Kevin Kavanagh is pleased to present new work from Michael Boran, Tadhg McSweeney and Ulrich Vogl at VOLTA 12.
All three artists, though working in a variety of media and with differing methodologies, are all concerned with the mutable qualities of light and space, and with the meeting of the natural and artificial world. Both Tadhg McSweeney and Ulrich Vogl employ a wide variety of materials into their work, with a particular emphasis on the everyday and repurposed, turning often-overlooked elements into quietly beautiful forms that echo phenomena from the natural world, though ones that possess a very man-made delicacy and elegance. Michael Boran is a lens-based artist whose most recent body of work examines the overlap and interplay between flora and fauna, and the manmade interventions that populate contemporary landscapes. These landmarks and objects are presented in manipulated contexts, highlighting their inherent strangeness. All the artists have made new work especially for presentation at VOLTA 12.
Text – Tina Kinsella
Design by WorkGroup
Photography – Michael McLaughlin
Edition of 500
Self Published by the Artist (2016), €2
Sonia Shiel has been awarded a studio as part of the 2016 UCD artist in residence programme. The residency will culminate in an exhibition on the cmpus next year when Shiel will present new work.
More information available here.
Kevin Kavanagh is pleased to present The Glorious Maids of the Charnel House, an exhibition by Alice Maher.
Alice Maher’s recent work represents a return to figuration with renewed passion in a series of nine large drawings. In The Glorious Maids of the Charnel House, she continues her exploration of metamorphosis in the most mutable of all territories, the human body. Her ‘Maids’ stand guard in a visceral universe, where human, animal and vegetal intermingle, co-evolve and overlap in intense, hybrid forms. They glory in their steamy charnel house of corruption and regeneration. They spill, seep, multiply, explore, extrude, propagate and gratify themselves. These enigmatic figures, while plunged in a seemingly malevolent world of perpetual transformation, retain an ethereal calm; serene inhabitants of the artist’s ever generative imagination. Maher’s reference points include classical art history, as well as medical textbooks and her own thirty-year back catalogue of mythopoetic motifs. This new series can be seen as the bracketing of her ‘Thicket’ drawings from 1990, as well as a further development of themes explored in her photographic ‘Portraits’ of 2003, where the natural and the non natural merge, making the female the principal site of language and creativity, and a powerful subjective force in her own world.
The drawings in The Glorious Maids of the Charnel House comprise a spectrum of experience. Extreme ecstasy is evoked alongside curiosity, nonchalance, pain and defiance through the absurd paradoxes of their bodily incarnations. A hybrid creature appears happy to be eviscerated by a priestess, naked but for her tall mitre. Great horns of coral sprout from either side of a tranquil face whose eyes fix the viewer in a classical stare. A figure squats under the burden of a monstrous heart. A body covered entirely with eyes may embody the manifestation of a highly sensitised faculty of awareness.
Human and object are fused, as a musical instrument grows from the back of a maid in her boxer shorts. Within these drawings internal and external worlds overlap and interface, co-exist and self generate. The inner and the outer body unfolds and enfolds simultaneously, like the spiral helix of a snail, and with the same abject corporeality. The synchronisation of internal and external experience is referred to in the writing of Bracha L. Ettinger, as an ‘extimacy’, a word that might be employed to describe these glorious maids, whose body casings cannot contain their burden of excess, but grow and swell, subdivide and mutate, in order to accommodate their physical and metaphysical realities.
Alice Maher is one of Irelands foremost contemporary artists. Her first major solo show was at the Douglas Hyde Gallery in 1994. That same year she represented Ireland at the Sao Paolo Biennale. Maher continued to exhibit consistently in group and solo exhibitions and in 2012 the Irish Museum of Modern Art presented a retrospective of her work, Becoming, which included many iconic works as well as a newly commissioned film and a monograph. Maher is currently showing at EVA International (2016) with a two-screen film, Cassandra’s Necklace (2). Her work is held in many Irish and international collections including the Neuberger Museum, New York, the Hammond Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MoMA, New York, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, the British Museum, London and the Georges Pompidou Centre, Paris.
To read a text written by Suzanne Walsh in response to the exhibition please visit Fallow Media. Suzanne Walsh is an artist, writer and musician currently living and working in Dublin.
You can read a review of The Glorious Maids of the Charnel House here.
Mick O’ Dea will exhibit a painting as part of a group show at Crawford Art Gallery. O’ Dea will also open the exhibition which will take place on Friday the 3rd of June. The exhibition will continue until the 20th of August 2016.
Crawford Art Gallery, Cork is delighted to present the exhibition, Conflicting Visions in a Turbulent Age 1900-1916. Curated by Dr Éimear O’Connor the exhibition will focus on several themes, both social and political, that effected Ireland between 1900 and 1916 including the First World War as seen through the eyes of Irish war artists Sir William Orpen and Sir John Lavery; the Cork International Exhibition (1902); artistic responses to the Easter Rising 1916; the cultural lives of Cork-born Terence McSwiney and Sir Hugh Lane; the consecration of the Honan Chapel (1915), the Cork International Exhibition (1902-03); and the rise of the Irish Agricultural Co-Operative Movement as espoused by Sir Horace Plunkett, Cork-born R.A. Anderson, and artist and cultural commentator, George Russell (AE).
More information available here.
14 May-2 July 2016
Exeter Phoenix and Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery,
Tuesday to Saturday, 10am-5pm
Works by Margaret Corcoran, Mick O’ Dea and Dermot Seymour are included in Portraits of a Nation at the Farmleigh Gallery, Dublin from May 11th – 29th. More info on the exhibition can be found here.
A selection of recent work by Mick O’Dea is at the Claremorris Gallery from May 7th – 29th, 2016. More information on the show can be found here.
Elaine Byrne’s Diritta Vita at Montoro12 Gallery in Rome, 31st March- 7th May 2016
Montoro12 is pleased to present Diritta Via, a solo exhibition by Elaine Byrne. In this new body of work, Byrne has created sculptures, photography and video that serve as critiques of power structures, posing specific questions around corruption and the apathy manifested by its victims.
The exhibition title comes from Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy where his journey begins in a dark wood (selva oscura). Unable to find the ‘straight way’ (diritta via) to salvation, Dante is conscious that he is ruining himself. Passing though Purgatory he comes to the 8th circle of hell, and encounters corrupt politicians being punished for the crime for which Dante himself was falsely charged when he was forced into exile.
It is believed that Dante used medieval accounts from pilgrimages to Saint’s Island on Lough Derg, in Ireland as inspiration for the Inferno. Know as St Patrick’s Purgatory, from the 12th-15th century the island and Ireland were synonymous; it was one of the key reasons any foreigner would travel to Ireland. Saint’s Island was a gateway to the otherworld, pilgrims who spent a night in the Purgatory cave would converse with the dead and battle with demons. If they survived the ordeal their sins were forgiven and they got a free pass to Heaven.
Travelling to Saints Island in search of the medieval gate to Purgatory, Byrne examines contemporary notions of corruption and punishment through 14th century pilgrims’ text of the ordeals in Purgatory, contemporary corruption charges and appropriated films, highlighting the punishments for corruption as recounted by the pilgrim. Central to the installation is a 14ft steel sculpture, referencing both the bridge of razors encountered by pilgrims in Purgatory, and a range of important philosophical constructs: the bridge as a test and testimony originating in Persian eschatological symbolism, to be crossed only by the worthy.
Kevin Kavanagh is pleased to present Whenceness, an exhibition by Elaine Byrne.
Whenceness is comprised of two videos, Pure Codology and Rakoczy March developed during Byrne’s fellowship at the Whitney Independent Study programme in New York, alongside twenty-four new works on paper. Collectively the work deals with the intersection between fiction and reality derived from Joyce’s Ulysses, episode 12,Cyclops. The episode deals with race, racism, anti-Semitism and what it means to be Irish, where Bloom’s Judaism is raised as a central point of conflict with the Irish-nationalist character, the Citizen. Bloom counters the racial identification of nationality with the more modern interpretation of a group of disparate people working together for a common goal. “A nation?’ Says Bloom ‘A nation is the same people living in the same place”.
Using original newspaper from 16th June 1904, the day Ulysses is set, Byrne highlights the news of the real day, a day which is mostly known through the fiction, considering what changes over time and what stays the same.
In Rakoczy March, a 41-minute video piece, two uilleann pipers attempt a classical composition referenced in Ulysses as being played by Irish pipers. During the course of the video both musicians become increasingly exasperated as they try to navigate the notes of the musical composition. Pure Codology focuses on a joke which has laid hidden in the book, which Byrne then overlays with a fictitious narrative, set within the context of the rise in left wing politics in Hungry. The premise of an ‘in joke’ in both videos assumes that there is a group of people with enough common ground to share the joke, and furthermore that there is another group outside the joke. Both works point to the tragedy of the impossibility of communication, establishing that music doesn’t cross all cultures and jokes frequently get lost in translation.
Throughout Whenceness, Byrne considers words such as race, people and culture, where many crucial meanings have been shaped by a dominant class and by professions operating within its terms.
Whenceness will be accompanied with a text by Ingrid Lyons that further contextualises the work in terms of its historical and literary references.
Elaine Byrne received an MA in Visual Arts Practices (MAVis) from IADT, Dun Laoghaire in 2010. She has exhibited widely in Ireland and abroad- recent solo exhibitions include La Diritta Via, Montoro12 gallery, Rome, 2016, RAUMPLAN, Limerick City Gallery of Art, 2014, RAUM, Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin, 2013. Selected group shows include the Whitney Independent Study Program, Elizabeth Foundation of the Arts, New York, 2015, Maximum Entropy, CPS Project Space, New York, 2015, Transferiencias, UAM, Mexico City, 2014, Centre of Fine Art Photography, Colorado and TULCA Festival of Arts, Galway, 2011 and 2009. Byrne received the Curtin O’Donoghue Emerging Photography Prize in 2012, other recent awards include the Arte Laguna sculpture prize, Venice, 2014, the Celeste Residency prize, 2015, the Irish Arts Council Bursary, 2015 and Project award in 2014.
With thanks to Nora Alter, Alicia Ibanez Flores, Cassandra Guan, Vivien Igoe, David O’Rourke, Santiago Solórzano and Soyoung Yoon.
And special thanks to uilleann pipers Leonard Barry and Padraig Carberry McGovern, and to Martha Goldmann and Ferenc Takacs of the Hungarian Joycean society.
Kevin Kavanagh is pleased to present Through the Undergrowth, an exhibition of recent photographs by Michael Boran.
Through the Undergrowth is comprised of photographs that relate to each other tangentially, their intention is ambiguous. Boran pictures towers, pylons, masts, plant stalks and monuments from a Piranesian vantage point that places the viewer far below the pictorial object. The desire to ascend is a prevalent motif in this recent body of work in which Boran represents the urge or instinct to reach upward, to peak, to seek out the most prominent positions. Often blurring the line between natural and manmade, Boran poses visual similarities in patterns formed by vines and power lines as they tangle and drape. We are also presented with the idea of pairing and of duality. Through the imagery, which often simulates the visual codes and studio finesse of stock photography, we are invited to consider the idea of doubles and dichotomies, of objects growing into one another.
The photographs in Through the Undergrowth convey their messages obliquely with subtle tones and miniscule detail, free from pixilation and visual noise. In these images background detail has been removed and replaced with a backdrop of serene blue sky, enhancing the clarity of the subject. Boran is interested in abstraction through photography, he creates versions of each photograph and then collates them into a high-resolution, hyper-focused picture plane. By condensing each image he causes a visual time lapse that synthesises a multitude of perceptions concurrently. In this way he reflects on the temporal limitations of still photography and the perception of depth. In the pursuit of specific images and the production of a vast personal archive, Boran examines the manner in which photographs are created and understood, through the undergrowth of the garden to the heights of telegraph poles we can observe a multitude of connections and affinities.
We made friends with a great gallery in New York called Pablo’s Birthday at Volta last month and now they’re exhibiting Sinéad’s work in a group show, Informed Painting.
Ireland at Venice
Adventure:Capital The Irish Tour
9 April – 5 June 2016, The Model, Sligo.
Sean Lynch in conversation with Kevin Barry 6pm Opening Reception, 9th April.
The Pavilion of Ireland at the 56th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia – presented work by Irish artist Sean Lynch from May until November of 2015. The exhibition Adventure: Capital traces a journey from myth to minimalism around Ireland and Britain. Alongside Adventure: Capital at The Model, Sean Lynch will present A Blow by Blow Account of Stonecarving in Oxford (2013–14), an installation that traces the work of nineteenth century artisans John and James O’Shea.
For more information please visit The Model, Sligo website.
Kevin Kavanagh is pleased to present an exhibition by Robert Ballagh in response to the year-long commemorative celebration of 1916. Who Fears to Speak of the Republic? comprises an exhibition of prints as well as a mural, painted on site at the gallery.
The longevity of Robert Ballagh’s career and the depth and breadth of his influence correspond to his consistent yet versatile creative output. This year of commemorations creates a unique opportunity to consider Ballagh’s career as an artist and activist as well as his contributions to visual language associated with Irish design. Ballagh began working as an artist in the late 1960s and has worked in the visual arts since then. He was greatly influenced by and worked within the Pop Art movement of the 1960s and 70s and this influence has remained a prominent element of his oeuvre.
Murals are synonymous with political activism and they reach a large number of people due to their accessibility both literally and figuratively. Bill Rolston has extensively researched the subject of public murals in the North of Ireland. In his writings he notes that loyalists and republicans have been painting murals in public places since 1908 and 1981 respectively, evidencing a long-standing tradition of such visual expression in Ireland. Who Fears to Speak of the Republic?references the socially empowering value of the mural. Ballagh comments on the medium’s historical relevance by appropriating it as an outlet of popular expression, reminding us of the effectiveness of such visual language in its ability to exact change both socially and politically.
Robert Ballagh’s aesthetic is recognised by people both within the art community and outside of it and he often uses this position as a respected and well-known artist to pose political questions and to examine the role of the artist within the state apparatus. Who Fears to Speak of the Republic? both celebrates the actions of those who led the Easter Rising and generates a discourse on the iconography that surrounds their legacy.
Amanda Coogan, Sonia Shiel and Nevan Lahart will show work as part of a group exhibition at Rua Red. Carnage Visors – a metaphor for rose-tinted glasses – explores the idea of making work today and the autonomy of an artwork versus being socially or politically aware. The exhibition will open on the 7th of March and will continue until the 9th of April in Galleries 1&2. There will be a preview at 3.30 pm on the 5th of March.
More information available here.
Kevin Kavanagh is pleased to present a solo display of recent paintings by Sinéad Ní Mhaonaigh at VOLTA NY 2016. Booth F2, Pier 90, 2nd-6th March.
More information at www.voltashow.com
Kevin Kavanagh is pleased to present Ardán, an exhibition of recent paintings by Sinéad Ní Mhaonaigh.
‘Sinéad Ní Mhaonaigh’s paintings capture texture, surface and form within the realm of abstract painting. Her paintings are exquisitely rich and highly charged; having developed her own distinctive language with each body of work she responds and reflects on the language of painting, disregarding traditional notions of representation for a more ethereal form. Her painting process is rigorous and laborious; the paintings are built up over time and then pared back allowing for chance and improvisation, on close viewing of the paintings the layering and texture of the work is revealed on the surface. The repetition of forms from different angles in each painting allows for a deeper understanding and with each new body of work she reflects on a previous body of work as she systematically resolves the issues she encounters as she moves forward. The architectural form that is present in each work varies in scale, colour and design, one surface visibly laid upon another. As a painter she tends to proceed intuitively, an ‘impulse of the psyche’ where there is no definitive or absolute. This series of paintings are intimate in scale and have a muted palette, Ní Mhaonaigh often paints a frame within her paintings; the device intonates a ‘fictionality or at least artificiality’ through which we view the world. It represents the observer of the work or the artist once removed from the canvas.’
Extracted from an essay by Mary Cremin.
Sinéad Ní Mhaonaigh (b1977) graduated with a BA in Fine Art Painting from Dublin Institute of Technology in 2001. Ní Mhaonaigh has exhibited widely in Ireland and abroad. Recent solo exhibitions include Imlíne, Triskel Gallery, Cork, 2014, Contours, Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin, 2014, Paintings, Linehall Arts Centre, Mayo, 2012 and Eatramh, Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin 2011. Ní Mhaonaigh has also taken part in many group exhibitions including Hold to the Now, SLAG Gallery, New York, 2015, Last, The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, 2012, UNBUILDING, Mermaid Arts Center, Wicklow 2010 and Futures, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, 2009. Ní Mhaonaigh was awarded the Hennessy Craig Scholarship, and the Wicklow County Council Art Bursary in 2010. Her work is held in many important public collections including the Office of Public Works and Highlanes Art Gallery in Drogheda as well as private collections in Ireland, across Europe and the USA.
Mary Cremin is a curator based in Dublin. She holds a degree in Art History and Geography from University College Cork and graduated with a Masters in Visual Art Practices from the Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dublin. Recent curatorial projects include TULCA Festival of Visual Arts, Seachange, (2015) which included over 30 national and international artists.
Kevin Kavanagh is pleased to present recent work by a number of artists at VUE contemporary art fair at the Royal Hibernian Academy from November 05, 2015 – November 08, 2015. The presentation will feature work by Paul McKinley, Nevan Lahart, Paul Nugent, Diana Copperwhite, Oliver Comerford, Mick O’Dea, Sinéad Ní Mhaonigh, Margaret Corcoran, Sonia Shiel and Robert Armstrong.
Tadhg McSweeney will show new work as part of a two person exhibition with Barbara Knezevic at ArtBox. The exhibition will run from February 5th – March 5th with a preview on Thursday, February 4th.
Object Wars explores the rich history of object making, collecting and the place of the object in fine art today. Museum collections and the objects therein, are often seen as the vehicle of historic human narrative. Depicting scenes from World events, these objects often reduce the complexity of human suffering into a simplified mark or decoration. Through the contemporary art object, artists challenge the framing of history through cultural institutions, whilst acknowledging the delicate balance between the preciousness of the object and the precariousness of life.
More information available here.
‘Through the activities of walking and looking Tynan identifies alternative landmarks in the city, places to rest the eyes that give rise to contemplation. She observes and informally records visual quirks in her surroundings and such vagaries are later bestowed with temporal emphasis through the medium of paint. In the cracks of a pebble dashed wall and across a layer of uneven plaster, real world surfaces and textures appear elevated through keen observation. She focuses on time-ravaged parts of the city that maintain a patina of the past through neglect. Slogans and symbols scrawled or sprayed across gable ends, crows looking on, trinkets in a stranger’s porch; all distract from the path ahead. She transforms the world into signs and symbols in the search for pattern and meaning. Intricate meshing of woolen yarn forms a pattern that draws the eye downwards into a stare, a puddle in the footpath interrupts the Moroccan motif and in its reflection spring buds sprout from bare branches.
In Italo Calvino’s 1985 novel, Mr Palomar, the eponymous protagonist wanders, giving thought to details in his surroundings. Calvino, via Mr Palomar, suggests that this tendency evolves from a psychological urge to make meaning. Everywhere there is the potential for philosophising and Mr Palomar appropriates the most mundane aspects of his daily routine to pose questions on the nature of being. In his musings on a rooftop terrace he considers the aspect from which birds view the ground, noting how unforeseen fragments and wholes that can be observed from above ‘It is only after you have come to know the surface of things,’ he says out loud, ‘that you venture to seek what is underneath’ then he adds ‘but the surface is inexhaustible’. Similarly Tynan responds to the possibilities of the surface texture of paint, its ability to mimic real-world surfaces. Like Mr Palomar, Tynan looks for clues in unlikely places – the most trivial encounter has the potential to announce the most profound epiphany’.
Extracted from Within and Without by Ingrid Lyons
Links to previous exhibitions;
Kathy Tynan will show new work as part of a group exhibition, There are Are Also Little Kingdoms, at the Mermaid Arts Center in Bray, Co Wicklow. The exhibition, curated by Emma Dwyer will also feature work by Sabina Mac Mahon, Adrian Duncan and Eamon O’ Kane, it will open on Thursday 11th Feb and continue until Saturday 19th Mar 2016.
More info available here.
Richard Proffitt at Centre Gallery, Sirius Arts Centre, Cork. Richard Proffitt presents a new body of work that acts as a point of personal arrival and departure. Re-evaluating teenage drawings, discarded ideas, childhood memory, detritus and ephemera, Proffitt uses visual, written and aural media to create a ritualistic temple of history that summons, celebrates and annexes a recent past. The exhibition runs from 11 March – 24 April 2016
Opens 10 March 7pm.
More info available here.
There is Neither Pine nor Apple in Pineapple by Vanessa Donoso López will run at the Instituto Cervantes, Dublin, from February 10th – March 24th, 2016.
In response to the question ‘why paint?’ featured in the January 2014 issue of frieze magazine, artist Ellen Altfest specified, ‘Looking over a long time is like an attempt to merge with something outside of oneself. The dense accumulation of visual information, which is the product of this kind of looking, is different from how the lens and the eye usually see the world.’
Through the activities of walking and looking Kathy Tynan identifies alternative landmarks in the city, places to rest the eyes that give rise to contemplation. Tynan observes and informally records visual quirks in her surroundings and such vagaries are later bestowed with temporal emphasis through the medium of paint. In the cracks of a pebble dashed wall and across a surface of uneven plaster, real word surfaces and textures appear elevated through keen observation. Slogans and symbols scrawled or sprayed across gable ends, crows looking on, trinkets in a stranger’s porch; all distract from the path ahead.
Aileen Murphy’s canvases are lurid and brassy with strong sweeping brush strokes that evoke activity and dance. Energy takes precedence as the painted image is contained but always threatens to breach the border of the canvas, a yellow interior emblazoned by broad swathes of blue paint depicts an athletically contorted woman mid-pirouette or falling. Murphy works from swiftly made drawings creating seamless gestures of movement. They are ‘feeling’ rather than ‘thinking’ paintings that are concerned with human emotion and the human condition in which tales of drama and lust abound.
Both Murphy and Tynan paint in a way that is frank and full of integrity, in which humour alternates with genuine pathos. Hands Laid On comprises paintings that relate to one another in a manner that is both reciprocal and divergent.
A publication will accompany this exhibition with a text by Ingrid Lyons. Full text available here.
Edited by Benjamin Stafford
Design and Production – Stina Sandström
Text – Ingrid Lyons
Photography – Kathy Tynan and Aileen Murphy
Edition of 100
Published by Kevin Kavanagh (2016), Free
Edited by Benjamin Stafford
Design and Production – Atelier David Smith
Text – Gordon Weiss
Photography – Gillian Buckley
Edition of 200
Published by Kevin Kavanagh (2015), €15