Gibbons & Nicholas will present the work of 6 Irish artists at Art on Paper New York. Eamon Colman, Anita Groener, Ronnie Hughes, Marty Kelly, Janet Mullarney and Charles Tyrrell are all established, award winning Irish artists.
Eamon Coleman’s career spans from 1979 and he has created thirty-six solo exhibitions, both in Ireland and internationally. According to Eamon the act of walking and travelling holds the key to much of his work. He has found the moods of various landscapes through its indigenous people — whether on the Skagen coast of Denmark, his walk from New Delhi to the source of the River Ganges or a journey he took along the Colorado River, spent white-water rafting, camping and walking. Now a resident of County Kilkenny in the south-east of Ireland, he lives 900 feet up a hill, surrounded by forests. Recent work on paper was inspired by Hollywood, not in California, but the village in the mountains of County Wicklow. His ecologically minded approach to his surroundings was reflected in these images, which highlighted the inherent beauty of these gentle uplands, while being fully aware of the vulnerability of their flora and fauna though mono-coniferous afforestation. Eamon Coleman was elected a member of Aosdána in 2007, in recognition of his major contribution to Irish culture.
Anita Groener was born in the Netherlands but has lived in Ireland since 1982. Her work, like her life, is grounded in a transcultural perspective. Notions of home and displacement within modern geopolitical realities drive the work, directed through drawing. Groener makes paintings, site-specific drawings, films and animation that she exhibits nationally and internationally. In 2005, like fellow participant Eamon Coleman, she was elected a member of Aosdána, the Irish affiliation that recognises outstanding contributions to Irish culture. She taught until 2014 at the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) where she also served as the Head of Fine Art from 2004 to 2006. In 2015 she was selected by Facebook San Francisco to participate in the Facebook AIR (Artist In Residence) Programme undertaking and completing a commission on site within the company’s European Headquarters in Dublin.
Major exhibitions of her work have taken place in Ireland; Florence, Italy; New York, USA; Amsterdam, The Netherlands; and Paris, France. Groener’s work is included in important private and corporate collections around the world.
Born in Belfast in 1965 and now living in County Sligo, Ronnie Hughes studied at the University of Ulster, Belfast, receiving an MA in Fine Art in 1989. Hughes has had numerous solo exhibitions throughout Ireland and has participated in many group exhibitions worldwide. Recent solo exhibitions include ‘Zygotic Tendencies’ presented at Chicago Art Fair and Steve Turner Contemporary, Los Angeles. ‘Strange Attractors’, a large survey show of his recent work, took place in 2017 at the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) Dublin. Irish Times art writer Gemma Tipton described this show as ‘op art extravaganzas that make your eyes ache; bursts of geometric shapes that seem to warp the flat surfaces of the paper and canvas into pinnacles and troughs; and grids of line and colour to take your senses for a walk through a series of endless mazes’. Hughes’s work has been written about extensively and he has received a multitude of awards, including a one-year residency in New York (PS1, 1990-91) and three-month residencies at Banff Arts Centre, Canada (1994) and Bemis Arts Canter, Nebraska (1997). In 2006 he was awarded both the ‘Irish Artist Fellowship’ – a one-month residency at the Vermont Studio Center and a two-month residency at the Albers Foundation in Connecticut.
Charles Tyrrell originally comes from Trim Co. Meath. He studied painting at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. After graduating in 1974 he continued living and working in Dublin until 1984 when he moved with his family to Allihies on the Beara Peninsula in West Cork. He has exhibited extensively in Ireland as well as exhibitions in Britain, France, Austria and Germany. He has represented Ireland on a number of occasions, notably the Paris Biennale and the International Festival of Painting at Cagnes-sur-Mere in France.
His work has always been concerned with abstraction. Originally his painting would have directly connected with Abstract Expressionism but over the years his work has steered its course through a more programmatic minimalism while leaving room for the intuitive, allowing the paintings carry many resonances. It is hard not to feel a connection with the power of nature as experienced in the particular exposed, rocky and rugged landscape of the Beara Peninsula. Charles Tyrrell is also a member of Aosdána.
Marty Kelly was born in 1979 in Carndonagh, Donegal. He attended the University of Ulster in Belfast and graduated in 2000 with an honours fine arts degree in painting. From the onset Kelly’s early figurative work challenged much of the expressionist figurative painting being produced in Ireland. Since those first few early years, Kelly has traversed diverse territories, literally and metaphorically. Under the expanse of the northerly Irish light, his reflections gave form to a transitional state of mind. In the Balkans he extracted an undefeatable human spirit from the depths of the darkness. In India he probed a seemingly inaccessible understanding of being one amongst many. And in Barcelona, with these earlier investigations stripped bare and amalgamated, Kelly’s work grasped at the essence of simply ‘being’. For most, the definition of being is ‘to exist’. For Kelly it is more specific: the moments grasped between chaos, chosen or imposed. The brief interludes between highly charged moves in the expression of dance. The resurrection of a smile between atrocities. Marty Kelly's recent paintings are an odd social commentary, a collision of belief systems, media stories, fantasy, nature, popular culture, ritual, jibber jabber and an awareness of being. Kelly has exhibited extensively in Ireland and internationally. Kelly’s work is included in the collections of the OPW, Contemporary Irish Arts Society; Department of Environment, Northern Ireland; Bank of Ireland, Dublin; Mandate Trade Union, Dublin; Collection of the Dept. of Finance, Northern Ireland; Wedgewood Inc, Los Angeles and is held in private collections worldwide.
Born in Dublin, sculptor Janet Mullarney has spent a great deal of time working in Italy. She has exhibited extensively in both Ireland and internationally and has held solo exhibitions at venues including Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Crawford Art Gallery, Limerick City Gallery, Museo de Arte Contemporanea, Oaxaca, Mexico, Casa Masaccio Arte Contemporanea, San Giovanni Valdarno. Irish Times art critic, Aidan Dunne’s five-star review remarked “enter Mullarney’s world and you fall through an imaginative trapdoor into another realm of fables and fairy tales, where animal characters stand in for humans and meaning is cut loose from the bounds of convention. Her acrobats and performers evoke the heady, heightened space of the circus ring.”
RHA director Patrick T. Murphy commented that “Her sculptures are a little like Angela Carter’s novels, where the everyday and the ordinary can suddenly plummet into the surreal and the mythic. Tables and stairs, trolleys and mattresses are the props that carry extraordinary characters. Subjects mined from the natural world and anthropomorphised to play out human joy and human tragedy.” Janet Mullarney is a member of Aosdána.
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