Work of the Week | 23 January 2023

CAG.1849 Salvador Dalí, Four Dreams of Paradise: Romantic, c.1972, coloured lithograph, 66 x 50 cm. Bequeathed, Fr John McGrath, 1998. © the artist’s estate.

WORK OF THE WEEK!

Four Dreams of Paradise: Romantic (c.1972) is a coloured lithograph by one of the most recognisable artists of the twentieth century, Salvador Dalí, who died on this day in 1989.

Teeming with complex imagery typical of his style, this work brings together characteristic elements of the artist’s work.

A figure reminiscent of his ‘Saint Anthony’ crosses an expanse of landscape fringed with rocky outcrops. Above this, a sleeping head faces downwards with ants crawling across its cheek, perhaps symbolising death, destruction, and decay.

An eruption of blue colour, with hints of red, green, and yellow draw attention upwards to a cluster of collage-like elements representing animals, gods (including Poseidon and Triton), and eroticism.

The collective meaning of these assembled elements may be deliberately obscure, emerging as they do from Dalí’s well-trodden path to the unconscious. The subtitle of the work, however, suggests a Romantic focus on individualism, subjectivity, and inspiration itself.

Printmaker’s Mark: The initials ‘h.c.’ that appear in the bottom left corner of this print denote ‘hors commerce’ (meaning: for commercial use). They suggest that this lithograph was used to promote the edition of 1,075 printed by Grapholith, Paris and published by Zeit Magazin, Hamburg.

Although this is the only one in the Collection, Romantic is accompanied by three other prints in the series, respectively subtitled Mystic, Heroic, and Gala (named for Dalí’s wife).

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) looms large in the public perception of Surrealism. The Spanish artist also delved into cinema, collaborating with Luis Buñuel on Un Chien Andalou (1929) and L’Age d’Or (1930) and creating the dream sequence for Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbound (1945).

Four Dreams of Paradise: Romantic (c.1972) by Salvador Dalí is featured in OTHER WORLDS: Harry Clarke Watercolours until 19 March.

Tune in to The Arts House on Cork’s 96FM and C103 Cork every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with curator Michael Waldron about a work from the collection!

Work of the Week | 16 January 2023

CAG.3089 Roseanne Lynch, Untitled (Bauhaus Building Research Archive, The Kandinskys’ Bath 62), 2018, photograph (silver gelatine on fiber based paper), 48.9 x 39.1 cm. Purchased, the Artist, 2021. © the artist.

This WORK OF THE WEEK takes us into art history via an unlikely object!

Untitled (Bauhaus Building Research Archive, The Kandinskys’ Bath 62) is a photograph by Roseanne Lynch depicting the corner of a weathered bathtub.

The work stems from a residency at The Bauhaus Foundation (Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau) in which the artist ‘was given unprecedented access to the archive which extends over many floors in a former brewery in Dessau.’

Reflecting on how she arrived at her subject, Lynch notes: ‘In a far corner by a window was a beautifully patinaed bath.’

‘I was told that it had sat outdoors for many years when the Bauhaus school closed, and because of the paint remnants found on it, it could be traced back to the Kandinskys’ ‘Meisterhaus’, one of a number of houses designed by [Walter] Gropius for the teachers of the Bauhaus school.’

The artists Wassily and Nina Kandinsky lived here from 1925 until 1932 and Lynch’s ‘title specifies that it was their bath, not just his.’ Roseanne Lynch uses a darkroom-based international practice to explore light, space, and the medium of photography itself. She lectures in photography at MTU Crawford College of Art & Design and is currently working towards a Photo Museum Ireland exhibition and a photobook.

This photograph is featured alongside two others by Roseanne Lynch in BEHIND THE SCENES: Collection at Work until 10 April.

Open daily | Free entry

Tune into The Arts House with Elmarie Mawe on Cork’s 96FM and C103FM every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with curator Michael Waldron about each WORK OF THE WEEK! Listen back to this week’s chat here:

Work of the Week | 9 January 2023

CAG.908 Kathy Prendergast, Untitled, 1985, watercolour and gold leaf on paper, 56.5 x 76.2 cm. Presented, 1989. © the artist.

WORK OF THE WEEK!

Untitled (1985) by Kathy Prendergast is part of a selection of works that Corban Walker has selected for inclusion in his exhibition AS FAR AS I CAN SEE.

‘In this work,’ Walker ponders, ‘I’m split in two minds with the beautiful figurative watercolour on paper from her anatomical series. The sensuality of the pose and gestures are elevated by the introduction of gold-leaf flickering across the paper with an arm stretched in desire. And yet I'm reading the arm as an awareness of how the body resists domination from unwanted gaze, comment and on my own personal level, mythical mauling.’

Holding ‘a profound resonance’ for Walker, this watercolour with gold leaf elements follows Prendergast’s Body Map series (1983) which combined representations of the female body and landscape in its exploration of issues of colonisation, exploitation, and ownership. The modulations of form and colour in Untitled offer an emotional, even poetic meditation on the human body.

In 2015, Prendergast’s own exhibition OR occupied some of the same spaces as Walker’s current show. ‘Since her undergraduate years,’ he reflects, ‘when she bolted out into the artworld, her work has consistently demanded the viewer to rethink, look again and value the intricacy of her exquisite works.’

Untitled (1985) by Kathy Prendergast is presently featured in AS FAR AS I CAN SEE, which must close this Sunday 15 January.

Free entry | Open daily

Work of the Week | 2 January 2023

CAG.105 Harry Clarke, The Fall of the House of Usher, 1923, pencil and watercolour on paper, 40 x 29.8 cm. Purchased, the Artist, 1924 (Gibson Bequest Fund).

WORK OF THE WEEK!

We’re taking a spooky start to the year with The Fall of the House of Usher (1923) by Harry Clarke.

This pencil and watercolour illustration is inspired by the unnerving, grotesque, and bodily imagery of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic tale “The Fall of the House of Usher” (1839).

At the top of the illustration, Clarke depicts the story’s narrator reading by candlelight with his friend, Roderick Usher. The artist selects the moment in which the two men become aware of sounds made by Roderick’s entombed – yet still living! – sister Madeline Usher, who appears at the bottom of the illustration.

Fun fact: on its reverse, Clarke has not only signed and dated this colour illustration but also isolated the source quotation: ‘yes, I hear it, and have heard it. Long—long—long—many minutes, many hours, many days, have I heard it.’

Harry Clarke, Verso detail

Clarke – who died in Chur, Switzerland on 6 January 1931 (Epiphany) – was a master storyteller in both stained glass and book illustration. He often drew on literary sources, transforming them through his own extraordinary imagination and skills of draughtsmanship. This work is one of his original illustrations for the colour plates included in George G. Harrap’s edition of Poe’s Tales of Mystery & Imagination (1923).

One hundred years old in 2023, this work still possesses the artist’s dark and sinister intention. Clarke straddles two worlds – one of waking reality and the other of nightmarish and supernatural visions – and powerfully conjures visually what Poe had set down in words.

The Fall of the House of Usher (1923) is featured in OTHER WORLDS: Harry Clarke Watercolours until 19 March.

Tune in to The Arts House on Cork’s 96FM and C103 Cork every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with curator Michael Waldron about a work from the collection!

Work of the Week | 26 December 2022

CAG.2275 Anne Madden, Burren Land, 1960, oil on canvas, 62 x 72 cm. Presented, 2006 (Great Southern Collection). © the artist.

It’s our last WORK OF THE WEEK of 2022!

Burren Land (1960) by Anne Madden evokes a fittingly wintry atmosphere as this year draws to a close.

An early work by the artist, Burren Land registers ‘the new possibilities of experimentation’ that Madden found in Abstract Expressionism and in the work of fellow artists Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, Jean-Paul Riopelle, and Mark Rothko. At the time of making this work, she had begun to pour paint directly onto her canvases.

The painting’s title, however, offers an entry point for viewers as this abstract field becomes the karst landscape of the Burren. Madden spent time as a child near this ‘rocky district’ (Boirinn) of County Clare, which is characterised by its expansive pavements of limestone, formed some 325 million years ago from seidments in a tropical sea. The artist hones in on the clints and grykes that typify this fabled terrain.

Signed and dated in the bottom right-hand corner, Burren Land used to hang in the Great Southern Killarney hotel before entering the Collection in 2006.

Of Irish and Anglo-Chilean origin, Anne Madden (b.1932) has enjoyed a long career as an artist, noted for her vigorous abstract works with figurative elements. In 1958, she married artist Louis le Brocquy and they divided their time between Ireland and France. She was made Officier des Arts et des Lettres in 2008.

Burren Land (1960) by Anne Madden is featured in AS FAR AS I CAN SEE until 15 January.

The artist’s Le Jardin de Nuit III is featured in BEHIND THE SCENES: Collection at Work until 10 April.

Tune in to The Arts House on Cork’s 96FM and C103 Cork every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with curator Michael Waldron about a work from the collection!

Work of the Week | 19 December 2022

CAG.0139 Robert Ballagh, Cut-out with a Joseph Albers, c.1974, acrylic on canvas mounted on plywood, 99 x 99 cm / 177 x 53 cm. Presented, Arts Council of Ireland and Dr J.B. Kearney, 1974. © the artist.

WORK OF THE WEEK!

Cut-out with a Joseph Albers (c.1974) by Robert Ballagh is a surprising, yet inviting encounter in the gallery as it echoes the visitor’s own stance.

Ballagh’s use of the cut-out element came as he continued to introduce the figure into his (previously more abstract) work.

Selected for inclusion in his current exhibition – AS FAR AS I CAN SEE – fellow artist Corban Walker notes that Ballagh’s work from that time ‘was so contemporary and fresh with vitality. His paintings of people in front of paintings by some of the figureheads of the 20th century are stimulating and curious.’

In this work, Ballagh places the cut-out of a woman in front of a painting by Josef Albers (1888-1976). The influential artist and educator associated with the Bauhaus and Black Mountain College was noted for his geometric abstraction and colour studies, and had exhibited in ROSC ’71 in Dublin.

‘In this painting,’ Walker continues, ‘he also demonstrates how Joseph Albers is aligned to my perception of scale, particularly how he employs colour to define space.’

Robert Ballagh (b.1943) is an artist and designer known for the set of Riverdance, numerous postage stamps, and the last series of Irish banknotes (Series C). He is a member of Aosdána and, in 2018, published A Reluctant Memoir.

Cut-out with a Joseph Albers (c.1974) by Robert Ballagh is featured in AS FAR AS I CAN SEE until 15 January.

It is one of two works by the artist presenting on display, with The Rape of the Sabines after David (1969-70) is featured in BEHIND THE SCENES: Collection at Work.

Tune in to The Arts House on Cork’s 96FM and C103 Cork every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with curator Michael Waldron about a work from the collection!

Work of the Week | 12 December 2022

CAG.2784 Colin Middleton, Winter: Camden Street, 1965, oil on board, 91.5 x 122 cm. Presented to the State, 2012 (AIB Art Collection). © the artist’s estate.

It’s a frosty and festive WORK OF THE WEEK!

Winter: Camden Street (1965) by Colin Middleton is giving us the cold, crisp vibes of the current sub-zero weather. The silvery blues of the upper part of this painting suggest fog or breath in the wintry air.

Within this cool palette, however, are chinks of orange, red, yellow, green, and rich blue that offer a patchwork or pattern that might remind us of seasonal lights and decorations.

Although essentially abstract, Middleton’s subject is Camden Street, located between Lisburn Road and University Road, close to the Ulster Museum and Queen’s University Belfast.

Did you know: this painting is one of 39 artworks presented to the State in 2012 by Allied Irish Banks (AIB) that now call Crawford Art Gallery their home.

Noted for his command of a multiplicity of styles, Belfast-born Colin Middleton (1910-1983) was a painter who responded in a deeply personal way to his subject matter. He was greatly influenced by fellow artists Salvador Dalí, James Ensor, Joan Miró, and Vincent van Gogh, and – as Rebecca Minch has observed – often expressed ‘complex psychological meanings’ in his work. A frequent exhibitor in Belfast, Dublin, London, and at the Irish Exhibition of Living Art, the award of an Arts Council of Northern Ireland bursary in 1970 finally enabled Middleton to focus full-time on his art.

Winter: Camden Street (1965) by Colin Middleton is featured in BEHIND THE SCENES: Collection at Work until 10 April.

Tune into The Arts House with Elmarie Mawe on Cork’s 96FM and C103FM every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with curator Michael Waldron about each WORK OF THE WEEK! Listen back to this week’s chat here:

Crawford Art Gallery · WORK OF THE WEEK 96 COLIN MIDDLETON - WINTER CAMDEN STREET

Work of the Week | 5 December 2022

CAG.3070 Gary Coyle, At The Museum, 2019, photographic print, 87.6 x 64 cm. Purchased, the Artist, 2020. © the artist.

WORK OF THE WEEK!

Part of a series, At The Museum (2019) by Gary Coyle was taken, as the artist notes, ‘on one of the endless corridors of the Pitti Palace in Florence.’

It is a photograph of a seemingly banal subject: a quiet museum interior – a non-space, as Coyle terms it, devoid of art – featuring a red carpet, red contemporary chair, and red-trimmed curtains. The play of light and shadow, however, animate the image and transform the commonplace into something more meditative.

Coyle, who has long explored museum interiors, ‘realised that this experience was in itself a framing device’ and began to photograph the non-spaces in which art is ‘contained and displayed.’

Reminding him of German photographer Uta Barth, Corban Walker has selected Coyle’s photograph from the Collection for inclusion in his current exhibition, AS FAR AS I CAN SEE: ‘I’m drawn to the significance of how it leads the viewer to another detached space. Doing so, releases the walls, floor and occupants of the gallery with an alternative purpose.’

Gary Coyle (b.1965) embraces various media in his practice, including drawing, photography, and spoken word/performance. He has exhibited widely, both in Ireland and internationally, and is a member of Aosdána and the Royal Hibernian Academy. His video installation, Lost in a Ceo (2022), was recently commissioned and exhibited by MoLI.

At The Museum (2019) by Gary Coyle is featured in AS FAR AS I CAN SEE until 15 January.

Open daily | Free entry

Tune into The Arts House with Elmarie Mawe on Cork’s 96FM and C103FM every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with curator Michael Waldron about each WORK OF THE WEEK! Listen back to this week’s chat here:

Crawford Art Gallery · WORK OF THE WEEK 95 GARY COYLE - AT THE MUSEUM

Work of the Week | 28 November 2022

CAG.0677 Brigid Ganly, Torso of a Seated Man, verso of Faiche Laighean (Leinster Lawn), c.1947, oil on canvas, 49.8 x 59.6 cm. Purchased, An tOireachtas, 1947 (Gibson Bequest Fund). © the artist’s estate.

This WORK OF THE WEEK is back-to-front and upside-down!

When purchasing a work entitled Faiche Laighean (Leinster Lawn) in 1947, our Gibson Bequest Committee may not have expected a ‘two for one’ deal.

On inspection, however, it was discovered that the artist had reused her canvas. Ganly’s placid, colourful view from outside the National Gallery of Ireland and across Leinster Lawn towards Government Buildings is painted on the back of another, very different work.

Front: Brigid Ganly, Faiche Laighean (Leinster Lawn), c.1947, oil on canvas, 49.8 x 59.6 cm. Purchased, An tOireachtas, 1947 (Gibson Bequest Fund). © the artist’s estate.

In Torso of a Seated Man, the model’s semi-nudity reveals tan lines from the neck up and wrists down. Who was this man?

The reasons for reusing a canvas vary, but it may be that the artist was dissatisfied with the initial painting or was simply economical with her materials. Although it is not unusual for an artist to reuse another artist’s canvas, in this instance it seems likely that Ganly painted both works herself. For the purposes of our new exhibition, BEHIND THE SCENES, the reverse of the canvas has been put on display.

Brigid Ganly (1909-2002), daughter of Mabel Emmeline Smyly and artist Dermod O’Brien, grew up in County Limerick, before her family moved to Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin. She studied at both the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art and Royal Hibernian Academy, and won the Taylor Scholarship in 1929 for Pity, an allegorical male nude. She often exhibited with her sister-in-law, and fellow artist, Kitty Wilmer O’Brien (1910-1982).

Torso of a Seated Man (c.1947) by Brigid Ganly is currently featured in BEHIND THE SCENES: Collection at Work.

Open daily | Free entry

Tune into The Arts House with Elmarie Mawe on Cork’s 96FM and C103FM every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with curator Michael Waldron about each WORK OF THE WEEK! Listen back to this week’s chat here:

Crawford Art Gallery · WORK OF THE WEEK 94 BRIGID GANLY - TORSO OF A SEATED MAN

Work of the Week | 21 November 2022

CAG.2185 Megan Eustace, Carbon Copy II, 2003, carbon and watercolour on paper, 56 x 76 cm. Purchased, 2005. © the artist.

This WORK OF THE WEEK marks the final 2 weeks of DRAWING ROOM!

Carbon Copy II (2003) by Megan Eustace is deceptively simple in its sparing use of line.

In approaching her subject, the artist was mindful of the reclining female nude in European art history and the discourse surrounding the ‘male gaze’.

‘As a woman drawing a woman,’ Eustace considers, ‘I wanted to respond to the genre not in hours of analysis but in a perceptual experiential way. I decided to use a really contemporary drawing process whereby you don’t look at your hand drawing – you only look at your subject and draw. The outcome is unpredictable and creates an inventive sensitive line, and a different drawing each time you do it.’

For this drawing, the artist used carbon copy paper ‘to transgress the form and function of the material and the predictable reading of the reclining female nude.’

Megan Eustace (b.1974) graduated in 1996 from Crawford College of Art & Design, where she now lectures in drawing and life drawing. She has previously reflected that ‘I draw to connect to the outside world and to dialogue with my inner one.’

For Your Diary: Join artist twins Megan Eustace and Cassandra Eustace this Saturday 26 November (10:30am – 1:30pm) as they bring THE DRAWING CLINIC to the gallery space. Operating on a first come, first served basis, this session provides the opportunity for you to have a free mini-consultation about your own drawing.

Carbon Copy II (2003) by Megan Eustace is featured in DRAWING ROOM until 4 December.

Open daily | Free entry

Tune into The Arts House with Elmarie Mawe on Cork’s 96FM and C103FM every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with curator Michael Waldron about each WORK OF THE WEEK! Listen back to this week’s chat here:

Crawford Art Gallery · WORK OF THE WEEK 93 MEGAN EUSTACE - CARBON COPY II

Work of the Week | 14 November 2022

CAG.2771 William Scott, Blue Still Life with Knife, 1971, oil on canvas, 122 x 198 cm. Presented to the State, 2012 (AIB Art Collection). © the artist’s estate.

WORK OF THE WEEK!

Blue Still Life with Knife (1971) by William Scott is among more than thirty collection works selected by Corban Walker for inclusion in his current exhibition, AS FAR AS I CAN SEE.

Walker considers Scott to have been ‘a genius interpreter of the simple and the ordinary.’

And this is immediately apparent when we consider Scott’s take on the seemingly banal still life. Distilling such objects as bowls and cutlery to their most basic forms, Blue Still Life with Knife re-energises the genre for a contemporary world through a simplified palette of blue, black, and white, and – measuring nearly two metres wide – at monumental scale.

In 1958, William Scott (1913-1989) was among the artists to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale. Of his childhood in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, he would reflect that ‘I was brought up in a grey world, an austere world, the garden I knew was a cemetery and we had no fine furniture. The objects I painted were the symbols of the life I knew best.’

Did You Know: This painting is one of 39 artworks that were presented to the State in 2012 as part of the AIB Art Collection.

Blue Still Life with Knife (1971) by William Scott is featured in AS FAR AS I CAN SEE until 15 January.

Open daily | Free entry

Tune into The Arts House with Elmarie Mawe on Cork’s 96FM and C103FM every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with curator Michael Waldron about each WORK OF THE WEEK! Listen back to this week’s chat here:

Crawford Art Gallery · WORK OF THE WEEK 92 WILLIAM SCOTT - BLUE STILL LIFE WITH KNIFE

Work of the Week | 7 November 2022

CAG.1994 Suzy O’Mullane, Dial M for Milchofe, 1999, charcoal on paper, 140 x 234 cm. Purchased, 2000. © the artist.

WORK OF THE WEEK!

There’s more than meets the eye in Dial M for Milchofe (1999) by Suzy O’Mullane…

As the title suggests, O’Mullane made this work in the late 1990s during a residency at Ateliergemeinschaft Milchhof (Milchhof Artists’ Studios) alongside fellow artists Tanya De Paor and Julie Forrester. Littered with curious objects from East Berlin, the studios – located at Schwedter Strasse in Mitte – inspired the artist’s composition which draws together these found objects into unexpected relationships.

Hovering at the top of this charcoal drawing, the handwritten title– followed by ‘mmm …’ – may recall the Alfred Hitchcock film Dial M for Murder (1954). Who is the crouched figure looking directly out at the viewer? Is there a connection between the bicycle and the rotary telephone? Could the severed phone cord spell out the ‘Anarchy’ symbol? Have you spotted the cat!?

Fun Fact: artist Ciara Rodgers recently responded to this work in An old fashioned drawing room mystery (2022) in which she ‘attempted to decode O’Mullane’s mysterious drawing, and in response, created my own symbolism through performative drawing actions.’

Suzy O’Mullane (b.1958) is an Irish artist based in Paris whose practice comprises painting, drawing, video, mixed media, and performance. A graduate of Crawford College of Art & Design, University College Cork, and Paris College of Art, she has exhibited widely internationally. Closer to home, the artist is also co-founder of ArtTrail Cork (1996-2002).

Dial M for Milchofe (1999) by Suzy O’Mullane is featured in DRAWING ROOM until 4 December.

Open daily | Free entry

Tune into The Arts House with Elmarie Mawe on Cork’s 96FM and C103FM every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with curator Michael Waldron about each WORK OF THE WEEK! Listen back to this week’s chat here:

Crawford Art Gallery · WORK OF THE WEEK 91 SUZY O'MULLANE - DIAL M FOR MILCHOFE

Work of the Week | 31 October 2022

CAG.2262 Anne Yeats, Eggs in a Basket, c.1959, mixed media, 26 x 35 cm. Presented, 2006 (Great Southern Collection). © the artist’s estate.

WORK OF THE WEEK!

As our MEAT AND POTATOES exhibition enters its final week, we’re taking a closer look at one of the featured works: Eggs in a Basket (c.1959) by Anne Yeats.

The artist brings her characteristic expressionist style to a simple subject: six brilliantly white eggs gleaming from within a grey-and-red, irregularly-shaped vessel. Aside from the wood patterning beneath, suggestive of a table, there is little else to draw the viewer’s attention.

Does the title allude to the old idiom of putting all your eggs in one basket?

Did You Know: Prior to entering the collection in 2006, this artwork was displayed at the Great Southern Parknasilla, near Sneem in County Kerry, where it was labelled with the number 9. Works now in collection by, among other, Pauline Bewick, Patrick Collins, Gerard Dillon, William John Leech, Anne Madden, Norah McGuinness, Daniel O’Neill, Patrick Pye, Nano Reid, Elizabeth Rivers, Camille Souter, Donald Teskey, also came from that hotel.

As her surname implies, Anne Yeats (1919-2001) was the daughter of Georgie Hyde-Lees and William Butler Yeats, and the niece of Elizabeth, Susan, and Jack B. Yeats. Taught from a young age by her aunt Elizabeth, Yeats became a costume and set designer at the Abbey Theatre. She was also associated with Cork Opera House, The Olympia, and The Gaiety Theatre. After 1941, she focused on book illustration and her own painting practice.

Eggs in a Basket (c.1959) by Anne Yeats is featured in MEAT AND POTATOES which must close on Sunday 6 November.

Open daily | Free entry

Tune into The Arts House with Elmarie Mawe on Cork’s 96FM and C103FM every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with curator Michael Waldron about each WORK OF THE WEEK! Listen back to this week’s chat here:

Crawford Art Gallery · WORK OF THE WEEK 90 ANNE YEATS - EGGS IN A BASKET

Work of the Week | 24 October 2022

CAG.2351 Barend van der Meer, Still Life with Fruit and Oysters, c.1680, oil on canvas, 34 x 28 cm. Presented, John and Helena Mooney, 2008 (Cooper Penrose Collection).

This WORK OF THE WEEK has us craving a Halloween feast!

Still Life with Fruit and Oysters (c.1680) by Barend van der Meer is typical of this genre of Dutch painting.

Rendering the various textures of the orange fruit, leaves, knife handle, goblet, and freshly shucked oysters, the artist has relished in the play of light across the various forms gathered, as they are, precariously on the edge of a table or ledge. This may be a vanitas allusion – a reminder of mortality and the transience of worldly goods.

Did You Know: Although in the collection since 2008, this painting is part of the Cooper Penrose Collection which was originally assembled at Woodhill House on Cork’s fashionable Lover’s Walk. The collection also included works by James Barry, Charles Forrest, Robert Hunter, Martin Archer Shee, and Jacques-Louis David.

Barend van der Meer (1659-c.1700) was a Dutch painter from Haarlem, where he was baptised on 20 March 1659. Both his father, Jan van der Meer (1628-1691), and brother, Jan Vermeer van Haarlem (1656-1705), were landscape artists. He was to specialise, however, in another genre: still-life. This is perhaps unsurprising given that he was a follower of celebrated painter Willem Kalf. In 1681, he joined the Sint-Lucasgilde (Haarlem Guild of Saint Luke) and, moving to Amsterdam, two years later married Geertruida Dusart (1665-c.1696) from Maarssen, near Utrecht.

Still Life with Fruit and Oysters (c.1680) by Barend van der Meer is featured in MEAT AND POTATOES until 6 November.

Open daily | Free entry

Tune into The Arts House with Elmarie Mawe on Cork’s 96FM and C103FM every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with curator Michael Waldron about each WORK OF THE WEEK! Listen back to this week’s chat here:

Crawford Art Gallery · WORK OF THE WEEK 89 BAREND VAN DER MEER - STILL LIFE WITH FRIUT AND OYSTERS

Work of the Week | 17 October 2022

CAG.452 John Burke, Blue Maquette, c.1977, steel, painted, 80 x 17 x 65 cm. Purchased, 1977 (Gibson Bequest Fund & Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon). © the artist’s estate.

Did you know that our WORK OF THE WEEK feature has been running for four years!?

Every few weeks over the coming months, we will focus on a work from the collection that has been selected by artist Corban Walker for inclusion in his new exhibition, AS FAR AS I CAN SEE.

Blue Maquette (c.1977) by John Burke is a bird-like abstract form made in painted steel. Purchased in 1977 through the Arts Council Joint Purchase scheme, it anticipates his hard-edged and large-scale public works, Red Cardinal (1978) on Dublin’s Baggot Street and the ‘Cork 800’ sculpture (1984) at the Wilton Roundabout.

Walker reflects that Burke ‘wasn’t a stranger’ to his family home at St. Mary's Lane, Ballsbridge. He remembers that his father, architect Robin Walker, ‘was a strong advocate of Burke’s large-scale sculpture. We had a few of his maquettes in the house and garden.’

A native of Clonmel, John Burke (1946-2006) studied and later taught at the, then, Crawford School of Art on Emmet Place. He also studied under Anthony Caro and Bryan Kneale at the Royal College of Art, becoming a pioneering, influential sculptor in his own right. Among his own students were a generation of distinguished artists, including Vivienne Roche, Eilis O’Connell, Jim Buckley, and Maud Cotter. He was a founding member of Aosdána.

Blue Maquette (c.1977) by John Burke is featured in CORBAN WALKER: As Far As I Can See until 15 January.

Open daily | Free entry

Tune into The Arts House with Elmarie Mawe on Cork’s 96FM and C103FM every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with curator Michael Waldron about each WORK OF THE WEEK! Listen back to this week’s chat here:

Crawford Art Gallery · WORK OF THE WEEK 88 JOHN BURKE - BLUE MAQUETTE (FEATURING AS FAR AS I CAN SEE)

Work of the Week | 10 October 2022

CAG.2344 Brian Fay, Vermeer Lady Writing a Letter with Maid c.1670, 2007, ink on paper, 80 x 60 cm. Purchased, 2007. © the artist.

This WORK OF THE WEEK is all about connections!

On the surface, Vermeer Lady Writing a Letter with Maid c.1670 (2007) is a seemingly abstract ink drawing by Brian Fay.

Although it is a response to a painting by Johannes Vermeer – which was presented to the National Gallery of Ireland in 1987 by Sir Alfred and Lady Beit of Russborough House – it does not deal with the narrative or form of the Dutch Master’s work. Instead, it explores the materiality of Vermeer’s paint as it ages on its 350-year-old canvas. This is characteristic of Fay, who uses drawing as a means to examine the processes of time and our relationship to it.

This drawing has, in turn, recently prompted responses from artists Jamie Ashforth and Catherine Callanan in works currently showing in Drawing Connections (until 3 November) at the Lord Mayor’s Pavilion.

Brian Fay, who was profiled on RTÉ Arena last week (7 October 2022), is a visual artist and Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Technological University Dublin. He holds a PhD from Northumbria University and recently undertook a residency at The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation in Connecticut.

Funded by the Arts of Council of Ireland, his new touring exhibition The Most Recent Forever is currently open at Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda until 12 November and will then travel to Limerick City Gallery of Art (1 December) and Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre (18 February), Skibbereen.

Vermeer Lady Writing a Letter with Maid c.1670 (2007) by Brian Fay is featured in DRAWING ROOM until 4 December.

Open daily | Free entry

Tune into The Arts House with Elmarie Mawe on Cork’s 96FM and C103FM every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with curator Michael Waldron about each WORK OF THE WEEK! Listen back to this week’s chat here:

Crawford Art Gallery · WORK OF THE WEEK 87 BRIAN FAY - VERMEER LADY WRITING A LETTER WITH MAID

Work of the Week | 03 October 2022

CAG.1913 Charles MacIver Grierson, Potato Diggers in the West, 1903, pastel on paper, 51 x 66 cm. Purchased, 1998.

WORK OF THE WEEK!

Potato Diggers in the West (1903) by Charles MacIver Grierson is highly atmospheric works in pastels that beautifully captures the late autumn light.

Depicting two women engaged in potato-digging, one stooping to gather the crop while the other leans on her spade. The artist’s palette is almost entirely in earth tones of brown and green, except for an intense disc of orange representing the setting sun as blue-grey smoke drifts across the composition.

The scene was likely painted in Sligo where Grierson was to meet his wife, Ethel Davys. It was exhibited in 1904 at the Royal Academy, London during which time he lived at John Street, Sligo.

Charles MacIver Grierson (1864-1939) was born in Queenstown (now Cobh), County Cork where his father was manager at the Cunard Steamship Company. He studied at the then Cork School of Art, when it was located in the gallery building, and subsequently at Westminster School of Art, before embarking on a career as a watercolourist. A member of the Royal Society of Painters in Water Colours and The Pastel Society, he also exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy.

Potato Diggers in the West (1903) by Charles MacIver Grierson is featured in MEAT AND POTATOES until 6 November.

SAVE THE DATE: Join us this Halloween (Monday 31 October) for a hands-on SAMHAIN event with food and culinary historian Regina Sexton and folklorist Dr Jenny Butler as we dig spuds, cook up a batch of colcannon, and discover traditional dishes!

Open daily | Free entry

Tune into The Arts House with Elmarie Mawe on Cork’s 96FM and C103FM every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with curator Michael Waldron about each WORK OF THE WEEK! Listen back to this week’s chat here:

Crawford Art Gallery · WORK OF THE WEEK 86 CHARLES MACIVER GRIERSON - POTATO DIGGERS IN THE WEST

Work of the Week | 26 September 2022

CAG.1633 Jo Allen, Untitled, 1991, charcoal on paper, 83 x 131.5 cm. © the artist’s estate.

WORK OF THE WEEK!

One of three works by the artist in the collection, Untitled (1991) by Jo Allen is featured in our new exhibition, DRAWING ROOM.

Perhaps opening a space in which to consider the female gaze, Allen’s fluent, energetic drawing of a nude model communicates psychological depth beyond surface observation; the model is very much present as if in conversation with the artist.

‘Jo Allen captured the character of her subjects conveying their passion, hope and lust for life,’ Mark Ewart noted in The Irish Times (7 December 2002). ‘Through this she went beyond the academic conventions of figure painting, seeking out her unique and far-from-obvious interpretations. As such, these bodies are imbued with the human elements of emotion and desire and it is through these that the spirit of Jo Allen lives on.’

Originally from Maryland, Jo Allen (1950-2002) was an artist, writer, and teacher. Moving to Cork in 1980, she worked as an artist’s model before studying at Crawford College of Art & Design, and subsequently at the National College of Art & Design (NCAD) and University of Southampton.

Allen was a contributing editor to Circa magazine and exhibited at Crawford Art Gallery (1985, 1986, 2002), Tigh Filí (2001), and with the Independent Artists (1986) and Irish Exhibition of Living Art (1987). Her work is also held by the Arts Council of Ireland and Contemporary Arts Collection, Lithuania.

This year marks the twentieth anniversary of Jo Allen’s death from cancer.

Untitled (1991) by Jo Allen is featured in DRAWING ROOM (Floor 2) until 4 December.

Open daily | Free entry

Tune into The Arts House with Elmarie Mawe on Cork’s 96FM and C103FM every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with curator Michael Waldron about each WORK OF THE WEEK! Listen back to this week’s chat here:

Crawford Art Gallery · WORK OF THE WEEK 85 JO ALLEN - UNTITILED

Work of the Week | 19 September 2022

CAG.213 Estella Solomons, Self-Portrait, undated (reprint from original plate, 1973), etching (16/50), 7.4 x 12.5 cm. Presented, Dr J.B. Kearney. © the artist’s estate.

WORK OF THE WEEK!

Offering a window into her printmaking practice, Self-Portrait by Estella Solomons is meditative image of the artist lost in thought.

This etching is part of a memorial edition issued in 1973, five years after Solomons’ death. It presents the artist in a seated pose, large book open on her lap, with a window or doorway giving onto a garden and rooftop in the background.

Dublin-born Estella Solomons (1882-1968) was an important figure in the Irish art scene but was also deeply political. She joined the Ranelagh branch of Cumann na mBan around 1918 and offered her studio as a safe house to Republican volunteers during the Irish Civil War.

In 1926, Solomons married the poet and editor Seumas O’Sullivan (1879-1958), founder of the literary journal The Dublin Magazine. Her parents – who had been instrumental in founding the Adelaide Road synagogue in Dublin – opposed their marriage as O’Sullivan was not Jewish.

Elected as an honorary member of the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1966, Solomons had shown work in their annual exhibition for the previous sixty years. She was also a teacher and among her students was Dolly Robinson (1901-1977) who became a set designer at the Abbey Theatre.

The artist’s work is currently being celebrated in ESTELLA SOLOMONS: Still Moments, an exhibition curated by Niamh McNally, which runs at the National Gallery of Ireland until 8 January 2023.

Self-Portrait by Estella Solomons is featured in AS THEY MUST HAVE BEEN: Men of the South, 1922-2022, which must close at 4pm, Sunday 25 September.

Open daily | Free entry

Tune into The Arts House with Elmarie Mawe on Cork’s 96FM and C103FM every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with curator Michael Waldron about each WORK OF THE WEEK! Listen back to this week’s chat here:

Crawford Art Gallery · WORK OF THE WEEK 84 ESTELLA SOLOMONS - SELF PORTRAIT

Work of the Week | 12 September 2022

CAG.3067 Sarah O’Flaherty, Veiled (Tunnel).3, 2020, photographic print on Hahnemühle paper, 45 x 60 cm. Purchased, the Artist, 2021. © the artist.

WORK OF THE WEEK!

As our exhibition, BOTANICA: The Art of Plants enters its final two weeks, we are focusing on a featured artwork: Veiled (Tunnel).3 (2020) by Sarah O’Flaherty.

Representing ferns and other wild-growing plants or weeds, this is one of a trio of photographs that address urgent themes of ecology, temporality, and transformation in the environment. The dark-green tonality and tendril-like fern forms are at once petrified and potentially sinister.

The manner in which the artist captures or records their forms behind a layer of polythene suggests a sense of containment, suffocation, and even decay. Any feelings of alarm this imagery generates may subside, however, when we consider the natural processes of growth, respiration, and the very life cycle of plants.

Previously exhibited in Visions of an Unsettled Earth (2020) at Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh, this photograph joined the national collection – along with its two companion works – last year.

Sarah O’Flaherty (b.1963) is a Cork-based artist who has exhibited widely, both locally and nationally, and teaches at TUS Limerick School of Art & Design.

Veiled (Tunnel).3 (2020) by Sarah O’Flaherty is featured in BOTANICA: The Art of Plants, which must close at 4pm, Sunday 25 September.

Open daily | Free entry

une into The Arts House with Elmarie Mawe on Cork’s 96FM and C103FM every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with curator Michael Waldron about each WORK OF THE WEEK! Listen back to this week’s chat here:

Crawford Art Gallery · WORK OF THE WEEK 83 SARAH O'FLAHERTY - VEILED TUNNEL 3

Work of the Week | 05 September 2022

CAG.2330 Geraldine O’Neill, Still Life – Leeks and Red Cabbage, undated, oil on canvas, 110 x 140 cm. Presented, 2006 (Great Southern Collection). © the artist.

WORK OF THE WEEK!

Still Life – Leeks and Red Cabbage by Geraldine O’Neill is a sumptuously detailed painting of foodstuffs arranged on a table, from fish to fruit and vegetables to jars of pickles.

In this mixture of fresh and preserved foods, O'Neill forces unlikely objects to interact: the exotic watermelon side-by-side with the then more common – yet equally as beautifully rendered – red cabbage.

Drawing inspiration from The Melon (1960) – a still life by Norah McGuinness which is also in the collection – O'Neill endeavoured to track down a ‘nearly audacious’ watermelon to include in her own composition. This was no easy feat at the time, when the available variety of food was less globalized as it is today.

To acquire the fruit, the artist approached a Dublin wholesaler and was told to return to collect it a month later when they would have a small number in stock for hotels. O’Neill’s painting – which was commissioned by Eamonn McKeon (Great Southern Hotels) – now serves as a reminder that many of the foods we may have easy access to today were, not so long ago, extremely hard to come by and may be again.

Geraldine O’Neill (b.1971) lives and works in her native Dublin and has exhibited in Ireland, France, and the United States. The artist often works to large scale and, drawing on art history, considers transience, fragility, and the inevitability of decay. She is a member of the Royal Hibernian Academy and Aosdána.

Still Life – Leeks and Red Cabbage by Geraldine O’Neill is featured in MEAT AND POTATOES until 6 November.

Open daily | Free entry

Tune into The Arts House with Elmarie Mawe on Cork’s 96FM and C103FM every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with curator Michael Waldron about each WORK OF THE WEEK! Listen back to this week’s chat here:

Crawford Art Gallery · WORK OF THE WEEK 82 GERALDINE O'NEILL - STILL LIFE LEEKS AND RED CABBAGE

Work of the Week | 29 August 2022

CAG.63 Jack B. Yeats, In Capel Street, Dublin, 1923, oil on board, 23.4 x 36 cm. Purchased, the Artist, 1924 (Gibson Bequest Fund). © the artist’s estate.

We’re celebrating Jack B. Yeats’ birthday with this WORK OF THE WEEK!

Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) was born in London on this day – 29 August – in 1871, but grew up in the home of his grandparents in County Sligo. A younger sibling of poet William, embroiderer Susan, and artist/publisher Elizabeth, he initially worked as an illustrator before turning increasingly to oil painting from 1906 onwards.

The artist’s little painting, In Capel Street, Dublin (1923), was made at a key point in Ireland’s history, with the Irish Free State in its infancy and still recovering from war. In it, Yeats deploys a social awareness in his depiction of a young flower-seller nursing her baby in a doorway. Juxtaposing poverty and prosperity, the closed door of a sweetshop behind her suggests that she is excluded from the benefits of progress in the newly independent State. In hindsight, it has perhaps taken on an unexpected prescience.

Did you know: Jack B. Yeats was awarded a silver medal for painting at the 1924 Paris Olympics, the year in which In Capel Street, Dublin was purchased for the collection through the Gibson Bequest Fund.

In Capel Street, Dublin (1923) by Jack B. Yeats features in AS THEY MUST HAVE BEEN: Men of the South, 1922-2022 until 25 September.

Open daily | Free entry

Tune into The Arts House with Elmarie Mawe on Cork’s 96FM and C103FM every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with curator Michael Waldron about each WORK OF THE WEEK! Listen back to this week's chat here:

Crawford Art Gallery · WORK OF THE WEEK 81 JACK B. YEATS - IN CAPEL STREET, DUBLIN

Work of the Week | 22 August 2022

CAG.1428 Daniel Levie, Display Case (Gibson Cabinet), c.1922, mahogany, inlaid, 206 x 293 x 106.5 cm.

As we prepare to bid a temporary farewell to it, to facilitate a new exhibition, a familiar fixture in the gallery is this WORK OF THE WEEK!

The Gibson Cabinet has long been a mainstay at the heart of the gallery. It is dedicated to the memory of our benefactor, Joseph Stafford Gibson (1837-1919), and was commissioned, according to his wish, to display his personal collection of objet d’art.

On 13 February 1922, the Gibson Bequest Committee approved the design for a ‘glass case’ by architect Daniel Levie of Chillingworth & Levie. Its manufacture was subsequently offered for tender, with the commission ultimately being secured by Robertson, Ledlie, Ferguson & Co. Ltd., who were then proprietors of the Munster Arcade, Cork.

The resulting cabinet bears a Déanta i nÉirinn (Made in Ireland) trademark and two brass plaques. On 2 December 1922, James Archer (1871-1946) was entrusted with engraving the inscriptions – one in English and one as Gaeilge – the text of which had been composed by Arthur Frederick Sharman-Crawford (1862-1943).

The architectural partnership Chillingworth & Levie was formed around 1911 by Daniel Levie (1875-1963) and Robert Chillingworth (1878-1916). Following the latter’s early death from tuberculosis, Levie continued to operate the practice, taking on a new partner, John E. Wilkinson, in 1929.

Fun fact: Chillingworth & Levie designed The Counting House for Beamish & Crawford; Winthrop Arcade; Roches Stores on St Patrick’s Street, Cork; Hammam Buildings on O’Connell Street, Dublin; and various domestic buildings. Their archive of architectural drawings was acquired with assistance from Crawford Art Gallery and transferred to Cork City and County Archives in 1988.

Over the coming weeks, the Gibson Cabinet and its displays will be carefully dismantled by experts and placed into temporary storage to make way for our exciting new exhibition, CORBAN WALKER: As Far As I Can See (15 October – 15 January).

Open daily | Free entry

Listen back to Conor Tallon and Michael Waldron discussing this WORK OF THE WEEK on The Arts House (Cork’s 96fm and C103).

Crawford Art Gallery · WORK OF THE WEEK 80 DANIEL LEVIE - THE GIBSON CABINET

Work of the Week | 15 August 2022

CAG.75 Seán Keating, Men of the South, 1921-22, oil on canvas, 127 x 203.4 cm. © Estate of Seán Keating, IVARO Dublin, 2022.

WORK OF THE WEEK!

Men of the South (1921-22) by Seán Keating is one of the most recognisable – and sought out – works in the collection.

Our current exhibition, AS THEY MUST HAVE BEEN, marks the centenary of this painting which has become an icon of the Irish War of Independence. However, it nearly did not get painted at all!

In the months following the Truce of July 1921, members of the Cork No.2 Brigade of the Irish Republican Army were hand-picked by their commanding officer, Seán Moylan, to travel to Dublin and sit for a group portrait by Seán Keating (1889-1977).

The Limerick-born artist had come to know Moylan when painting a portrait of him in 1921 and it was suggested that depicting a ‘Flying Column’ of the brigade would make for a significant subject.

Upon their arrival – fully armed! – at his Kildare Street studio, the men posed for Keating as he photographed and sketched them. Working up a large-scale painting, the artist was soon forced to relocate to the Mansion House to continue work on it. This, combined with the rapid pace and high tension, dissatisfied Keating and he set his first attempt – An IRA Column – to one side and commenced a new version in its place. This would become Men of the South.

Learn more about the fascinating history of Men of the South (1921-22) and An IRA Column (1921) by Seán Keating in AS THEY MUST HAVE BEEN until 25 September.

Open daily | Free entry

Join us at 5:30pm this Thursday 18 August for a special Heritage Week talk with Maurice O’Keeffe (Irish Life & Lore) and curator Michael Waldron as they discuss the oral history associated with Men of the South. Further details here: Men Of The South At 100: An Oral History - Crawford Art Gallery

And tune into RTÉ Arena at 7pm Tuesday 15 August for a discussion of the exhibition!

Open daily | Free entry

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