Green On Red Gallery is delighted to announce the opening of Painting NOW, an exhibition of work in two dimensions by artists from the gallery including John Cronin, Mary FitzGerald, Damien Flood, Mark Joyce, Ramon Kassam, Fergus Martin, Niamh McCann, Caroline McCarthy & Nigel Rolfe.
In Painting NOW the diversity of approaches is brought startlingly to light. Different materials on different surfaces show how paintings can inhabit the architecture with variety and ingenuity.
Ramon Kassam‘s Gallery ( 2015 ) suggests space continuing beyond the canvas and wrapping around itself as if a deep fracture has caused time and the narrative to hiccup. The rupture is even more severe and ambiguous in New Pose ( 2017 ) where any effort to take in a single view must yield to multiple readings at once.
Niamh McCann‘s Kavalier and Clay evokes themes of flight, escape, adventure and persecution found in the original tale of this fictional duo, authored by Michael Chabon, against the backdrop of the harrowing, brutal facts of 20th century Europe. Some tales will just never die. They seem embedded in the human condition. Lady with Nose ( 2016) aims wryly at the same self-destructive streak.
There is a disappearing act of sorts in Canthus ( 2017 ) by Mary FitzGerald whose practice has increasingly placed the onus on and handed control to the viewer. In her recent solo – and anonymous – show at the Crawford Gallery, Cork, her rain-soaked view of the West of Ireland contrasted in more ways than were immediately obvious with the watercolour versions in the same room. Distant views and memories competed with mirror images of the surrounding museum architecture. Past pitted against Present.
In Damien Flood‘s new paintings luscious marks hang tantalisingly free and unanchored in the neutral or infinite ground of the bare linen support like never before. Damien’s work seems to evolve with an increasing mastery of understatement and punch at the same time.
Another artist who, for more personal reasons, chooses to paint on raw linen is Mark Joyce. In his Ballyconnell Colours – After Dermot Healy ( 2017 ), 140 x 110cms, the soaked colours and rough surfaces work together towards an image of an immensely physical light.
For the second time in the new gallery Nigel Rolfe shows paintings on paper that physically record and extend the live action of this world-renowned performance artist. His painting materials include animal lard, natural dry pigment, charcoal and paint flicked, dragged and pummelled across the surface. They have a metaphorical as much as an aesthetic function in provocative works that convey moving and perplexing messages.
During the opening reception at the gallery on Thursday, May 25, Nigel Rolfe will make a live performance.
New paintings in Painting NOW by John Cronin, Fergus Martin and Caroline McCarthy relish the medium while fundamentally questioning it. The challenge is to get beneath the surface.