April 16th - May 4th

The Absence of Realism

The Absence of Realism is a group exhibition which focuses on artists working in the vein, suggested by the title. The exhibition features the paintings of Ellen Barrett, Alan Boardman, Tom Climent, Sam Curtin, Michael Gemmell, Carol Hodder, Roisin McGuigan, Jacqueline O'Driscoll, Charlo Quain, Wesley Triggs and Sabine Weissbach and will be officially opened on Tuesday April 16that 8pm by Des O' Sullivan- Journalist.

The works in this exhibition may all have an absence of realistic description but "there is a sense we are looking at something which is familiar" which is what Wesley Triggs says about his own work but which could also apply to much of the other work in this show which creates expression through abstract means.

A sense of the urban - rust and building blocks is conveyed in the work of Wesley Triggs, through his painterly surface while in Tom Climent's paintings we get glimpses of structured spaces as he investigates the boundaries between abstraction and representation.

The subject of Sam Curtin's pieces is more transient, as he gives substance to shadow in his minimal, paintings which focus on line and form. Shape and form are also important in Charlo Quain's Abandoned Smallholdingseries, which makes references to landscape.

A sense of place or the feel of a particular landscape is conveyed in a few of the artists' works with Michael Gemmell's Happy Landscapefocusing on colour and mood and Jacqueline O' Driscoll's textured works focusing on layers of memory in association to place.

We get a sense of land and sea and the atmospheric elements in the work of Sabine Weissbach as well as the story of the painting itself. The paint itself is also given major importance in the works ofRoisín McGuigan with the flow of paint on Perspex echoing elements of nature and landscape. Alan Boardman is interested in the nature of his materials oil, gloss and resin on aluminium. The flow and substance of the paint seems to be frozen within the surface, and is reminiscent of geology and microscopic views.

Ellen Barrett's work uses collaged elements through which she conveys a sense of the sea and it's coastline. Look closely and a little bit of realism in the form of a lone lighthouse can be seen. While two of Carol Hodder's pieces reference landscape and harbourlands, a suggestion of a figure can be seen emerging from the paint in her pieceStroke.

Des O' Sullivan in his text which accompanies this exhibition talks about an absence of realism not presenting any barrier to the creation of art and being no bar to art that jars the senses, jangles perspective and delights the eye.

In an era when artists can express themselves in any way they choose using any medium realism is not central to artistic output. In art history realism emerged as a mid-19th century movement in France, reached its peak with Manet and was over with Monet's breakthrough into Impressionism. Then, as now, the best contemporary art sought new ways of expression, new ways of seeing, new ways of expressing outrage, new ways of finding central truths. The shock of the new draws inspiration from an enormous variety of sources. At its best it jars the senses, jangles the emotions, juggles perspective, delights the eye. Rigorous realistic interpretation is not what makes cutting edge post modern art. The absence of realism is no bar to any of this endeavor. Nor does it present any barrier whatsoever to the creation of art.

 Des O'Sullivan, journalist

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