the nature of drifting | Ulrich Vogl | 23.11-23.12.2017

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Ulrich Vogl

the nature of drifting

November 23rd – December 23rd, 2017

 

The Map

Land lies in water; it is shadowed green.
Shadows, or are they shallows, at its edges
showing the line of long sea-weeded ledges
where weeds hang to the simple blue from green.
Or does the land lean down to lift the sea from under,
drawing it unperturbed around itself?
Along the fine tan sandy shelf
is the land tugging at the sea from under?

-Elizabeth Bishop (1935)

Ulrich Vogl presents a series of new works across a variety of media. He takes 3D maps as his starting point, playing and working with them he changes their context. In day and night / night and day, the ragged edge of a landmass contrasts with the rigid boundary between one day and the next represented by the international date line. Vogl explores the aesthetic of these mapping techniques to consider the passage of time and various discrepancies that occur in its representation.

For the piece Alpen – half restored, Ulrich Vogl commissioned the conservator for contemporary art in Hamburg and Berlin, Claartje van Haften, to restore a map of the Alps by removing streets, cities and other symbols of civilisation using the same restoration techniques often used to repair damaged paintings. In doing this, he suggests a landmass free from human colonisation. The ‘ready-made’ map gets almost completely over-painted and thus becomes a painting. ‘Back to nature’ in this case actually means leaving many human traces behind. In the process of overlaying the map, manipulating it and altering it gradually through the medium of paint, familiar topographies are subverted.

The fifteen maps in the exhibition will be presented alongside a previous installation by Vogl that has also centered on the issue of land and territory as well as a film by Vogl titled, House West. 

House West / Dokumentation, installation, 2 Min, 2004. Available to watch here.

Hidden dips, Blind summits -The road to Brexitaria | Dermot Seymour | 19.10-18.11.2017

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‘These paintings take the viewer across the dystopian notion of a Brexit on the border’.

-Dermot Seymour

Dermot Seymour, born in Belfast (1956), lives and works in Mayo. Recent solo exhibitions include Fliskmahaigo, Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin (2014), Fish, Flesh & Fowl, Golden Thread, Gallery, Belfast (2011) and at Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris (2012). Seymour has also exhibited with Solstice Art Centre, Navan (2012), Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown, Co. Armagh (2004) and at Westport Arts Festival, The Custom House gallery, Westport (2003). Recent group exhibition include Instant Crush, Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin (2014), The Horse Show,  Kinsale Arts Week, curated by Gemma Tipton and Patrick T.Murphy (2011), In the Mind’s Eye, State Art Collection Touring Exhibition (2009), The Happiest Country in the World, An t-Oireachtais Exhibition, Curated by Cliodhna Shaffrey and Ruairi O’Cuiv (2005) and Art for Amnesty, In the Time of Shaking, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2004). Dermot Seymour is an elected member of Aosdana and is the recipient of numerous awards including the Marten Toonder Award (1996) and the Cultural Relations Committee / An Roinn Gnothai Eachtracha award (1994). Seymour’s work is held in numerous public and private collection including the European Central Bank, AXA Insurance, the Office of Public Works, the University of Ulster, the National University of Ireland, Galway and the Arts Council of Ireland.

Obscura | Paul Nugent | 14.09 – 14.10 2017

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 Obscura

The Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital is an institution in Paris that interned and treated patients deemed mentally ill by the state from the 17th century onwards. It was known for its poor living conditions and crude experiments. The Salpetriere in its current manifestation is a university hospital. Gaining notoriety as one of Europe’s largest insane asylums during the Belle Époque, the Salpêtrière became the sight of French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot’s famous Tuesday morning lectures.

These lectures were renowned for their theatrical presentations in which Charcot’s patients performed their conditions to crowds of spectators that included important physicians and neurologists as well as wealthy members of the public. The spectacle of such events was driven by a morbid curiosity that also spurred the circus shows, travelling magicians and hypnotists of the same era. In fact it was noted that Charcot’s lectures were attended by the famous French stage actress, Sarah Bernhardt who purportedly took inspiration form the repertoire of gestures and intensity of performance presented by patients at the Salpêtrière.(Heroes and Legends of Fin-de-Siècle France: Gender, Politics, and National Identity, Venita Datta, 2011 Cambridge University Press, p156).

Charcot initially believed that hysteria was a neurological disorder and throughout his career he searched for the ‘seat’ of hysteria – hoping to find a physical location for the disorder. He later concluded that hysteria was a psychological disease. Using medical apparatus and hypnosis, Charcot and his contemporaries conducted experiments on the – almost exclusively – female patients. During this time he had a number of patients whom he favoured and in the performance of his lectures, Charcot often relied on his more ‘experienced’ patients. Namely those who understood, and were cooperative in, the theatrical nature of the events. Patients such as Louise Augustine Gleizes and Marie ‘Blanche’ Wittmann became complicit in the performance of their condition in a way that transformed them into icons of their hysteria.

In many cases, Charcot’s patients became famous in their own right; Gleizes and Wittmann for example were well known hysterics in the 19th century and became the subject of novels, newspaper articles and works of art. Jane Avril was a dancer and hysteric who became the muse of Toulouse-Lautrec. In her book, Medical Muses: Hysteria in Nineteenth-Century Paris, Asti Hustvedt details rivalries that existed between the young women who hoped to achieve fame by performing in Charcot’s lectures.

Charcot, in his search for the seat of hysteria in the female body, employed what he deemed the most up to date technology to aid his research. He believed that the forensic use of the camera would allow him to locate and distil the essence of hysteria. However as photographic technology developed, the state, hospitals, Gendarmerie and the Académie des Beaux-Arts became complicit in a fiction. Art students, physicians and doctors often worked together with favoured subjects to create the most convincing iteration of the suspected condition. The photographs became increasingly staged and ornate, blurring the already delicate line between documentation and fabrication.

In his most recent series of paintings, Paul Nugent returns to iconography as it pertains to the history and architecture of the asylum chapel. During the 19th century, Charcot relied heavily on photography to decipher and archive cases of hysteria-a disease that no longer exists despite being suspected to affect more than half of all women during the 19th century. (Medical Muses: Hysteria in Nineteenth-Century Paris, Asti Hustvedt, 2012, Bloomsbury Press).

Throughout Obscura, Nugent responds to his photographic source material and the interior of the chapel by closely observing and depicting its interior – the site of the hysteric performances. Séance IV depicts an altar presided over by a statue of the Virgin Mary in her iconic pose, head at a gentle tilt, hands loosely by her side with palms facing upwards. A large painting, of which the subject matter is undecipherable, dominates the wall space of the chapel. In the repetition of these compositions, Nugent simultaneously clarifies and obscures certain details within the chapel to consider various aspects of its architecture. Within the series Nugent also directly references phases in the development of photography as a medium, including the inversion of negatives and the uniform colour of cyanotype.

This alludes to the manner in which the Camera was invested with the belief that it could shed light on the misunderstood phenomenon of hysteria. By creating an extensive archive, Charcot and his associates at the Salpêtrière hoped to find a common physical feature or expression that would help them to identify those that suffered from the condition. George Didi – Huberman in his book Invention of Hysteria, speaks about the ‘True Retina’, an emotionless gaze that presents the patient in the most neutral and objective manner possible through meticulous documentation of the women. The use of this new technology was believed to provide an unprecedented insight into the condition.

In Obscura III, Nugent creates a painted illusion of the photographic image –as though blurred by motion or poor exposure, a trompe l’oeil that denies its medium specificity. However in Obscura I this illusion is shattered. The spatial element of the painting and the objects within it are jarred by the application of thick bars of glossy paint in the uniform Van Dyke brown of the composition. These seemingly impulsive marks contrast with the controlled and nuanced application of paint that form the backdrop. Similarly in Hysteria the measured manner in which the surface has been applied appears to have been compromised by a sudden agitated gesture. The gesture however, is self-reflexive.

The works in Obscura consider the role of the camera in diagnosing and treating patients at the Salpêtrière. By referencing techniques in the development of photography, and in his depiction of various angles of the asylum chapel, Nugent considers the relationship between photography and painting to imply a presence or semblance of place associated with historical and institutional environments.

 

– Ingrid Lyons.

 

Paul Nugent lives and works in Dublin. Recent solo exhibitions include NIGHTSHADE, Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin (2015), a solo presentation at VOLTANY, New York (2011), Remembrance Part I & II, Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin and Remembrance, Kerava Art Museum, Finland (2009). Selected group exhibitions include Many Worlds, Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris (upcoming Sept, 2017), Golden Record, Galway International Arts Festival, Galway Arts Centre (2017), Trove, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, curated by Dorothy Cross (2015), In Darkness Let Me Dwell, Solstice Arts Centre, Navan (2015), Prelude Speaker, Group show, Castletown House, OPW in partnership with Crawford Art Gallery (2013), Last, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity College Dublin (2011) The Painter, the Draughtsman, the Dealer and their Lovers, Voges Gallery, Frankfurt, Germany (2011) and What Happens Next is a Secret, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, curated by Marguerite O’ Molloy (2010). Nugent was awarded a residency at the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris in 2005 and he has been the recipient of the Visual Arts Bursary, multi-annual award, The Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon in 2004-2006 and 2008. His work is held in numerous public and private collections both in Ireland and internationally including the Office of Public Works, the Irish Museum of Modern Art and DCU (Dublin City University).

Written in Water, Shone in Stone | Richard Proffitt | 10.08 – 09.09 2017

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Written in Water, Shone in Stone, Lost in Light is comprised of work in various media – installation, painting, digital collage and audio, forming a constellation of thoughts and ideas that relate to perception and awareness. Richard Proffitt is interested in the transition between personally significant events and those that express aspects of a collective consciousness. In the written pieces that form part of Proffitt’s practice, he traces a process whereby thoughts and observations become recurring memories, replete with symbols and metaphorical meaning. Within his drawings, the natural world is transformed into a realm of psychedelic journey in which knots in the bark of a tree can take on a peculiar anthropomorphic appearance and mountains from afar can appear as towering deities.

There are numerous references to gateways, portals and paths, inferring a journey – a personal journey perhaps – or one towards expanding consciousness. In his installation particular materials are imbued with a certain power to act as potential talismans, esoteric objects that help to guide the way and to ward off evil. Proffitt’s work seeks out universally relatable symbols, ideas and attitudes which act as unifying forces within society. The audio aspect of the work forms an important part of the exhibition, encompassing elements of psychedelia, folk, drone and ambient music.

Proffitt considers symbols and allegories that cleave to the collective consciousness, he does this by referencing both myth and folk legends as well as their contemporary counterparts such as alien visitation and abduction narratives. This alludes to a phenomenon whereby popular culture is often assimilated and recounted as personal experience and vice-versa. Within Written in Water, Shone in Stone, Lost in Light, Proffitt works across a number of media, drawing on a wide variety of source material to create a body of work that considers the role of esoteric symbols in both personal and universal experience.

Written in Water, Shone in Stone, Lost in Light will be accompanied by a vinyl LP of 7 songsThe vinyl, titled Ending Time, will be available for purchase at the gallery; the limited edition features 180g vinyl, digital download code, poster, 12 page booklet featuring extra artwork alongside texts by Mary O’Halloran and Michael Hill and is limited to 50 copies. The regular edition features 180g vinyl and digital download code.

Richard Proffitt (Born 1985, Liverpool, UK) Lives and works in Dublin. Recent solo exhibitions include Hold The Candle To Your Eye/Light the Criss-Cross On Your Chest, Sirius Arts Centre, Cork (2016), Wild Cries of Ha-Ha, Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin (2015), Eternal Spirit Canyon, The Joinery, Dublin (2013) and Saguaro, part of BAM BAM BAM, Wolstenholme Creative Space, Liverpool, UK (2011). Selected group exhibitions include Golden Record, Galway Arts Centre, Galway (2017), Ritual Play, Verkstad Konsthall, Norrkoping, Sweden (2016), Between Seeing and Blindness, Tactic, Cork (2015) and A Modern Panarion, The Hugh Lane, Dublin (2014). Proffitt has also taken part in art fairs and residencies including CAVE Art Fair, Liverpool, UK (2012) and Mobile Research Station, Skulpturen Park, Berlin, Germany (2009). Proffitt’s work has also been featured in numerous publications including To Seek Where Shadows Are, Edited by Padraic E. Moore and designed by Peter Maybury to coincide with A Modern Panarion, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Dublin.

Atonal Supersound | Kathy Tynan | 06.07 – 05.08 2017

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Kathy Tynan’s eye for idiosyncrasies and her ability to distil an essence from daily encounters lends her paintings a profundity that is interspersed with self-reflexive humour. Each painting captures a moment in which a feeling or mood prevails. In the making of these paintings, Tynan proffers a world in which chance encounters and oddities are elevated through their representation. In recent work, Tynan has referenced her painting practice as part of a routine and within Laughter in the Blood, the artists own studio becomes the focus of analysis. In this painting the artist’s supplies – turpentine, brushes and ink are laid out on a frugal looking table. A bundle of brushes with split hairs peak tentatively over a laptop. On the monitor a talking head, subtitled in French, speaks of introspection in a spell of melancholy shoegazing. To the right of the table, near the skirting board, a scrunched leaf of paper torn from a ring-bound notebook politely beseeches the studio occupants, ‘please don’t unplug’.

In Clarice Lispector’s mystical novel, The passion according to G.H, the protagonist becomes preoccupied with the interior of her own apartment and remains there for the duration of the story. In her rigorous questioning of every aspect of her immediate reality she begins to dissolve its solid materiality into an array of psychical absurdities. While much of Tynan’s paintings follow a similar tact of dissecting the seemingly mundane, she also references the Brazilian writer directly in her painting, Thick and Black Roots of the Stars, in which Lispector’s words appear scrawled across a wall. In the painting, grey skies loom over a church and its grounds but the focal point is the richly embellished wall. Across its cement surface, alongside Lispector’s lines, there are messages to missing family members, initials in bubble font, proclamations of eternal love and witty quips. On this graffitied wall, marks made by many different hands are presented together in the composition.

Such a device harks toward the latent impulse within people to make a mark, to give visual expression to a thought. This concept crops up time and again in Tynan’s paintings, posing questions on the nature of institutionalised art production and on the divide between various forms of artistic expression. In her paintings, which revel in the colour, texture and surface possibilities of paint, Tynan reflects on inconsistency and imbalance. Her paintings are often witty and playful but also inquisitive – imbued with their own revelatory purpose. Together the paintings in Atonal Supersound converse with and often contradict one another. They exist as counter points reaffirming the idea that meaning is both deduced and created. It is somewhere between these two activities that Tynan’s work gathers its momentum.

Kathy Tynan (b.1984) lives and works in Dublin. She graduated from the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) with a BA in Painting in 2008 and an MA also from NCAD (2010). Recent group exhibitions include Hands Laid On with Aileen Murphy, Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin (2016), There Are Little Kingdoms (2016), Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray, What Is And What Might Be, Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda (2015) and The Sky Is All Changed, Hendrons Collider, Dublin (2014). Tynan’s work is held in public collections including the Office of Public Works as well as private collections in Ireland and abroad.

Crooked Orbit | Diana Copperwhite | 01.06 – 01.07 2017

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‘As is well known, the word ‘orbit’ refers to a set route or path around a given point: we on earth orbit the sun, just as the moon orbits us. Perhaps less known, though, is that the word is etymologically coupled with a distinct sense of the optical: from a fourteenth century French word for ‘eye socket’. Seeing, in this understanding, is always underscored by a sense of movement or voyaging: when we look at someone or something, we simultaneously tread a track around it. Perhaps we come close to this object, but we don’t get to touch it.

I kept this double meaning in mind when thinking about Diana Copperwhite’s recent paintings. In this latest exhibition, Crooked Orbit, these are large and at least initially discordant works. It seems as though no colour has been left aside, from lurid fuchsias and cobalt blues, to neon yellow and swatches of minty green. Recurring throughout the canvases, there is also a gradient effect achieved by loading the brush with different shades of paint; and this has a consequence of suggesting that these paintings have almost outgrown the tools of their creation, those tools then being forced to convey, through colour, as much as they possibly can. Sometimes these gradient interventions are vertical and regular; at others, they are less uniform, cast in a halting semi-circle or upturned ‘u’. Throughout, they act to create the impression of space within the paintings: in one, a narrow swathe of grey, pink and white, has the look of an outstretched arm, a slight sag in the middle where the elbow could be; in another, a flat vertical plane of what looks like four gradient drags cuts a dint of architectural space. But, even when working in unison, each of these is just one gesture, loaded to capacity and worked until it dissipates, the paint run out or stopped short from further decline. Representation is at most, never quite; cast as it is though a series of distinct marks, the whole remains fragmentary, gestured towards but never quite pinned down’.

Extracted from Awkward Angle of Perception, by Rebecca O’Dwyer. The full essay will be available at the gallery from June 1st.

Diana Copperwhite (b. 1969, Ireland) lives and works in Dublin and New York. Recent solo exhibitions include Driven by Distraction, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin (2016), Depend on the Morning Sun, Thomas Jaeckal Gallery, New York (2016) and A Million and One Things Under the Sun, Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin (2015). Selected group exhibitions include Last Picture Show w/Mary Heilmann, Chris Ofili, Danny Rolph, Vanessa Jackson, Elio Rodriguez, Jill Levine, Rebecca Smith, Thomas Jaeckel Gallery, New York (2017) and Virtú, inc. Picasso, Giacometti, Henry Moore, Elizabeth Magill and Sean Scully at the Hunt Museum, Limerick, Ireland (2017). Copperwhite’s work is held in numerous public and private collections including: the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Arts Council of Ireland, Limerick City Gallery of Art, Office of Public Works, Contemporary Irish Art Society, Highlanes Municipal Art Gallery, Mariehamn Stadbiblioteque, Aland (Finland), Dublin Institute of Technology and The President of Ireland.

Rebecca O’ Dwyer is an Irish art writer, critic, and PhD candidate at National College of Art & Design, Dublin. Her writing has been published in Paper Visual Art Journal, Enclave Review, Frieze, Eyeline, Fallow Media, and the Visual Artists’ New Sheet, amongst others, and she has written catalogue texts for artists including Kathy Tynan, Fergus Feehily and Barbara Knezevic. She is a previous winner of the VAI/DCC Critical Writing Award, and the editor of the online art-writing platform, Response to a Request, which was launched in August 2016.

Rectangle, a written thing | Sonia Sheil | 04.05 – 27.05 2017

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Rectangle, a written thing, 2017, is presented in four ensembles. These painted works conjure theatrical tropes without motion, containing performative moments within the stasis and composition of painting. Such poles of action and inaction, recurring throughout the installation, are echoed in an accompanying script. This written thing provides a space to situate the work in a critical context by exploring its own real and imagined materiality – and it tells the story of an artist who, in being mistaken for a tree, learns what it is to be expressive.

Sonia Shiel’s work examines her protagonists’ attempts to survive the odds of nature and the illusory world around them, through laws of their own making. Many of her works engage with each other symbiotically or con/sequentially within mixed-media installations, creating surreal narrative sequences. Often taking the form of scripted video, audio and live performances, Shiel’s works synthesise object, image and sound in self-reflexive stories of construction, exploring how real things in the world can simultaneously declare themselves fabrications and yet compel a shared make-believe.

Sonia Shiel is currently the Arts and Humanities’ Artist-in-Residence at UCD for 2017 and a recipient of the DLRCoCo and the Arts Council Visual Artist Awards for 2017. In 2014/2015, she completed the Art & Law Fellowship Program at Fordham Law School, the International Studio & Curatorial Program, in New York, and an artist’s residency at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, with Arts Council Project Award support. Recent readings and performances include Temple Bar Gallery and Studios and ArtBox. She has had recent exhibitions at Rua Red, The Crawford Gallery, The Irish Museum of Modern Art, The Lewis Glucksman Gallery and the ISCP, New York, among others. Shiel has been the recipient of the Tony O’Malley and Hennessy Craig Awards, having had solo exhibitions at the Butler Gallery and the RHA Gallery I and II, which included a major publication and a collection of essays. Her work features in many international public and private collections, including the Arts Council, The City of Frankfurt, and the OPW.

Aspasia – An Influential Immigrant | Margaret Corcoran | 23.05 – 22.04 2017

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Aspasia was an influential immigrant to Classical-era Athens. She was the lover of the statesman Pericles and yet famed in her own right as an intellectual. As an outsider to the culture she entered, she thrived despite its restrictive citizenship laws.
Corcoran’s large, highly colourful canvases are bold and assertive, while the works on paper are sensitively rendered and acutely observed. She brings together an unlikely grouping of references celebrating love, creativity, ceremony and independence of thought.

The artist depicts figures such as Aspasia, Eileen Gray and D.H Lawrence alongside Sudanese courting couples and Bhutanese royalty. Their coexistence as subjects in the exhibition traces an idiosyncratic and tangential body of research that incorporates references to colonialism and to a striving for human dignity and equality. Aspasia – An Influential Immigrant celebrates unexpected congruence in the lives of people divided both historically and geographically.
As a complement to the wide-ranging subject matter, Corcoran utilises varying scales, techniques and paints to identify affinities and universal motifs in seemingly disparate lives.

A recent review of the exhibition in Frieze magazine can be read here.

Many-worlds interpretation…| Geraldine O’Neill | 16.02 – 18.03 2017

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The subjectivity of perception provides each individual with a measure of the world; the communication of these various measures defines reality. Each one of us is like an artist, continuously creating our own personal worldview often unaware of just how subjective it is. Heraclitus believed that the world was ‘one and many at the same time’; the tension held in this opposition is the tension inherent to life.
-Don Foresta, The many worlds of Art, Science and New Technologies, MIT Press, 1991.

Many-worlds interpretation agus rudaí eile nach iad is an exhibition of recent paintings by Geraldine O’Neill. Drawing on a wide variety of sources, she includes objects from within her household that have personal significance as well as images gleaned from the history of painting. Her emphatic use of children’s drawings, as well as the appearance of children as subjects within her compositions harks to the manner in which they come to terms with their world. Children often conflate playing, learning and dreaming and this is an important reference within the artist’s oeuvre. The content of O’Neill’s paintings constitute a collage through the history of image making as well as the personal history of the artist. These paintings are detailed and dense, replete with allegory and symbolism. Through her fascination with emblematic devices in northern renaissance painting O’Neill recalls motifs and iconography and considers them afresh.

In larger compositions she includes miniatures in the background – scenes unfolding and adding to the narrative of the painting. This device recalls the works of Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1515). In his paintings, a multitude of symbols contribute to the narrative. In Minion Man, O’Neill draws on the imagery from The Haywain Triptych by Bosch. On the closed exterior of the triptych, a wayfarer repels a dog with his stick. O’Neill pictures Bosch’s ‘wayfarer’ in a palimpsest of her own painted histories. While the wayfarer journeys forth, a young child looks outward; his eyes glazed in reverie. The appearance of the two figures together conjures ideas of exploration and the pursuit of knowledge through adventure and play. However there are also dangers lurking in the background and challenges ahead. The tension between these two worlds is a defining characteristic of the work and as such renders it both solemn and frivolous. As art historian Angela Griffith has noted in a recent article in Irish Arts Review;

Despite knowing the wider cultural, social and political contexts of the objects and artworks (re)presented, O’Neill does not create polemical works. Rather, through the beguiling visual properties of her paintings she seeks to draw the viewer out by drawing them in – compelling them to look, to see and, ultimately, think.

Within these paintings various realities co-exist creating a palimpsest where many worlds merge. By reproducing and combining images, as well as using different marks and gestures within the language of paint, O’Neill’s work adds a personal voice to an ongoing conversation that spans the history of western art to the present day.

Altered Light | Kathlyn O’Brien | 12.01 – 11.02 2017

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Kathlyn makes detailed and idiosyncratic sculptures from a range of found and collected materials, often repurposing objects, salvaged and procured. Many of the structures appear shrine-like, maquettes that look like reliquaries to house treasured or sacred items. Altered Light presents a series of objects that have been transformed; they have borne metamorphosis through artistic intervention.

Many of these artworks offer us a glimpse into a world of making. They are the physical manifestation of thinking and dreaming through assemblage. Within these sculptures the external world and its structures mingle with the internal world of ideas. The work is buttressed by an instinctual understanding of architecture and carpentry. Kathlyn’s fluency with the handling of materials enables her to think through making and to project dream like structures directly from the inner eye into physical existence – she is a maker who thinks and dreams through the act of making.

Altered Light comprises a number of assemblages that are quiet and unassuming though powerful and resilient. This exhibition is the first solo exhibition of work by Kathlyn since 2011. Her work has often gone under the radar though not for her contemporaries. She has worked confidently over the years, untroubled by the flotsam and jetsam of art world trends. Within these strange objects is a world of ritual and respect that centers on the positive, regenerative aspect of destruction.

This is a particularly exquisite exhibition as the creation of these works span decades. Some works the artist has been developing gradually for years, some have been at stage of completion awaiting a final unknown component and others have been constructed in bursts of enthusiasm for fleeting thoughts. Kathlyn resurrects forgotten items and bestows on them a sense of renewed relevance. She gives them a second life.

 

Only connect | Ali Kirby & Christopher Mahon | 05.01 – 08.01 2017

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Kevin Kavanagh is pleased to present ‘only connect’, a two person exhibition of work from emerging artists Ali Kirby and Christopher Mahon.
The immediacy and ubiquity of digitized connectivity has revolutionized ways of interacting socially, romantically and in relation to inhabited spaces both public and private. Boundaries morph and fragment; between people, work, leisure, public and private space. Action, and experience, is fragmented.

Through a use of both traditional fine art techniques and materials, and those traditionally associated with architecture and building, Kirby and Mahon quietly underline the primal nature of, and need for, material connection: with our environment, and with others.

Through reliance on solid material and subtle architectural interventions, the seemingly paradoxical suggestion is made that to connect more, connect less: ground bodies – and all they can do – in visceral sensory experience.

Only connect!….Live in fragments no longer”

Ali Kirby (b. Dublin, Ireland) graduated in 2014 with first class honours in Fine Art from LSAD, specialising in Sculpture & Combined Media. Kirby is the recipient of the Fire Station Artist’s Studios Sculpture Workshop Award & Bursary 2016 and the RHA Studio Residency Award 2015. Recent exhibitions include all shimmers here (2016) MART Gallery, Dublin, Describing Architecture – Memory and Place (2015) City Assembly House, Dublin, the 185th RHA Annual Exhibition (2015) Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, Periodical Review #4 (2015) Ormston House, Limerick, Periodical Review #4 (2014) Pallas ProjectsDublin, Essays for the House of Memory (2014) Ormston House, Limerick, Single Channel (2013) Chartier Arts Venue, Connecticut, USA, Undertow (2012) the LAB, Dublin and Undertow (2011) Ormston House, Limerick.

Christopher Mahon (b.1988), recently completed an MA in Art and Research Collaboration, IADT (2016). Recent exhibitions include Illusions of Beloved Objects, Basic Space (2016), This is Public and Sexy, curated by RGKSKSRG, (2016).

Slips and Glimpses | Robert Armstrong & Anna Bjerger | 17.11 – 17.12 2016

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Painters have a complex relationship with their source material. While it provides them with vital information and can often stimulate certain illuminating reactions within them, it can also act as a self-imposed limit, which, once introduced, must be escaped from. Slips and Glimpses, an exhibition of new work by Anna Bjerger and Robert Armstrong delivers moments of both vivid immersion and profound escape.

Bjerger’s paintings often reference found imagery such as old magazine clippings. While the figures and objects which populate her paintings may seem largely unrelated, they are connected by a curious sense of timelessness. Or rather, that they exist in a time to which they do not belong. Through her paintings Bjerger provides a home for these displaced images, while simultaneously pointing to their outsider status. Their treatment is at once tender and removed. Cotton, for instance, depicts the torsos of two children wearing white t-shirts. One of the children’s t-shirts appears to be spattered with blood. But on closer inspection, the spatters extend extra-diegetically onto the t-shirt of the second child in a manner that could only have been made by the external hand of the painter. This deceptively simple gesture creates a mysterious tension between the world within the painting and that without. Such devices serve to both disorient and intrigue, allowing us glimpses into moments of great intimacy, to which we remain none the wiser.

Similarly, Armstrong’s paintings act as a space in which time and reality are made lusciously slippery. Drawing on sources such as masterworks from art history, ancient archeological sites and biblical narratives, Armstrong’s worlds both collide and withdraw. The cloud, a recurring motif in paintings such as A Cloud for Sigiriya and Humility after MW will often act as a unifier of these many worlds, bringing together earth and sky, figuration and abstraction, past and present, by floating or resting gently in their interim. Armstrong’s paintings search through the unknowable terrains of the past. But through his energetic and gleefully inventive use of paint, it is always the unforeseen, the strange, the new that emerges.

This exhibition combines the practices of two greatly accomplished painters, whose mutual admiration and respect for one another and for their chosen medium is distinctly evident. Through their work, both painters offer a surface on which content and materiality is treated with equal importance. Within these paintings, the origin and its varying forms of transition can safely co-exist, undisturbed by the passing of time and its consequences.

Anna Bjerger (b.1973) lives and works in Älmhult, Sweden. She has recently held solo exhibitions in David Risley Gallery, Copenhagen, 2016, Galleri Magnus Karlsson, Stockholm, 2015 and Galleria Monica de Cardenas, Milan, 2014. Her works are held in many collections, including Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (DK), Moderna Museet (SE), Zabludowicz Collection (UK) and Stedelijk Museum, (NE). Bjerger is represented by David Risley Gallery, Copenhagen and Galerie Magnus Karlsson, Stockholm.

Robert Armstrong (b.1953) lives and works in Dublin. Armstrong is Head of Painting in the National College of Art and Design and is a Founder Member of Temple Bar Gallery & Studios, Dublin. Recent solo exhibitions include a presentation at VOLTA New York (2015), and Assumptions (2014) Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin.

WI | Stephen Loughman | 13.10- 12.11 2016

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Kevin Kavanagh presents WI, an exhibition of new paintings by Stephen Loughman

 

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountain green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?
And did the countenance divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among those dark satanic mills?

– from Jerusalem by William Blake

 

WI comprises a suite of recent paintings by Stephen Loughman that take vintage postcards
issued by the Women’s institute as their source material and subject matter. The use of such
postcards, which were bought in bulk at online auctions, represent a departure from Loughman’s
previous method of painting from film stills and yet the work retains a filmic quality. Images of
the English countryside appear lushly detailed though curiously deadpan and while the source
material documents picturesque landscapes, their corresponding paintings appear densely
ominous, as plotted points within a broader narrative.

A history of the Women’s Institute spanning over one hundred years includes the suffragette
movement which began in 1913 as well as their contribution to the war effort during both World
War I and World War II. At the beginning of the 1920s the institution adopted Jerusalem as their
anthem. Originally written by William Blake in 1804, the poem celebrates ‘England’s green and
pleasant land’ and centers on rural countryside as the utopian ideal.

Within WI visual motifs become apparent; tunnels, bridges and arches reference architectural
intervention in the landscape as churches and thatched cottages are depicted amidst verdant
forests and gardens. In an art historical context the depiction of the English countryside has long
been bound up with national identity, and has continually acted as a cypher for collective
consciousness. In her book Wanderlust, Rebecca Solnit wrote, ‘At the beginning of the eighteenth
century, English aristocrats had linked nature with reason and the current social order, suggesting
that things were as they should be. But nature was a dangerous goddess to enthrone. At the latter
end of the century, Rousseau and romanticism equated nature, feeling, and democracy,
portraying the social order as highly artificial and making revolt against class privilege “only
natural” (Solnit, R, 2014, p109).

Loughman’s decision to work with postcards made by members of the Women’s Institute
alludes to the social history of an organisation in which the word ‘domestic’ has been applied not
only to the home but to the home country and the idea of nationhood. By referring to such
source material, Loughman connects aspirations towards patriotism and religion with the English
landscape and in this way the use of such imagery alludes to class structuring and social order.

Through time spent with Loughman’s paintings, it begins to emerge that a history has been
obfuscated or perhaps veneered. These seemingly idyllic images appear constricted – imbued
with a sense of unease or discomfort. The implication of such a device within WI attests to
Loughman’s ability to connect the depiction of rural England with its simultaneous social history
and, as in the artist’s previous work, to modify or drastically alter the mood or tone of an image
through the medium of paint.

Disguise The Limit | Nevan Lahart | 08.09 – 08.10 2016

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Kevin Kavanagh is pleased to present Disguise the Limit, an exhibition of new work by Nevan Lahart.

The paintings in Disguise the Limit are serenely beautiful. Lahart pictures the vast expanse of the sky; initially appearing as traditional skyscapes, this contextualisation is swiftly derailed by the inclusion of strange and suspicious cloud formations. Jet streams left in the wake of unseen aircraft allude to nefarious activities and environmental interventions. Plumes, halos, and streams of condensation cling to currents at various altitudes to create an array of patterns in which peculiar anthropomorphic swirls occur and ominous shapes evoke changes in the atmosphere.

Through the medium of paint, Lahart illuminates the signs and signifiers in our immediate environment that often elude us. His work utilises a wide variety of materials to pose questions on topics that interest him. This recent suite of paintings, in which strange shapes appear in the sky incorporate his interest in alternative histories. Through the work, he emphasises the dynamic that exists between fabrication and fact. By considering Lahart’s practice in this context, it can be regarded as a means of discussing and challenging histories and mechanisms of power that are often determinately approved as fact.

Lahart challenges our propensity to form a consensus on events and thus relegate them to false history and through Disguise the Limit, he encourages us to question the avenues of information in which we blindly trust. Many of the installations and paintings within this exhibition urge us to consider other ways of knowing, other ways of coming to terms with the world around us. His work beckons us to pay attention to alternative theories and their potential to tell us truths that have been obscured in the past for reasons both benign and malevolent.

I really don’t feel them | Carl Giffney | 01.09 – 03.09 2016

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I really don’t feel them | Carl Giffney

1hr 37mins, HD video + stereo, (2016).

I really don’t feel them is a 3 day event at Kevin Kavanagh gallery. Its central work is a feature length documentary movie by the same name, shot in The Netherlands, Scotland and Finland, produced by Carl Giffney.

The movie will be screened on the big screen once each evening at a seated viewing starting at 18.00hr. Free tickets can be booked by contacting Kevin Kavanagh gallery directly. An exhibition of printed video stills expand the event. I really don’t feel them and its related projects were made across five residencies within Frontiers In Retreat (2013 – 2018), a five year collaborative residency project across seven EU countries funded by the EU Culture Fund.

For further information please visit www.carlgiffney.com and www.frontiersinretreat.org

You can view the full film here.

 

Ozymandias | Vogl, Scullion & McSweeney | 04.08 – 27.08 2016

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Kevin Kavanagh is pleased to present Ozymandias, a group exhibition of new work by Ulrich Vogl, Joe Scullion and Tadhg McSweeney.

This exhibition comprises a series of works that approach the idea of fictional architecture; worlds within worlds. Each of the artists have cultivated a practice that incorporates the act of rendering. Constructed spaces, aspects of architecture and illusion are explored in various mediums.

Abstraction and fragmentation are used to describe and deconstruct space and the forms that occupy that space. McSweeney’s work often contains elements of older works, painted surfaces and parts of preexisting sculptures. They represent a history of the artist’s own practice contained within each new piece. Scullion creates maquettes and models, which recur in his paintings as fictional monuments. For both artists, each work gives rise to another work in a practice that is generative and reciprocal. In many of Vogl’s installations there is a similar preoccupation with fabrication and invention in which fragments are reorganised to create fictional narratives through light and shadow.

The work of the three artists appears to collide and merge. Figuratively, the works support each other and pose questions on the nature of building, invention, structure and composition. Surface, reflection and shadow each play a role in suggesting various realities and illusions. The exhibition explores a sense of the Utopian in its etymological meaning, ‘eu topos’ or ‘no place’ and evokes the Utopian as a fictional realm, questioning our assumptions around fragmentation and construction in the built environment and subsequently how we interact with that environment.

Scrapyard Carnival | Sean Lynch | 07.07-30.07 2016

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Kevin Kavanagh presents Scrapyard Carnival, a new installation by Sean Lynch.

As ever, Lynch’s new work evokes the role of narrative and allegory, this time spiraling out of an event in a scrapyard in Clondalkin, on the edge of Dublin City in 2011. There, a repossession company seized a BMW 3 series motor car from notorious Celtic Tiger banker Sean Fitzpatrick, and soon organised an eBay auction where the highest bidder would get the opportunity to crush the vehicle, as a form of revenge for the wrongdoings by the banking sector upon the good people of Ireland. The resulting scene, played out as a carnivalesque drama emphasising a form of folk ritual around the economic recession, is reimagined at Kevin Kavanagh, where a fragment of the actual car, video footage and slide projections all intermingle in the gallery space, alongside a new suite of graphic works released in a special collaboration between Lynch and London-based designer Wayne Daly.

Sean Lynch represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale in 2015, along with solo presentations at Modern Art Oxford in 2014 and at Dublin City Gallery the Hugh Lane in 2013, amongst many other exhibitions, publications and projects throughout Europe in recent years. In the last year he has curated exhibitions at Lismore Castle Arts and Flat Time House in London, and will present his first solo museum exhibition in the United States at the Rose Art Museum in Boston this September.

The Glorious Maids of the Charnel House | Alice Maher | 02.06-02.07 2016

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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.

A publication with a text by Tina Kinsella accompanies the exhibition. Her essay can be read here.

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.

 

 

 

Whenceness | Elaine Byrne | 05.05-28.05 2016

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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.

Through the Undergrowth | Michael Boran | 07.04-30.04 2016

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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.

Who Fears to Speak of the Republic? | Robert Ballagh | 10.03-02.04 2016

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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.

Ardán | Sinéad Ní Mhaonaigh | 03.02-27.02 2016

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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.

Hands Laid On | Kathy Tynan & Aileen Murphy | 07.01-30.01 2016

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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. More information available here.

Kathy Tynan (b.1984) graduated with a BA in Fine Art Painting in 2008 from the National College of Art and Design. She returned to NCAD to complete an MA in Art in the Contemporary World. Tynan has exhibited in many group shows. Recent exhibitions include The Future is Self Organised, LCGA, Limerick, 2015, Buff, Sim Gallery, Reykjavik, 2015, What is And What Might Be, Highlanes Gallery Drogheda, 2015, Panorama, Pallas Projects, Dublin, 2015 as well as a solo exhibition; The Sky is All Changed, Hendrons Collider, Dublin, 2014. Tynan’s work is held in many notable public and private collections.

Aileen Murphy (b.1984) graduated with a BA in Fine Art Painting in 2007 from the National College of Art and Design. She is currently embarking on an MA at the highly regarded HFBK Städelschule in Frankfurt. Murphy has participated in a number of group shows including Stuffing. Johan, Frankfurt, 2015, Here and Now, Greenacres, 2015, Panorama, Pallas Projects, Dublin, 2015 as well as solo exhibition; Guano Fruit, Ormond Studios, Dublin, 2013. Aileen Murphy has participated in numerous residencies and collaborations including Soft Blonde Moustache, a Dublin based drawing collective. Murphy will show with 321 Gallery, New York in January 2016.

Hanuman | Paul McKinley | 19.11-19.12 2015

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Hanuman, November 2015

In this exhibition of recent works Paul McKinley refers to the history and folklore of Sri Lanka to inform his paintings. Hanuman details a period of Sri Lankan history, focusing on the last days of a civil war that ended in 2009. In the grassy verges and lush thickets, guerilla fighters – men and boys – lay hidden in bunkers enshrouded by dense foliage. They fought in the overgrown forests and ditches of the north Sri Lankan landscape. Hanuman is also the name of a central character of the Hindu epic Ramayana. McKinley observes and comments upon the manner in which an epic poem such as the Ramayana still has the ability to drive political action. In drawing a parallel between the two, McKinley seeks to emphasise dormant narratives that lie in the landscape and thus he presents us with a history of the area-twice told, through the violent conflict of 2009 and through the bitter feuds of the ancient Ramayana.

Through this series of paintings McKinley pursues an investigation into the phenomenon of ‘dark tourism’ in places where major trauma has occurred and the proximity of idyllic tourist trails to scenes of extreme violence. Though McKinley has focused on the idea of ‘dark tourism’ in the past, this is the first time that he has referenced a narrative that has elements of the fantastical, with universal, transcendental themes. Working from source material acquired by people visiting or living in the area he considers the development of images as they are created, passed on and re-purposed. In doing this he approaches the differences between recording and representing, documenting and describing.

Owing to the strong connections between the paintings and their narrative referents a special text has been commissioned by the gallery to accompany the exhibition. Literary journalist, former United Nations official and author of The Cage, Gordon Weiss has liaised with Paul McKinley to write an essay that further contextualises the work and illuminates the dark days of the Sri Lankan civil war.

Paul McKinley (b. 1973) Birmingham, England, graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in 1996. McKinley has exhibited widely in Ireland and abroad at art fairs such as Volta Basel in 2013. Recent solo exhibitions include Gacaca, RHA, Dublin 2014, Operation Turquoise, Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin, 2013 and Palisade, Third Space Gallery, Belfast, 2011. McKinley has also taken part in many group exhibitions including Periodical Review # 3, Pallas Projects, Dublin, 2013 and Interlude (Aspects of Irish landscape painting), The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, 2011. Mckinley was awarded the Credit Union Painting Prize in Claremorris Open 2015, an Arts Council Bursary in 2014 and The Nissan Art Project in 2007. His work is held in many important public collections including the OPW and AIB as well private collections in Ireland and across Europe.

GREY·WHITE·KLEE | Agnes de Vlin | 10.11-14.11 2015

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GREY·WHITE·KLEE

10 – 14 November, 2015.
Opening Tuesday 10 November, 6pm

Irish Design is a yearlong initiative that aims to raise the profile of Irish design by increasing awareness of the value of design in all aspects of life. The Kevin Kavanagh gallery, designed by architect Philip Crowe of MCO Projects, is one of the few purpose built art spaces in Ireland. In celebration of Design Week 2015 Kevin Kavanagh will host a presentation by Agnes de Vlin that will run for one week as part of Irish Design 2015.

De Vlin comes from a multi-disciplinary background with formal training in graphics, sculpture and print. De Vlin’s Patterns and Visual compositions evidence a curiosity for harmony and synchronicity that occurs within synthesized as well as natural patterns. Her designs arise out of a process of observation, drawing, focusing in and beginning again – they are complex though not complicated. She is continually researching the rhythmic devices apparent in repeat patterns and through her designs she articulates transient characteristics that extend beyond symmetry, repetition and scale. Throughout this presentation, De Vlin responds to the visual codes of the art gallery by heightening the interplay between grey, white and the tonal range that exists in between. De Vlin has worked with The Store Yard on a number of refurbishment projects under the name F·O·U·N·D @The Storeyard and a selection of these pieces will be included as functional components of the presentation.