Lee Welch: “like stars and years, like numerals”
Opening on September 10 “like stars and years, like numerals” is an exhibition of paintings by Lee Welch that record the passing of time (“days go by”, reads the title of one) and the unsung leisure activities which shape and add texture to our live – such as playing the guitar or piano, enjoying a game of tennis, or writing a letter. Poetic fragments title each painting hinting at something greater – Welch makes cryptic allusions to the history of art and literature. Two works are painted on travel blankets (one from a United Airlines flight), hinting at movement, transience, dislocation. The exhibition runs until October 11; www.berlinopticiansdublin.com.
Taffina Flood: Work + Turn
Taffina Flood’s colourful abstract paintings, full of fleeting moments, light, expression and motion were undertaken in “fits and starts” during the last two years, against the backdrop of the pandemic. She uses colour and intense colour patterns to engage the viewer intellectually and emotionally; circles, spheres, rectangles, ellipsis and squares serve as formal punctuations alongside other elements of deliberate and accidental mark making. Flood says she drew inspiration from “thinking walks” and day to day observations, captured on her phone and that the works are to be viewed as a series of painting moments. The exhibition runs until September 25 at SO Fine Art Editions, Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, South William Street, Dublin 2; www.sofinearteditions.com.
Tag Beckett: Tag Beckett VS The Scramp
This immersive exhibition, which opens on September 23 in Duke Street Gallery, includes sights, sounds and smells. Beckett explains, “This is a multi-faceted art experience about love and family; the conflict between fathers and sons; childhood wonder; how our fathers are our first heroes; the inner battle of wanting to be good enough; the deep desire to make your father proud; but, most importantly, it is about how one moment can change your life forever.” www.dukestreetgallery.ie
Graft: A collaboration between the Glucksman Gallery and National Sculpture Factory
Graft features five unique, site specific pieces of artwork, created by five different artists selected by the Glucksman and the National Sculpture Factory. It aims to be a blueprint for villages, towns and cities aiming to transform, disrupt and celebrate the existing built environment. Five contemporary artists were commissioned to create temporary installations in Cork city centre. The artists, Vanessa Donoso López (pictured), Linda Quinlan, Bríd Murphy, Adam Gibney and Seoidín O’Sullivan, have been working on the site-specific artworks which will be unveiled on September 17 as part of Culture Night, and will remain on view until November 1; www.glucksman.org and www.nationalsculpturefactory.com.
Mary Ronayne: “Fool’s Paradise”
In this solo show, which opens on September 16 at the House of Fine Art Gallery in London, Ronayne’s satirical and humorous drawings are inspired by magazine cut-outs, classical art, historical literature, films, plays and operas. Her technique of combining enamel and domestic paints plays a major role in the look and finish of her works which often contrast a glossy, vitreous shine with a more matte texture. Enamel paint is also how the artist creates the gooey, farcical look – an unmistakable element of her signature style. She says, “Like most artists, the burden of navigating a pandemic and lockdown on the human psyche is not lost to me. I’m really looking forward to a better autumn season than what 2020 afforded us, and I want to celebrate this in my new body of work. It’s time for some joy.” The exhibition runs until September 29; www.thehouseoffineart.com.
Merlin James: “Window”
“Window” comprises works completed over the last three years, made at James’s studio near the river Clyde in Glasgow. In these paintings James refers to the view of the river, but also to the surrounding buildings and the interior life of their occupants. While some of the works seem to approach total abstraction, others are very specific in their representation. The exhibition at Kerlin Gallery, Anne’s Lane, South Anne Street, Dublin 2 runs until October 9; www.kerlingallery.com.
Paula Pohli: “Juxtapositions”
Pohli’s new exhibition at Kenny Gallery, Galway includes linocuts, egg tempera and watercolour paintings. The theme of the exhibition is a creative interpretation of the word juxtaposition; new art is juxtaposed with older and recent work. Paintings in different media and prints are exhibited side by side with black and white motifs versus a coloured version; rural and cityscapes, insect and birds, bats and humans are twinned in this thoughtful and sometimes humorous exhibition which include some of Pohli’s best-selling classic linocuts. The exhibition opens on September 11; www.kennys.ie.
Jack B Yeats: “Painting & Memory”
This landmark exhibition at the National Gallery of Ireland, the largest exhibition of Yeats’s oil paintings in 50 years, coincides with the 150th anniversary of the birth of one of Ireland’s most important artists. From his earliest forays into oil painting, Yeats was unusually reliant on memory and retrospection. Memories of childhood in Sligo inspired many of his works, and particular motifs – music and horses prominent among them – recur in his paintings. In this selection of 84 oil paintings spanning more than 40 years, Gallery visitors will view places and people Yeats remembered, his observations of humanity, and reflections on life and loss in his later years. An exciting programme of events and activities will run alongside the exhibition. From talks and courses to activities and resources, the programme will be of particular interest to schools, adult lifelong learners, and people living with Dementia. A new online art appreciation course focusing on the Yeats family begins on October 7 2021. Places are limited for this course and tickets are available from www.nationalgallery.ie.
“Stepping Through the Gate: Inside Ireland’s Walled Gardens”
The Irish Georgian Society has nominated 2021 as the ”Year of the Country House Garden” during which it will be celebrating 400 years of Irish gardens and designed landscapes. Opening on September 23, the society is hosting an exhibition in the City Assembly House featuring 50 specially commissioned paintings of Irish walled gardens by four leading artists. Curated by Robert O’Byrne, former vice-President of the IGS, all four artists are active gardeners and are people who understand plants. Alison Rosse and her husband inherited responsibility for one of Ireland’s finest demesnes at Birr Castle, which includes superlative walled gardens laid out by his late parents. Lesley Fennell can take credit for creating a truly lovely garden at Burtown, Co Kildare (pictured). Together with her two sisters, at Tourin, Co Waterford, Andrea Jameson ensures that the walled garden remains as productive as ever, while Maria Levinge, having moved house a few years ago, embarked on establishing a new garden in Co Wexford. The exhibition runs until November 26, admission is free; www.igs.ie.
Eileen Gray: Making and Momentum
Irish architect Eileen Gray is enjoying a revival – an exhibition curated by London-based Irish designer Richard Malone opened this summer in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin where Gray built her famous E-1027 Villa – now refurbished and reopened to the public. The show travelled to the National Museum of Ireland this month and was opened by Prince Albert of Monaco (pictured). Gray has always been loved by the fashion world: Elsa Schiaparelli was a client, while YSL bought her work in the 1970s. Also of note, Claridge’s is behind the opening of the Maybourne Riviera in Roquebrune which contains a respectful nod to Gray – a ten-minute drive from her villa; www.museum.ie.
Stephanie Hess: “Kaleidoscope”
This is sculptor Stephanie Hess’s vibrant second solo show at Solomon Fine Art which was specially developed by Hess in conjunction with Cast bronze foundry in Dublin. The result is unique patinas that are bright and playful as the characters they adorn. Hess describes the works in “Kaleidiscope” as “a celebration of those small moments that for a brief time are all-absorbing, suspending all else around. Whatever the bigger picture may be, there is joy in the little things”. Among these creatures “living a happy moment of absorption in the Now”, we encounter a bull pausing along his journey to enjoy the scent of a flower, a pair of rabbits watching the night sky and a horse enchanted by a butterfly that has landed on his nose. The exhibition runs until 25 September; www.solomonfineart.ie.
Pigsy: “Catharsis Of Collapse”
Curated by Claire Bunbury, creative director at the Kenmare Butter Market, this exhibition was produced by Pigsy, aka Ciarán McCoy, while living in Malaga, Spain. The former architect explores the perils, yet the ultimate relief of delving deep into one’s own psyche as a necessity to creating these hugely personal artworks. He says “I borrow from my architectural knowledge and other life experiences to create my diverse expressionist art works and punk poetry. I paint in a neo-expressionist style. My work is figurative and hyper gestural with a grafitti-esque vibe to it. Most of my works are painted in vibrant and vivid colours – even more so since working in Spain.” The exhibition runs until Saturday October 2; www.kenmarebuttermarket.org.
IMMA: “The Narrow Gate of the Here-and-Now. Chapter Two: The Anthropocene
Opening on September 24, IMMA presents the second chapter of “The Narrow Gate of the Here-and-Now”, a Museum-wide exhibition to celebrate 30 years of IMMA. The exhibition begins by looking at the colonial origins of the museum and how its legacies continue to shape understandings of the world around us: from the classification of mineral, plant and animal life to the regulation of difference between humans. Albrecht Dürer’s meticulous botanical paintings made in the 16th century hang next to recent landscape paintings by Elizabeth Magill and Colette Portal, exploring the different lifetimes encapsulated in the museum collection. Time and temporality are major themes throughout the exhibition. “The Anthropocene” calls attention to how we imagine the future in an era of climate breakdown as well as to activities of the past that have led to the present moment of reckoning with the human impact on the Earth. New acquisitions by artists Edy Fung, Breda Lynch, Leanne McDonagh, Eoin McHugh, The Otolith Group (pictured above) and Katie Paterson will be shown here for the first time. Admission is free, but booking is advisable; www.imma.ie.
Aisling Conroy: “Alter/Altar”
Launching on September 12 at the Olivier Cornet Gallery, Conroy explores universal analogues of chaos and change, shifts in the collective consciousness, and shrines to loss and metamorphosis through her signature abstract language in painting and print. The show will run until October 2 at Olivier Cornet Gallery, 3 Great Denmark Street, Dublin 1; www.oliviercornetgallery.com.
Kaye Donachie: “Into the Thousand Mirrors”
Donachie’s paintings pay tribute to a cast of historical female figures. These modernist performers, futurist actresses and non-conformist poets are all connected by their unconventional beliefs and preferences. For her exhibition at St Carthage Hall, Chapel Street, Lismore, Co Waterford, Donachie has created a new body of work “Into the Thousand Mirrors” which features the extraordinary character of Maria Lani. In 1928 Lani arrived in Paris and introduced herself as a silent film actress, inspiring Thomas Mann to co-author a film script called The Woman of the Hundred Faces. The exhibition runs until October 31; www.lismorecastlearts.ie.
Maser: “Bookmarks in Time”
Maser’s art is influenced by optical and mid-century art complemented with bold colours, pattern overlays and gestural forms. Of his new exhibition he says, “The inspiration for the collection came from me resorting to nature as a saviour, hiking and travelling around Ireland. Elements within the paintings are visual tokens I collected while outdoors either through memory or visual record.” The final artworks are large – around five foot-square (he is currently creating a 10-foot by 20-foot piece for the Beijing international Art Biennale). Maser is keen to demonstrate that street artists like himself can bridge gaps and that their work is considered and focussed, “While I coach myself to be as present as possible, for my work I think ahead with the hope that people can look back on these paintings and pull the positives of this shared time. I do that through colour, form, interrelationship and dismantling formal teachings.” “Bookmarks In Time” runs in Gormley’s Fine Art, South Frederick Street, from September 9 for three weeks; www.gormleys.ie.
Joe Caslin “Counterpart”
Caslin’s 25-metre monochrome street art installation, entitled “Counterpart” is to be found on the exterior of the Ulster Museum, Belfast and depicts various viewpoints of life in Northern Ireland. Caslin’s work is known to focus on modern societal issues and this new piece at Ulster Museum is his second contribution to Belfast, having already impressed with a five-storey mural depicting a married lesbian couple as part of the same-sex marriage campaign. The “Counterpart” installation features a dragging arm to depict how some people in Northern Ireland feel that the community they are born in can define their lives. A clenched fist represents both defiance and a desire for change, while two Roseate Tern birds, a rare and endangered species that migrates to Northern Ireland every year, reflect a sense of freedom, resilience, and a commitment to this place. The birds featured are purposefully different to acknowledge that the differing views of people across Northern Ireland are welcomed. Like all of Caslin’s pieces, the materials used to create the Counterpart mural are biodegradable and will wash away with rainfall so viewing early is recommended. Access to Ulster Museum’s grounds to visit is free; www.nmni.com.
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