Sunday, 19 July 2009

Out And about - The Craic

Dublin is as always bright and blustery, even in summer. I'm a great fan of Jack Butler Yeats and the sky above the city reminds me of his paintings greatly. Its a few days of immersion in contemporary (or recentish) painting with visits to the Hugh Lane Gallery and IMMA. The Hugh Lane is now surely one of the most handsome galleries just about anywhere...with the added bonus of the re-creation of Francis Bacon's studio and now the Sean Scully room (see picture). Alongside its selection of leading Irish artists and other bits and bobs (this time a delightful room of mixed landscapes across three centuries plus a striking show of four leading mid career painters) the place is a fabulous triumph of recent painting. The Yinka Shonibere work that dominated the foyer space was also a really magnificent tour de force.

At IMMA the main attraction is a ten year retrospective of the paintings of American artist Terry Winters (see picture). Winters is a bit hit and miss to be truthful - his obsessive interest in form and the endless variations around those he chooses make his drawings a real feast but the paintings sometimes suggest a less than thoroughly convincing engagement with colour and a cack handed roughness (not that in itself this is a bad thing) that occasionally overwhelms the image. At least thats my view - what cannot be gainsaid is his industry - the work on show being but a part of his output over the period.

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