Inside / Out - Brian Maguire

10 February–31 March

The touring exhibition Inside / Out comes to Cork after its opening at the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery in Dublin, and a subsequent showing at Houston's Contemporary Arts Museum. The work covers ten years of Maguire's career, and during this period he worked in a number of residencies at prisons and other institutions. He represented Ireland at the 1998 Sao Paolo Bienal.

These works are characterised by primitive imagery and raw gestural freedom, relating to neo-Expressionism. Using a variety of two-dimensional media, Brian Maguire considers the contemporary spectres of isolation and voicelessness, recalling Munch, Beuys, and Bacon.

Born in Dublin in 1951, Brian Maguire graduated from the National College of Art and Design in 1975. He has exhibited extensively in Ireland, Europe and the U.S.A. and was recently appointed Head of Fine Art at N.C.A.D. in Dublin. Among the many collections, public and private, in which he is represented are those of the Crawford Minicipal Gallery in Cork, the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery in Dublin, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Alvar Alto Museum in Finland, and the Gemeente Museum in the Hague.

For more information, please contact:
Anne Boddaert

An Irish Vision-Tony O'Malley

Tony O'Malley is one of the major figures in Irish contemporary art. He has exhibited widely since the 1950's in England, Ireland and Europe. This prestigious exhibition is co-curated by the Crawford Art Gallery and the Phillips collection, Washington where it exhibited at the Kennedy centre before returning to Cork.

The exhibition includes approximately thirty-five works spanning over forty years of O'Malley's career, and chronicles the evolution of his artistic style. His paintings represent a uniquely poetic expression in Irish art that is intimately personal and abstract. In his work, the visual description is secondary to his expression of the underlying experience of the places that he loves and paints including Ireland, Cornwall and later the Bahamas

O'Malley became a full-time painter in 1959, though not without considerable frustration at what he felt was an impenetrable wall of polite disregard towards his efforts in Ireland. Moving to Cornwall in 1960, O'Malley opened himself to an abstraction based on natural forms that had originated in Central Europe in the 1920's. In addition he found inspiration in the freedom of the international artist community of St. Ives where Hepworth, Heron, and Peter Lanyon had already established themselves. O'Malley's succes within this context lay in his ability to absorb almost intuitively the contrasting aesthetic strands of European and British art he encountered in Cornwall whilst remaining faithful to his own inner sense and purpose.

His work often holds a strong spiritual element which is illustrated by his works which he has painted annually on or around Good Friday. These works express his sense of struggle in the individual to achieve a form of redemption and the struggle of the artist. While O'Malley has moved towards abstraction he has always retained specific references to specific landscapes in his paintings.

In 1974, O'Malley's first visit to the Bahamas inspired a series of paintings (e.g. Bahamian Butterfly 1979) which are markedly different to the paintings inspired by Irish and Cornish landscapes; black is rarely used and he moves towards a more colourful palette from the more brooding earlier work.

Moving back to Ireland in 1990, Tony O'Malley still works every day unwilling to break the habits of a lifetime. His awareness of self continues to provide a wellspring of inspiration. Every painting is still a distillation of experience and place, where memory interweaves with the present moment.

In 1993, Tony O'Malley was conferred by President Mary Robinson with the Aosdana title of Saoi, an honour confined to only five living artists. He has also received the prestigious IMMA/Glen Dimplex Lifetime Achievement Award.

Irish Painters in Brittany

14 MAY–7 JULY 2001

Following the immensely popular 'Peintres irlandais en Bretagne' exhibition at the museum of Pont-Aven in 1999, the exhibition 'Irish Painters in Brittany' will be shown at the Crawford Municipal Art Gallery between May 14th and July 7th 2001.

At the turn of the twentieth century, Brittany and particularly Pont-Aven, became a chosen place for many artists during the summer months. Among the artists of various nationalities the Irish occupied an important place. Their predilected subjects tended to be Breton people and their everyday life.

The exhibition, curated by Dr Julian Campbell includes pictures of Breton subjects by painters as diverse as Helen Trevor, Roderic O'Conor, William Scott, May Guinness, Aloysius O'Kelly and Samuel Taylor etc. Some of the paintings have never been exhibited in Ireland before.

Picasso: Watercolours and Drawings 1896–1934

17 September–27 October 2001

The Crawford Municipal Art Gallery is organising of the most significant exhibitions in its 127-year history. Picasso: Watercolours and Drawings, 1896-1934 will bring to Cork sixty drawings by the twentieth century master and pioneer of Cubism, Pablo Ruiz Picasso. The exhibit will be on display from September 14 until October 27, 2001.

“This is a concrete confirmation of the Crawford Gallery’s expanding level of activity in the European arts community, and a testimony to Cork’s continuing emergence as an important cultural centre,” said Director Peter Murray. “None of these drawings has ever before been seen in Ireland, and they represent a tremendous opportunity for Irish audiences to experience in person the work of one of the acknowledged geniuses in the history of art.”

On loan from the Musée Picasso in Paris, the drawings span the diverse range of styles that Picasso (1881-1973) explored during his long and remarkably prolific career, but are linked by a fundamental theme: the human figure. They trace the Spanish-born artist’s development from working in Barcelona in the 1890s, through his move to Paris in 1902, with the last exhibited work dating from 1934. By that time Picasso had forged the path to Cubism – the deconstruction of form that shocked the world and irreversibly altered the course of modern art.

“Most people identify Picasso exclusively with Cubism, but this show demonstrates his incredible versatility, as well as his current personal concerns – his mistresses, pleasures and preoccupations are represented,” said Mr. Murray. “Picasso himself said, ‘The way I paint is my way of keeping a diary.’”

The sixty drawings, executed on paper in pencil, charcoal ink and goauche, are on loan from the Musée Picasso in Paris. They will be displayed in the Crawford Gallery’s striking new two-storey extension, designed by Dutch architect Erick van Egaraat. The Crawford Gallery is now able to host such fragile works as these, thanks to the extension’s sophisticated climate controls.

“Picasso drew constantly, compulsively, and left behind a vast body of work,” according to Crawford Gallery Exhibitions Officer Anne Boddaert, who has organised Picasso: Watercolours and Drawings, 1896-1934. “These works range from sketches on the back of an envelope to formal studies for oils that are now classics in the Picasso canon, such as ‘Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.’”

Other drawings demonstrate the underlying technical skill, classical training, and emotional acuity that Picasso brought to the humblest of subjects.

A full-colour catalogue will be on sale, and an education outreach programme is planned. A special supplement to The Irish Examiner to be published in September will include education materials for primary and secondary school students and teachers.

Picasso: Watercolours and Drawings, 1896-1934 at the Crawford Municipal Art Gallery is made possible by the generous support of Project Management Group; The Irish Examiner; The Ireland Funds; Cork Corporation; The French Embassy; Punch Shoe Care; and CDGA Engineering Consultants.

The Crawford Municipal Gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 10 until 5. Admission is free.

For further information contact:
Anne Boddaert P: +353 (0) 21-4273377
F: +353 (0)21-4805043


7 November–14 December 2001

'Within contemporary art today the emphasis on photography, video and installation work seems all pervasive. So it is with some radicalism that we present the work of the abstract painter, Richard Gorman, It is not, as some would believe, that painting is dead, it is just that painting is hard, and competency takes its time, and that time must be full of the practice of painting.'
Patrick T. Murphy, Director, RHA Gallagher Gallery, Dublin

Richard Gorman was born in Dublin in 1946. He had always wanted to be an artist, but being the eldest son was expected to assume responsibilty for a family-run business. At the age of 30 he finally realised his original ambition and became a full-time painter.

Having studied at Dun Laoghaire College of Art and Design, Gorman moved to Paris in 1983, where he established a studio and specialised in lithograph printing. In 1984 Gorman moved to Milan where he is currently based.

Today Richard Gorman is one of Ireland÷s foremost Irish artists working in the area of abstraction. Until the mid-1990÷s Gorman was known for his highly worked and textured canvases, whose animated surfaces were built up with heavy layers of paint.

However, in his most recent paintings his style has been sublimated into an increasinlgy minimal language of reduction, in which colour, form, and balance are the most imprtant elements.

This sense of balance and polished simplicity can be clearly seen in the series of NINE PAINTINGS selected specially for this solo exhibition, previously shown at the R.H.A Gallery in Dublin. Painting in a mixture of oil and tempera on heavy linen canvas, Gorman uses soft brushes or rubber spatulas to achieve a 'lucid, flat, and factual quality to the painted surface.'

He says of his work: 'My paintings are not conceptual in the sense of being planned out in advance, and may go through many stages in their period of evolution. I try to remain open to the possibility of surprise, while searching to achieve unity in the tensions and balances between areas of colour and their relationship with the edge of the canvas.'

The exhibition opens Wednesday 7 November , and continues until 4 December. A fully illustrated catalogue is available.

Further information from: Anne Boddaert, Exhibitions Officer.

Skip to content