Don’t Look Back, Baby: Oscar Fouz Lopez
Molesworth Gallery, Dublin Until February 28th
In his crisply stylised paintings, Oscar Fouz Lopez focuses on moments in stories from classical mythology, recast in contemporary settings. His high-keyed palette and slightly retro mode of representation recall the golden days of album art on LP sleeves and magazine illustration.
Spending Static to Save Gas: Gabriel Kuri (Gallery 1)
The Artist’s Eye: Water – Kirsten Pieroth (Gallery 2)
Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity College, Dublin, Until March 28th Mexican-born Gabriel Kuri “plays with the principles of minimalism and the history of consumption” in a site-specific installation that aims to create “a static field” in the gallery’s considerable space and so “reduce the building’s energy use” for the show’s duration. His strategy is to drop the ceiling – though not the actual ceiling, seen littered with apparent detritus, plus a surrounding smoke drawing. In Gallery 2, Kuri invited German artist Pieroth to show some of her series of newspaper-based works.
Sur— [infinite Slippage: production of the r ~e ~a ~l as an intensive magnitude starting at zero-eight] —plus: Ima-Abasi Okon
Void, Patrick Street, Derry
Until March 28th
As part of her exhibition, Ima-Abasi Okon partially lowers a gallery ceiling and applies an invisible concoction including insulin and ultrasound gel to the tiles. A slowed-down audio track, industrial air conditioning units and more form part of her exploration of “the formation of taste, value and excess”. There’s an underlying intimation that the richness of
What is it?
Moorhen Call from the Smell of the Pond, it Seems to Furrow the Smooth Surface of Silence, a painting by Eamon Colman.
Howwas it done?
It was painted with oil and other media on Japanese paper.
Where can I see it?
It is included in The Width of Yourself, Colman’s current exhibition at Solomon Fine Art (Balfe Street Dublin, until Feb 29th, solomonfineart.ie).
Is it a typical work by the artist?
Not quite, perhaps. Colman built his reputation and following as a painter of works that combine an evident delight in the lively play of colour and form with allusions to mythic or magical narratives. There was, in a great deal of his work, usually an interplay between the landscape per se and the inner, imaginative landscape. To some extent Colman set out to substantiate these realms of the imagination through his travels, spending time in India, some of the southern regions of the United
African culture is consistently ignored and discounted. Mary Cremin curates.
Multipolar: John Noel Smith Hillsboro Fine Art, 49 Parnell Square West, Dublin. Until March 7th
John Noel Smith is, as the press release puts it, a “non-figurative painter”, but his visually compelling work always seems to apply to the world, all the same, on many levels.
States and, closer to home but equally spectacular, the Kerry coast. He mentioned Bruce Chatwin’s Songlines as an exemplary attempt to gain a sense of the landscape as written into the lives and imaginations of people.
Colman’s father was the painter Seámus Ó Colmáin. Rather than following directly in his footsteps, the son found his own artistic path. After what he recalls as a bruising time with the Christian Brothers, his parents switched him to infinitely more encouraging environment of The Dalton, a Jewish school in Rathmines, followed by a Protestant school, but his parents decided not to encourage him to pursue a third-level education.
He worked as a labourer, travelled in Europe, apprenticed and studied landscape gardening, took night classes at NCAD. All the time he was gravitating towards painting, bringing to even his early work the instincts of a storyteller, including references to Celtic mythology. As Iain Biggs notes in his thoughtful, wide-ranging introduction to The Width of Yourself, a significant shift
In his new body of work he is set on “co-ordinating the cartography of the centre with that of the periphery; scrutinising the horizon for a new field of vision”. Which is, when you think of it, an interesting way of considering the state of things right now.
You Are Made of Stardust: George Bolster
Solstice Arts Centre, Railway Street, occurred in Colman’s work around 2016-2017, when he began to tone down the colour. Not just the colour, in fact – he also reassessed form, beginning to use a cancelling gesture, applying opaque bands of paint.
For those who warmed to the exuberant brightness of his previous work, the transition may be disconcerting, but there’s no question but that the recent work, more inward and less performative, reflects greater artistic maturity. Biggs links that to the artist’s increasing awareness of environmental realities, living as he does in a rural setting. Certainly, as the new paintings indicate, he is closely aware of the temper of the climate on micro and macro levels. As the extensive titles suggest, he has not discarded the storytelling urge, but the stories he tells here are more rooted in the daily encounters with the living landscape, and less concerned with a mythic dimension that is, with climate change, coming increasingly under threat with inexorable environmental destruction.
Navan, Co Meath Until March 20th Major new show by Cork-born George Bolster, now based in New York, including pieces developed during a residency at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute and time spent with Nasa’s Kepler Mission scientists. Included are a panoramic, threemetre-high tapestry and a suspended mobile that evokes “a cosmic array”.