We can’t wait to open our doors again, to showcase the new works of art and a explore new junctures in the months and years ahead.” The Oriel will be featuring a whimsical collection of new paintings by Anthony Murphy. Explains Williams: “Anthony paints alone, into the long dark nights until the early dawn. Lockdown didn’t change these habits as it is a ritual unbroken for over 35 years. He loves the verses and writings of WB Yeats, who has inspired at least one of the paintings in this collection, “The Young Couple in One Another’s Arms” – From the second line of Sailing to Byzantium.”

Kerlin Gallery, Anne’s Lane, Dublin 2

The Kerlin opens with a special exhibition by Lawrence Weiner. “This is Lawrence Weiner’s first solo show at Kerlin Gallery and his first solo show in Ireland since 1993,” explains Elly Collins, Sales, Media and Communications manager at the gallery. “The exhibition comprises three sculptures and three works on paper. The sculptures in text, ‘HELD JUST ABOVE THE CURRENT’, ‘IN LINE WITH SOMETHING ELSE’ and ‘PUT WITH THE OTHER THINGS’ are presented in Irish and English and are scaled to fill the length of the walls, creating a new, immersive experience in the gallery space.” This is just the start of an exciting schedule of exhibitions for the gallery’s 2021 programme including Elizabeth Magill, Kathy Prendergast, Marcel Vidal, Isabel Nolan and Merlin James. Says Collins, “During the lockdown, we have also been busy working on a number of recent and upcoming publications such as Isabel Nolan, Dorothy Cross and Siobhán Hapaska.”

The Wilton Gallery, 55 Glasthule Road, Sandycove, Co Dublin

“We adapted to technology to weather the storm; going online, providing more social media content, digitally connecting. Culture in the community is important, and it became obvious to us what our role was to play during lockdown. We decided to constantly change our display of art in our large windows. The impact was extraordinary with personal messages thanking us for giving people hope and positivity. We are excited by the future,” explains Ritika Callow, the owner of The Wilton Gallery. Lockdown provided creative opportunities for the gallery’s stable of artists to focus on their disciplines too. Says Callow, “Jenny Fox’s new work was inspired by Martin Gayford’s book Modernists and Mavericks. Helen Pomphrey produced vibrant works inspired by her memories of Australia. Stephanie Sloan’s new “Undulations” screen prints are inspired by the beautiful movements of marram grass within coastal dunes.” The Wilton Gallery’s next exhibition will be “Fellow Prisoners” by David Hedderman, hosted at the gallery in mid June 2021 and will include a online viewing room.

Lavit Gallery, Wandesford Quay, Clarke’s Bridge, Cork

“When the gallery first closed in March 2020, we had to adapt, and we built an e-commerce site. We were delighted to see our customers engage with us more online as well as purchase and support exhibitions through the website and our social media channels,” says Aoife O’Connell, Gallery Director. “We were able to adapt our exhibition programme to online and have had great attendance for our Zoom artist talks. While our customers and visitors will be excited to come back to the gallery, I think we will continue to provide more online services for those who are unable to visit the gallery in person. Having been in our houses much more than before I think people are recognising the beauty and joy art can bring in their homes, and how different artworks can develop over time, how you might begin to see them in a different way too.” Tom Climent’s new exhibition “Further Shores” could not be more appropriate. It is a continuation of his exploration of both real and imaginary worlds, which opens on May 11 and continues until May 22. His new brightly-coloured and highly-textured abstract works invite the viewer to journey to a place that is just out of reach and touches on ideas of growth, rejuvenation and hope.

Solomon Fine Art, Balfe Street, Dublin 2

As Solomon Fine Art opens its doors, it’s a chance to see the exhibition of paintings by artist David King, “Out in the Sky” first hand. The work in this exhibition explores landscape around his studio and home in Kilkea, Co Kildare and the steady observation of light and atmosphere on his daily walks. There will be a special “finissage” event with King on May 22 to mark the end of the show. Solomon Fine Art extends an open invitation to attend if you are in town on some (non-essential) retail therapy. You’ll find the gallery has some new awnings and heaters for serving outdoor refreshments too!


Oliver Sears, 33 Fitzwilliam Street Upper, Dublin 2

“During the very first lockdown we were the only gallery to put on an exhibition (online) which directly addressed what was going on,” says Catherine Punch, Project Manager of Oliver Sears gallery. “It was called ‘The Time of our Lives’, based on the Hugo Williams poem of the same name, chosen because Williams’ seemingly pithy poem is powered by alternating future and present tenses which is an intriguing device to talk about the past. We asked our artists to provide a work of art in response to the poem and the pandemic and to include a few lines of commentary on the both. After that, the whole industry migrated online and we were very surprised at the level of interest and business given the circumstances. In the last couple of months there seems to be a bit of online fatigue and a real hunger to see works in the flesh.” Something to look forward to is Donald Teskey’s new exhibition “Mapping the Peripheral” which opens on May 20 – featured above is the acrylic Silvis II, a preview of the luscious landscapes and seascapes ahead;

Chester Beatty, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2

“From the first lockdown in March 2020, the Chester Beatty quickly moved most of its activity online. Our Chester Beatty Annual Lecture in February this year ‘Belief in Print – The History of Senshafuda by Rebecca Salter, President of the Royal Academy of Arts’ attracted an audience of over 400 and visits to our website increased from 186,000 in 2019 to nearly 530,000 in 2020,” explains Derval O’Carroll, Head of Operations and Administration. “The Education Department rapidly shifted public programmes online, including make and create activities for children and teens; storytelling for children; arts and crafts activities for all ages; as well as music events; health and wellbeing activities; and cooking demonstrations. The curators and museum volunteers created In-Focus audio tours and generated social media content, using the Collections in inventive and engaging ways. As the Digital Department had previously developed 3D walkthroughs, exhibitions went online quickly alongside virtual talks and educational tours. Despite closures, and staff restrictions onsite, digitisation of the Collection continued, albeit in a limited capacity while, during downtimes, the team acquired new skill sets in producing and editing videos. A definite highlight was the launch of our online shop. Our bestsellers by far are our attractive Chester Beatty face masks, inspired by images from the Collections, and we were thrilled to recently see The Duchess of Cornwall wearing two of the designs – one a patterned mask whose design is taken from a black and gold lacquer manuscript box (1895, Thailand) in the Collections and the other a dragonfly detail from the ‘Martyrdom of St. Giustina from the Evangelarium of Santa Giustina’ (1523-1525, Italy).” The ongoing exhibitions “Arts of the Book” and “Sacred Traditions” opens today and the next temporary exhibition begins on May 28 – “Edo in Colour: Prints from Japan’s Metropolis.”

The Doorway Gallery, 24 Frederick Street South, Dublin 2

“The excitement to get ready for opening with our artists has been fantastic,” says Denise Donnelly, owner of The Doorway Gallery. “We are opening with the wonderful artist, Lucy Doyle. Her exhibition will be hung in one room of the gallery. The other ground floor rooms and downstairs will host a very large group show by all our artists. The work over lockdown is very special. Artists were forced to hold onto their pieces for longer as they didn’t have me hounding them for work for art fairs so they had no deadlines! This means they kept their masterpieces for longer and I have to say, this is the best group show I have ever seen in 20 years!”

14 Henrietta Street, Dublin 1

14 Henrietta Street has just won a prestigious award at the European Museum of The Year 2020 awards, which took place last week on May 6. The Dublin museum, the only Irish nomination among the 60 nominees, was awarded the Silletto Prize (other museums in the running included Anne Frank House in Amsterdam; the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, and the Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth, Greece). This prize is awarded to museums which excel at engaging with their communities and recognises 14 Henrietta Street’s deliberate “people first” approach. Commenting on the win, Chief Executive of Dublin City Council Culture Company, Iseult Byrne said: “This award is a testament to the power of storytelling, thoughtful conservation and restoration, and creating a people-centred experience. The best way to celebrate this award will be to reopen our doors and welcome visitors back to the house. Culture plays a huge role in our recovery now, and through our connection to culture and our communities I hope we will become safer and stronger together.” In addition to guided tours, visitors can also engage with the museum through its online series of fortnightly talks TeaTime Talks, three new publications launching this month, online teaching resources, and new walking tours coming soon.

Other museums opening on May 10 are:

National Gallery of Ireland, Merrion Square, Dublin;

EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, located at the chq Building on Custom House Quay;

Little Museum of Dublin on Stephen’s Green, Dublin;

National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts and History at Collins Barracks, Dublin;

National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology at Kildare Street, Dublin;

Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again at the Bank of Ireland Cultural and Heritage Centre on College Green, Dublin;

The Book of Kells and the Long Room at Trinity College Dublin;

Croke Park GAA Museum & Skyline Tours at Croke Park, Dublin;

Opening from May 11:

Marsh’s Library at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin;

National Print Museum at Beggars Bush Barracks, Dublin;

Hugh Lane Gallery, Charlemont House, Parnell Square North, Dublin;

Temple Bar Gallery & Studios, Temple Bar, Dublin;

Opening on May 12: Gerard Byrne Studio, Ranelagh, Dublin 6;

Opening on May 14 – Museum of Literature Ireland (MOLI), St Stephen’s Green, Dublin;

Opening on May 19 – GPO Witness History at the GPO, O’Connell St, Dublin;

Opening on May 28 – National Leprechaun Museum, Jervis Street, Dublin;


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