Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Dublin gallery day - part 1 of 3

During lockdown this year, I have been enjoying Graphic Studio Dublin's series of artist zoom presentations, Artists Beyond the Studio. A few weeks ago the final presentation was made by Cian McLoughlin, sixteenth in the series, in advance of lockdown being gradually eased and cultural venues reopening. Though he has done printmaking, McLoughlin is primarily a painter and his presentation and work shown was amazing; a recording of his presentation can be seen here, and many of the other artist talks are on GSD's youtube channel. In talking about his newest work McLoughlin made me aware of his upcoming exhibition at The Molesworth Gallery in Dublin, and this is where I started my "gallery day" in Dublin last week. 

The Molesworth Gallery is a private gallery in a refurbished Georgian building, not far from The National Gallery and the RHA Gallery, which were on my list for exhibition-viewing that day. Unlike the two larger galleries, The Molesworth did not require advance booking of free entry tickets (I enquired to be sure), so after parking the car a short walk took me to the gallery.

It was so lovely to actually be in a gallery after all this time of lockdown and it was wonderful to be able to see these paintings in person.

While these paintings may appear totally abstract, they are actually abstracted figures in crowds and this becomes apparent with longer looking.

I thought it was very interesting that McLoughlin had started this crowd-themed body of work before the very notion of crowds became an impossibility due to the pandemic. McLoughlin was especially interested in the positive herd euphoria of special events; during his GSD talk he spoke of feeling at one with a crowd during a music concert. His work begs to be looked at both up close (the details are marvellous) and from further away. In many ways it was no surprise to see that this was a sold out show. For me, the catalogue is a welcome addition to my bookshelf.

The National Gallery is about a five minute walk from The Molesworth, and that was my next stop. I had booked entry in advance through their website and the ticket was for the day. I arrived around noon specifically wanting to see the works on paper exhibition, which was touring from the British Museum. Living with Art: Picasso to Celmins is an exhibition of the bequest from journalist-collector Alexander Walker. He bought works that he enjoyed and, most interestingly, recognised instinctively when artists were on the cusp of a new direction in their work.


I was delighted to see many works, drawings and prints, by various masters of their art, It is always a delight to see something by David Hockney - the descriptions ("the hairy man he was staying with at the time"), title, and everything about the work showing off both his skill and sense of humour.

My timed ticket for the RHA only gave me an hour so I headed there - another short walk away - to see two big shows that I will talk about next week and the week after.

No comments:

Post a Comment