‘Richard Hearns is one of Ireland’s premier contemporary artists.’ - Kevin Cullen, The Boston Globe
Cadogan Contemporary, London, is delighted to announce Journey, an exhibition of new works by the acclaimed Irish artist Richard Hearns.
This will be the artist’s first solo show in London and will feature a collection of abstract oil paintings that are concerned with the alchemy of painting, what Hearns describes as an ‘... internal vision, something inside coming out’.
The paintings, many of which are life-size – literally the same height as the artist and spanning the width of his outstretched arms – are intensely physical acts, drawing inspiration from the discipline of martial arts, of which Hearns is a practitioner, and the rhythmic nature of Ballyvaughan, County Clare, Ireland, the rural idyll where he lives and works.
Hearns observes of the paintings: ‘It’s as if you are in a boxing ring, standing alone in the centre of the square canvas. You open your eyes to an opponent, and you must use the force of the opponent to defeat it. But there is no opponent – only yourself to counter-weight, parry and engage.’
Physical and instinctive, the canvasses are a flight from tradition. Until 2013, Hearns’ artistic practice was primarily focused on figurative work: still life and landscape. These abstract paintings are, however, in the artist’s own words, ‘a disassociation from the quantifiable and the known’, a means to become ‘not a painter making pictures, but an artist painting paint’, with ‘emotion and skill’ conjoined at the tip of the brush.
They are in every sense a journey, an attempt to capture something that is not fully understood. Moreover, Hearns’ paintings are a means to create and discover something new and exciting, guided by a belief that through the possibilities of art, there lies an answer to life’s unresolved questions, and that through paint, something fundamental can be revealed to the beholder and the artist.
Richard Hearns (b. 1980) was born in Beirut and raised in Dublin, and is a painter currently living and working in Ballyvaughan, County Clare, Ireland.
He holds a Bachelor of Fine Art – interdisciplinary Digital Media (IADT) (2002) and a Higher Diploma in Art, Craft and Design Education (2004) from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin (NCAD). In 2012, Hearns studied at the renowned Art Students League of New York under Gregg Kreutz and Joseph Peller. In 2015, Hearns was selected to present work to the Prince of Wales on behalf of the Burren College of Art and NUI Galway.
Hearns has held solo exhibitions in Los Angeles, New York City, Paris and Dublin, as well as group shows in London and Germany. In 2015, he was described by the Irish Independent newspaper as ‘the best-kept secret of contemporary Irish art.’ In 2017, Hearns was commissioned to create a series of abstract paintings for the Adare Manor Hotel in Ireland.