Sunday, June 2, 2013

Royal Hibernian Academy 183rd Annual Exhibition

This summer get yourselves down to the Annual exhibition held at the Royal Hibernian Academy at the bottom of Ely place to sample what is being produced by the up and coming artists as well as the established RHA members. It's website is being updated at the mo but it opened  last Tuesday and runs for June, July and until the 17th August. There is something for everyone; photography, sculpture, portraits, landscapes, installations, abstract art and any other type you care to think of. You don't need to know anything about art to know what you like and if you can't find something here to interest you then you must be completely without soul or a robot!

The exhibition fills all of the rooms in the gallery and is made up of works from established artists and members of the academy and over half from an open submission process. Much of it is for sale. Everyone will have their personal favourites. Works that caught my eye were Peter Monaghan's trademark colored circle Seed Gene, Patrick MacAlister's Suburban Portrait, Gavin Lavelle's very surreal and colourful Station to Station, Janice Lightowler's technically brilliant detailed Forever Painting and  the exciting pictures of the Coda Party Wall.

Peter Monaghan recently had an installation in the spa area of the newly opened Marker Hotel in Dublin's Docklands. His exhibited piece Seed Gene draws on previously constructed pieces using wooden dowels coloured on their angled cut ends such as that in John Smyth Architects in Grand Canal.

Patrick MacAlister's Suburban Portrait is a black on white background study of Anthony Burgess and his wife. It is a painting full of action and detail whilst at the same time a detailed study of the author who looms large to the right of the canvas and his wife who is less easy to identify, a more impressionistic detail, reclining in the back centre of the work.

Gavin Lavelle's playful Station to Station will draw you in by its sharp acrylic colours and to examine its collage details which include beads and jewels. It is a work that draws on Van Eyck's Ghent altarpiece and Titian's Venus and Adonis.

In a break from Janice Lightowler's more usual oil studies, Forever Painting is a permanently reflected painting going back into the canvas set in a physical remaking of the artists materials. It is both technically clever and accomplished with the detail creating interest for the eye as well as thought on its construction.

CODA (Caroline O'Donnell, Ithica, NY) won the New York Young Architects programme  this year with Party Wall. A temporary outdoor installation, it will be built this June at in Long Island to be used  at an outdoor summer music series. More detail can be found at

Royal Hibernian Academy Annual Exhibition, 28th May-17th August 2013
Ely Place, Dublin 2

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