Stones, Slabs and Seascapes: George Victor du Noyer’s Images of Ireland

17 November 2017–
24 February 2018

Curated by Peter Murray and Petra Coffey

An artist imbued with a keen appreciation of the sciences—particularly geology, botany and zoology, George Victor Du Noyer is also remarkable for his devotion to recording the antiquarian and archaeological sites that are such a  characteristic feature of the Irish landscape. Born into a Huguenot family in Dublin in 1817, while still a young teenager, Du Noyer was apprenticed to the artist George Petrie, who headed the Topographical Department of the Ordnance Survey. After leaving the Ordnance Survey, Du Noyer worked as an art teacher at the College of St. Columba and was then employed by the newly-formed Geological Survey of Ireland. Over the course of a half century, he travelled the length and breadth of Ireland, sketching and recording as he went. Thousands of drawings and sketches by him are preserved in the libraries and archives of institutions such as the Royal Irish Academy and the Royal Society of Antiquaries in Ireland. However, due to the fragility of these works, they have rarely been exhibited. In the archive of the Geological Survey, for example, are hundreds of drawings and watercolours of landscapes and coastlines, particularly of Antrim, Wexford, Waterford, Cork and Kerry, while in the Botanic Gardens, are exquisite watercolours of Irish apple varieties, roses and other botanical specimens. 

Vastly prolific, Du Noyer recorded dispassionately, and accurately, throughout his working life, eventually amassing over five thousand images, most of which were done ‘en plein air’ as he travelled. Somewhat overlooked by art history, the last significant exhibition of his work, curated by Fionnuala Croke, was held at the National Gallery of Ireland over twenty years ago.

In celebration of Du Noyer’s extraordinary achievements, and to commemorate the bi-centenary of his birth, the Crawford Art Gallery will host a major survey exhibition, featuring over one hundred and fifty watercolours and drawings. Opening in November 2017 and continuing until the end of February, 2018, the exhibition will be curated by Peter Murray, former Director of the Crawford Art Gallery, in collaboration with Petra Coffey and the Geological Survey of Ireland, Stones, Slabs and Seascapes: George Du Noyer’s Images of Ireland will feature loans from the collections of the Royal Irish Academy, the National Museum of Ireland, the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, the Geological Survey Ireland, and the National Archives. A full colour catalogue to accompany the exhibition will feature articles by Peter Murray, Siobhan Fitzpatrick, Peter Harbison, Petra Coffey, and Nigel Monaghan.An extensive “learn and explore” programme, encompassing many of the subjects that Du Noyer was interested in, and featuring public talks, tours, and themed workshops aimed at children and adults alike, will take place on an ongoing basis throughout the exhibition.
Exhibition sponsored by Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Geological Survey Ireland, Carmel and Martin Naughton and National Museum of Ireland. Slabs and Seascapes will be shown in the Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, 2017 and the National Museum of Ireland, 2018.

WHAT'S THE STORY? History, Memory, and Myth in an Age of Alternative Facts

Until 20 January 2018

What’s the story?
Irish slang, colloquial phrase, greeting
– hello; what is happening; what is going on.

In a post-truth age characterised by ‘alternative facts’ and ‘fake news’, it is often difficult to discern what is truly happening. In such uncertain times, separating truth from untruth has thus become central to contemporary life. If we are to continue to acknowledge the importance of factual accuracy, however, questioning the verbal and visual information we receive, as well as the manner in which it is packaged, is essential.

Acting as a repository for cultural memory and storytelling, visual art helps us to engage with deeper truths and to reflect on the authenticity of the narratives we encounter. Drawing on the work of some of Ireland’s finest artists, this exhibition enables us to consider reality and invention in parallel, and invites us to question accepted truths and the multiple versions of history.

We encourage visitors to explore these history paintings and allegories, landscapes and scenes of everyday life to unpick the mythmaking, to challenge the shaping of history, and to discover what’s the story.


Until 14 May 2018

Discover alchemy, enchantment, and mystery amid our exhibition of paintings, sculpture,  and ceramics in Music, Myth, and Magic. Featuring work from our collection, including treasures from the Father John McGrath Bequest to the Crawford Art Gallery, Music, Myth, and Magic appeals to all ages to explore the world through the lens of art.

The Eye of the Artist


Drawn from the Crawford Gallery's permanent collection, "The Eye of the Artist" gives an insight into how artists represent the world around them. Most of the works are watercolours or drawings, although there are also two photographs by the pioneering photographer Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879). 

Over the centuries, through the study of anatomy, architecture, literature and other disciplines, artists learned how to employ different techniques to realise imaginative concepts. The inclusion of Cameron is significant, as it shows how representation is either bound by, or breaks free from, such visual codes built up over centuries. Although made using the camera, her photographs are informed by the same aesthetics that also guided painters such as Delacroix (1798- 1863) or Gustave Moreau (1826-1898). 

While many of the artists were professionals, who made their living from exhibiting or teaching, some of the most interesting work in "The Eye of the Artist" was done by dedicated amateurs, notably Joseph Stafford Gibson (1837-1919) whose views of Spanish and French landscapes and towns show a very individual approach.

Among the other artists represented are Mainie Jellett (1897-1944), Daniel Maclise (1806-1870), Hercules Brabazon Brabazon (1821-1906), Evie Hone (1894-1955), Margaret Clarke (1888-1961), Nathaniel Grogan (1740-1807) and Kathy Prendergast (b.1958).


May 2018

This exhibition brings together two key bodies of work by New York based artist Phillip Toledano, Days with my Father (2010) and Maybe (2015), in which he  balances the emotional pull of the decline of his father’s illness with dementia, with his obsessive exploration of potential scenarios of his own future. 

Days with my Father and the artist’s corresponding texts, poignantly detail his father’s dementia.  In using the camera, father and son created a different relationship, with the process providing Toledano a way of communicating and coping with his father’s dementia. 

Having experienced the death of close family members in the span of a few years,Toledano became consumed and distracted by his own mortal fears. Over three years (2012-2015), he created Maybe and confronted such fears in excruciating detail, aided perhaps with a healthy dose of narcissism.

In an effort to reassure, the viewer - and himself - that his worst-case scenarios for living and dying are not the only scenarios available, the exhibition explores our innate fascination and repulsion of imagining our own futures whilst providing a platform to discuss the often difficult subject of ageing and dying. 

BRIAN O’DOHERTY ‘There is no thing here but much else’

2 March – 1 July 2018

‘There is no thing here but much else’ examines the important role that film has played in the sixty-year career of internationally renowned, New York-based Irish artist Brian O’Doherty (Patrick Ireland). The three-month screening series runs from 2 March-27 May 2018 in the Crawford Art Gallery. Taking its title from O’Doherty’s review of Patrick Ireland’s exhibition at the Charles Cowles Gallery (1990), O’Doherty playfully and succinctly critiques his alter ego’s installation. 

Brian O’Doherty is a multi-faceted visual artist, critic and novelist. A pioneer in conceptual art, his ground breaking essays, Inside the White Cube are key art theory texts. Yet, O’Doherty is also prolific filmmaker both in front of and behind the camera. He has written and presented a number of key television series created in his early years in the United States of America - having left Ireland in 1957- which include Invitation to Art (1958-1960) and The Today Show (1962).

O’Doherty also reported from the Irish Exhibition of Living Artist at the National College of Art, Dublin for the RTÉ programme Broadsheet in 1962 ‘Supporting Young and Emerging Artists’ featuring an interview with Norah McGuinness. He enthuses on the ‘fabric of magnificent tones’ and ‘extreme and brilliant sensitivity’ of Patrick Scott’s Kerry Landscape painting, counter-posed with the ‘extreme violent and visceral’ painting of Barrie Cooke.  Through his knowledge of contemporary art and his company of distinguished artists and thinkers, O’Doherty has been a ‘go to person’ for a variety of documentary makers, including Rothko’s Rooms (2000). His close friendship with American artist Edward Hopper, earned O’Doherty the Grand Prix, at the Montreal International Festival of Films on Art, for his subtle and engaging film Hopper’s Silence (1982).

The rolling screening programme will also feature Brian O’Doherty Reviews Patrick Ireland at the Charles Cowles Gallery (1990), O’Doherty’s intimate portrait of his wife, art historian Barbara Novak in Barbara (I) (1972) and films documenting his performative Structural Play / Vowel Grid series. The screening series will also feature films from the artist’s personal archive.    

This is a rolling screening programme – the film selection will be changed at the beginning of each month so please check back or check website for details. Screenings: 

Invitation to Art: Rembrandt
Presented and written by Brian O’Doherty
29:18 minutes

Courtesy of the WGBH Media Library & Archives and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Hopper’s Silence 
Directed, produced and written by Brian O’Doherty
46:59 minutes

Courtesy of Brian O’Doherty, with thanks to Brenda Moore McCann

Patrick Ireland at The Charles Cowles Gallery 
Exhibition reviewedby Brian O’Doherty, New York 
3:51 minutes 

Courtesy of Brian O’Doherty

Structural Play #1 ‘Why don’t you open the door?’performance by Brian O’Doherty, at The Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio 23 May, 1978 
2:51 minutes

Courtesy of Brian O’Doherty, with thanks to Brenda Moore McCann

Under The Goldie Fish Views of Cork from the Collection

Until 19 August 2018

‘Unfortunate souls’ living beyond Ireland’s second city maybe unfamiliar with the 1990’s critically acclaimed Irish radio drama Under the Goldie FishThe gloriously irreverent series chronicled fictional lives of fantastical characters amid the winding steps and steeples of Cork City under the gaze of the spinning golden fish weather vane on Shandon’s landmark, St. Anne’s Church. 

Our exhibition takes its title from Cork born playwright and novelist, Cónal Creedon’s cult radio programme and draws upon the Gallery’s collection of artworks which can be found, geographically, under the gaze of the famous golden fish.

Most of the work shown is topographical: landscapes, studies of architectural interest or result from the artist’s need to record a familiar view– perhaps pivotal to the artist’s own life story. It also tells of changes within the city.

Works include the iconic John Butts’ View of Cork (c. 1750), a panoramic view of the city seen from an elevated position north of the River Lee- an amalgamation of two separate viewpoints; Nathaniel Grogan’s Whipping the Herring (c.1800) to contemporary interpretations by Eileen Healy and Harry Moore. It also features The Busy Interior of the Old Queen's Castle Department Store (1848) by Robert Lowe Stopford, a recent addition to the collection.

Public collections, such as the Crawford Art Gallery’s, offer opportunities to rethink the past. The artworks can also be used to trigger our imagination toward the future. How do we see our relationship evolve with the built and developing cityscape? What solutions can be drawn to protect the city from rising seas? 

How do we want to live Under the Goldie Fish

Stampa Ora / Print Now: Selected works from Italian & Irish Printmakers

22 June – 18 August 2018

Cork Printmakers is delighted to collaborate with the Italian National Association of Contemporary Engravers (IACE) on this touring exhibition project. It features twelve Italian artists and twelve Irish artists, with each artist displaying two prints. It will have its Irish premiere at the Crawford Art Gallery, Cork and is presented as part of Cork Midsummer Festival. 

This exhibition features the following 12 artist members of Cork Printmakers: Brian Barry, Johnny Bugler, Séan Hanrahan, Miriam Hurley, Fiona Kelly, Aoife Layton, David Lilburn, Eimearjean McCormack, Shane O’ Driscoll, Kim Roberts, Sylvia Taylor & Anna Ziarniewicz.

The 12 participating Irish artists were selected by Anne Hodge, Curator of Prints, at The National Gallery of Ireland. Each Irish artist was asked to create and submit two new prints specifically for this exhibition project. The theme is open and artists have used a wide range of printmaking techniques; such as screen-printing, etching, photo etching, relief printmaking and more, to create the artworks. 

The 12 participating Italian artists were selected by Giorgio Marini, Vice Director of Drawing & Prints Department at Galleria Degli Uffizi in Florence. The artists are: Gianna Bentivenga, Gabriele Berretta, Sandro Bracchitta, Malgorzata Chomicz, Paolo Ciampini, Lara Monica Costa, Gabriella Da Gioz, Elisabetta Diamanti, Calisto Gritti, Stefano Luciano, Giacomo Miracola & Elisabetta Viarengo Miniotti. 

The exhibition has already toured to two Italian venues, receiving a great response at; Villa Benzi Zecchini, outside of Treviso, in March and at the Universita degli Studi di Sassari (University Library), Sassari, Sardinia, May 2018. 

This is a wonderful opportunity to view contemporary prints from Italian and Irish artists; to examine the artistic concerns expressed by artists from both countries and to explore the parallels and contrasts that may be highlighted by placing these works on paper, in a variety of contexts, across a 4 venue tour. 

Naked Truth: The Nude in Irish Art

13 July - 28 October, 2018

The exhibition Naked Truth: The Nude in Irish Art at the Crawford Art Gallery gathers together over 80 works to assert the existence of a rich history of the depiction of the naked and the unclothed body in the work and practice of Irish artists.  

From anonymous, medieval Sheela-na-Gigs to contemporary video and performance work, Irish artists have created images of the nude in a wide variety of ways and to multiple purposes or intents. For many years, prolonged study of the naked model was a fundamental component of all art education, but, if anything, as this practice has largely fallen from the art college curriculum, artists have responded in ever more diverse and interesting ways to the nude as subject matter.  

As an iconography, the nude lends itself to stylistic experiment, and examples are included in the exhibition of styles ranging from neo-classicism to cubism to expressionism.  Issues of gender and sexuality, of concealment, display, and exhibitionism, of censorship and iconoclasm, of agency, autonomy – and sometimes their opposites – are touched upon, with work ranging from the provocative and profound, to the titillating, comic and subversive.   

Precisely because we are individually so aware of what the human body looks like – often at odds with the commercial ideal body of the 21st century – the use of the naked and the nude by artists continues to be a significant, if sometimes divisive, subject in contemporary society.

Curated by William Laffan & Dawn Williams 

Alice Maher Vox Materia

7 September – 25 November 2018

Vox Materia comprises a multi-part installation of sculpture and works on paper. Stemming from Maher’s consideration of a 12th Century mermaid carving, this show meditates on voice and silence. The mermaid is a hybrid creature that transgresses boundaries between human and animal, and is often associated with traumatic loss of voice. 

Maher deploys the mermaid not as a motif, but as an ambiguous and powerful conceptual tool to explore ideas of language, embodiment, agency, and autonomy. 

The artist begins by adopting and documenting contorted postures; creating strained silhouettes that gesture towards a language of the body in extremisVox Materiaexploits the tactile, contingent qualities of woodcut and watercolour to articulate amoebic, inter-elementary forms while hand-held sculptural forms create new material and corporeal vocabularies 

This new work is presented alongside Cassandra’s Necklace (2012), Maher’s first live-action film, in which the mythical protagonist wanders an arid, glittering landscape in search of her voice, literally a necklace of unspeaking tongues. 

Both bodies of work demonstrate Maher’s ongoing exploration of the burdens of silence and silencing in her recent practice. 

Vox Materia is curated by Pluck Projects. 

Vox Materia was commissioned by The Source Arts Centre, Thurles, with support from Creative Ireland and Tipperary County Council.

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