Past Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane houses the foremost public collection of contemporary art in Ireland; the gallery also has a dynamic temporary exhibitions programme often encompassing the permanent collection. Mon, 24 Sep 2018 04:46:50 +0000 Point Blank en-gb Seamus Nolan: Traveller Collection at the Hugh Lane Seamus Nolan: Traveller Collection at the Hugh Lane

22 June - 23 September 2018

In 2017, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane and Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts came together for the first time  to commission a significant  socially engaged artist’s project in Dublin.  The call for submissions was made through CAPP the EU Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme,  a transnational partnership with Spain, Ireland, U.K Hungary, Finland and Germany and co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. Following submissions from artists from all of the CAPP partners, Irish artist Seamus Nolan’s proposal was successful. One of Ireland’s foremost artists working in collaborative arts practice, Seamus Nolan’s project sees him investigating the idea of archive, deconstructing ideas on ‘heritage’ and engaging with the Traveller communities in Ireland  and Traveller activists and archivists. Seamus Nolan’s exhibition at the Hugh Lane comprises of archival material that forms the Irish Travelling People: a Resource Collection and which is  borrowed from the Special Collections of Ulster University. This remarkable collection was originally created and built up by Aileen L’Amie during her time at the Ulster University. Also on view are paintings by Mick O'Dea from the Martin Folan Collection at Pavee Point; stainless objects including cups and jugs made by Tinsmith James Collins; and handmade paper flowers made by the women of the Primary Healthcare Project at Pavee Point.  The Street Singer by Jerome Connor was loaned specially to Pavee Point on 21 June as part of CAPP Power and Practice roundtable taking place that day

A series of films on Traveller culture selected by the artist are also on view in gallery 10.


]]> (Jessica O'Donnell) Thu, 21 Jun 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Thu, 21 Jun 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 23 Sep 2018 23:59:59 +0000 imagecropped.jpg
Rachel Maclean: Just be yourself! The Hugh Lane is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in Ireland of Scottish artist Rachel Maclean, who creates fantastic visual narratives using green-screen technology. She parodies fairy tales, children’s television programmes, advertising, internet videos, and pop culture to examine identities, power dynamics and consumer desire. All of the characters are played by the artist, who transforms herself through extravagant costumes and make-up.

This exhibition includes Spite Your Face which Maclean exhibited at the 57th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia in 2017, representing Scotland+Venice 2017, curated by Alchemy Film and Arts in partnership with Talbot Rice Gallery and the University of Edinburgh. The film refers to the Italian folk-tale The Adventures of Pinocchio and offers a powerful critique of contemporary society and its underlying fears and desire. Spite Your Face is a tale across two worlds - with a bright, glittering and ordered upper world, and a warped, dirty, impoverished lower world - where the lure of wealth, power and adoration entices a destitute young boy into the shimmering riches of the kingdom above.

Maclean says of Spite Your Face: “With this film I set out to respond to significant changes in the political climate in the UK and abroad over the last 12 months - in particular the divisive campaigns in the lead up to the Brexit vote and the US Presidential election. These events have been central in heralding a new post-truth era, where politicians feel free to say what they want to help them gain popular support, with little regard for factual accuracy.”

Based in Glasgow, Rachel Maclean was educated at Edinburgh College of Art. Maclean graduated in 2009 and her work came to public attention in New Contemporaries later that year. She has since risen to significant acclaim, with major solo shows at HOME, Manchester and Tate Britain, 2016-17. Her work A Whole New World won the prestigious Margaret Tait Award in 2013, she has twice been shortlisted for the Jarman Award, and achieved widespread critical praise for Feed Me (2016) in British Art Show 8.

For more information on the artist see

]]> (Michael Dempsey) Thu, 31 May 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Thu, 31 May 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 16 Sep 2018 23:59:59 +0000
Amanda Dunsmore: Keeper Marking the 20-year anniversary of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement—a major milestone in the evolution of peace in Northern Ireland—Keeper presents artist Amanda Dunsmore’s social and political portraits that reflect specific points in history from the late nineteenth century to the present day. The artist’s methodology is grounded in her interest in issues of social and political change and this body of work stems from her time as artist in residence at The Maze and Long Kesh Prison from 1998.

Dunsmore’s exhibition includes silent, 20-minute video portraits of key political figures involved in the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, providing unique new perspectives on familiar, high-profile figures. These include John Hume and David Trimble, who were jointly awarded The Nobel Peace Prize in 1998 "for their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Northern Ireland", and whose portraits will be exhibited for the first time at The Hugh Lane.

Alongside these portraits will be works acknowledging the role of Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Betty Williams and Ciaran McKeown who founded the Peace People, a cross-community grassroots movement of citizens dedicated to ending the sectarian strife in Northern Ireland. Maguire and Williams shared the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize.

Other works in Keeper expand this theme of portraiture and its role in social and political life and further reflect on the formal and informal processes through which memory and history are made. These include Billy's Museum (2004), a filmed record of a collection of items relating to various individuals, incidents and occurrences made by Prison Officer Billy Hull in HM Prison Maze. A new artwork entitled The People's Portraits 1899-1918 will also be shown. It comprises 100 printed portraits taken from late nineteenth and early twentieth century glass plate negative prison photographs.

Amanda Dunsmore works in art processes that explore representations of societal transformation through contextual portraiture and social historic projects. Over the past 25 years she has exhibited widely in Ireland and internationally and her artworks can be found in private and public collections.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue featuring essays by Senator George Mitchell, Amanda Dunsmore, Fionna Barber and Cillian McGrattan.

"Dunsmore's beguiling and occasionally astonishing works beg you to examine this recent history through prisms of legacy and age." - Hilary A White, Irish Independent

Monday 9 April, 5pm

Special Lecture: Senator George Mitchell, The Good Friday Agreement: A Personal Reflection

Marking the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement we are delighted to welcome Senator George Mitchell who will deliver an address The Good Friday Agreement: A Personal Reflection in advance of the opening of Amanda Dunsmore’s exhibition Keeper. Free, although advanced booking is essential. Please see for this lecture are currently fully booked.

]]> (Michael Dempsey) Tue, 10 Apr 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Tue, 10 Apr 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 22 Jul 2018 23:59:59 +0000
Eithne Jordan: Tableau Over the past three decades Eithne Jordan has worked from her roots in neo-expressionism and developed her practice into a considered and meditative representation of space and light. Whether it is the darkness of a February afternoon, the reflected light of a fresh snowfall, or the distinctive hue of Halogen Street lights, her paintings are charged with content that is either to come, or else is taking place just out of view. Her work in recent years focuses on the contemporary city, looking at places such as Paris, Rotterdam, Madrid, Vienna, and most recently Dublin.

In her new series of paintings depicting interiors, Jordan invites us to look closely at the multi layered histories woven through the spaces of institutions and public buildings in our cities. Many of these are museums, or historic buildings that often contain art as a backdrop to civic, educational or cultural activities

In Jordan's exhibition at The Hugh Lane, Tableau, her works inhabiting the rooms of Charlemont House, once domestic, now public, become a Gesamtkunstwerk – a total work of art. These paintings, like a strange mirror, are observing us, and reflecting a repetition of lives lived. Jordan is working in the realm of the extraordinary, the humdrum extraordinary, bringing to the fore the details and perspectives of our reality, She creates an idea, not of contrast, but rather of dialogue, an indication of the continuity between the past and the present, between old and modern.

The exhibition will be lit by daylight as weather conditions permit.

Eithne Jordan was born in Dublin where she studied at Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology from 1972-76. She was awarded a DAAD scholarship in 1984 to study at the Hochschule der Künste in West Berlin, where she subsequently lived for several years. Since 1990 she has worked between Languedoc in the south of France and Ireland. Her work is in major public and private collections in Ireland, Europe and the US and she is a member of Aosdana and the Royal Hibernian Academy.

A catalogue on Eithne Jordan's work will be published in November 2017.

]]> (Logan Sisley) Thu, 12 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Thu, 12 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 14 Jan 2018 23:59:59 +0000 hall small.jpg
The Ocean After Nature Artists: Ursula Biemann, Elaine Byrne, CAMP, Yonatan Cohen & Rafi Segal, Mati Diop, Drexciya, Peter Fend, Renée Green, Peter Hutton, Hyung S. Kim, Manny Montelibano, Philip Napier, Deimantas Narkevičius, The Otolith Group, Maria D. Rapicavoli, Allan Sekula & Nöel Burch, Supersudaca, UNITED BROTHERS.

Curated by Alaina Claire Feldman and produced by Independent Curators International (ICI).

For centuries, the ocean has prompted awe, figuring as a vast unknown space loaded with notions of the sublime and the exotic. In the past fifteen years however, global technological and economic shifts have triggered new concerns and understandings of the ocean. As we consider the future of our planet, today’s oceans reveal more about the consequences of human actions than ever before. The ocean and humanity, no longer thought of as separate, exist in a relationship of mutual and potentially destructive influence.

The Ocean after Nature considers the ocean as a site reflecting the ecological, cultural, political, and economic realities of a globalized world through the work of twenty artists and collectives. These internationally established and emerging artists explore new ways of representing the seascape as a means to identify and critique the various interrelated and chaotic systems of power, such as land-sea divides, the circulation of people and goods, and the vulnerabilities of our ecosystems.

Invoking personal themes of identity and migration, alongside more universal concerns related to tourism, trade, and the exploitation of natural resources, the artists in The Ocean after Nature respond to the intertwined factors that define this new understanding of the ocean. The exhibition proposes that seascapes do not only reflect power but can be instruments of power themselves.

In September 2017 The Ocean After Nature continues its international tour at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane. The exhibition features work in a wide variety of media—including photography, video, sculpture, music, and design. At every hosting site, a new work by a locally based artist is added to the exhibition in order to further contextualize the exhibition for diverse global audiences. Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane has invited artists Elaine Byrne and Philip Napier to contribute to the project.

The Ocean after Nature is a travelling exhibition curated by Alaina Claire Feldman and produced by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York. The exhibition and tour are made possible, in part, with the generous support from ICI’s International Forum and the ICI Board of Trustees.

Publication: Accompanying the exhibition is a catalogue edited by Alaina Claire Feldman, published by ICI, and designed by Geoff Kaplan / General Working Group. It includes texts by Alaina Claire Feldman, Lucy R. Lippard, Allan Sekula and Noël Burch, Yonatan Cohen & Rafi Segal, Lanka Tattersall, Ursula Biemann, May Joseph, Amanda Parmer, Virgil Taylor, Kodwo Eshun, Negar Azimi, Ed Halter, Patrick Flores, CAMP, Andrey Misiano, Sarah Wang, Maria del Carmen Carrion, among others. It is available from ICI.

About the Curator: Alaina Claire Feldman is a curator and Director of Exhibitions at Independent Curators International (ICI). Over several years, Feldman has worked with the Centre Audiovisuel Simone de Beauvoir to translate and distribute videos in the archive, culminating in exhibitions at The Kitchen (New York) and SPACE (London). With Stephen Vitiello, she curated New York’s Hidden Noise at Anthology Film Archives in 2014. Along with Martha Wilson, she curated the four-day performance, film and discursive program Performing Franklin Furnace at Participant Inc. (with Coco Fusco, Michael Smith, Erika Beckman, Nicolas Dumit Estevez, Robert Longo and others) in 2015. She oversees the ICI Sourcebook publication series and has edited books with Martha Wilson, Allan Ruppersberg, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. She recently curated the internationally traveling exhibitions The Ocean after Nature (and edited the subsequent catalogue) and Publishing Against the Grain. Her writing has appeared in several art journals and in the exhibition catalogues for BLESS N°41 Retroperspektives Home (Kunsthaus Graz), Self-Timer Stories (Museum der Moderne Salzburg and Austrian Cultural Forum NY), Apichatpong Weerasethakul: The Serenity of Madness (ICI) and Partenza: Renata Poljak (Galerije Umjetnina, Split). She was previously Assistant Editor at May Revue.

About Independent Curators International (ICI): Independent Curators International (ICI) produces exhibitions, events, publications, research and training opportunities for curators and diverse audiences around the world. Established in 1975 and headquartered in New York, ICI is a non-profit organization that connects emerging and established curators, artists, and art spaces, forging international networks and generating new forms of collaborations. ICI provides access to the people and practices that are key to current developments in the field, inspiring fresh ways of seeing and contextualizing contemporary art. News about the tour, programming schedule and updates are available on ICI’s website.

If you have visited The Ocean After Nature in Dublin, please send us feedback by completing this very short survey.

]]> (Logan Sisley) Thu, 07 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Thu, 07 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 07 Jan 2018 23:59:59 +0000
Port Perspectives: An exhibition of artworks by Community Drawing Clubs and City Schools in Dublin 5th - 16th July

Admission free.

Port Perspectives: An exhibition of artworks by Community Drawing Clubs and City Schools in Dublin continues the Hugh Lane’s collaboration with Port Perspectives an initiative of Dublin Port. Curated by Declan McGonagle, Curator of Port Perspectives Engagement Programme, the participating community groups are: Ringsend/Irishtown Community Centre; St Andrew’s Resource Centre, Pearse Street; Seán O’Casey Community Centre East Wall and East Wall Youth Centre. As well as the Drawing Clubs, ten City Schools also participated in this project led by student teachers from the School of Education at the National College of Art and Design.

Their participation and response to the Gallery's exhibition programme has produced a rich and varied body of works which reveal the multiple responses and reflections that are evoked by the theme of Port Life. For further information please contact Jessica O'Donnell or Liliane Puthod, tel. 2225550.



Wed, 05 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Wed, 05 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 16 Jul 2017 23:59:59 +0000 crop.png
Anne Madden: Colours of the Wind - Ariadne’s Thread Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane is delighted to present Colours of the Wind: Ariadne’s Thread, an exhibition of recent works by Anne Madden.

Madden’s abstracted landscapes see imaginative and emotional responses to place and memory. Her colour-saturated paintings are imbued with symbolic potency, dwelling on the complexities of the natural order and the tragedy of existence.

Her new work is inspired by the Greek goddess Ariadne whose love for Theseus saved him from death by the Cretan Minotaur. For Madden, myth opens doors to notional places and, in this body of work, Ariadne weaves her way through celestial spaces, her golden thread curling about her. The skies alternate between spectacular luminosity and foreboding, the threat of the infernal embodied in the image of the Minotaur.

Over her six-decade career, Madden has continually sought an understanding of the natural order and through her art attempts to uncover realities that exist but are unseen. The exhibition explores themes with a mnemonic effect linking us to the heritages of long ago while at the same time alerting us to the unfathomable magnitude of the Cosmos.

A fully illustrated catalogue with essays by Brian O’Doherty and Yvonne Scott will accompany this exhibition.

Admission is free of charge.

]]> (Michael Dempsey) Thu, 01 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Thu, 01 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 10 Sep 2017 23:59:59 +0000 madden ariadne crop.jpg
Frank O'Meara and Irish Artists Abroad Artistic Migration: Frank O'Meara and Irish Artists Abroad
On view in galleries 12 and 13
Curated by Jessica O'Donnell

As part of our theme Artist as Witness: Migrations, this display of paintings in galleries 12 and 13 explores the work of Irish artists who, influenced by innovative new developments in en plein air painting on the Continent travelled abroad to develop their art practice. The Taylor prize set up in 1860 provided monetary support for artists who wished to travel and study abroad. It enabled many Irish artists to experience at first hand the pioneering developments occurring in France where the art movements of Realism, Impressionism, Symbolism and Post-Impressionism were to the fore of revolutionary art practice. In Britain, artists including Philip Wilson Steer, whose work is also on view here, promoted modern French painting through the New English Art Club. A rare self portrait by Frank O'Meara which was recently acquired by the Gallery with the financial support of Mary Stratton-Ryan is also on display following conservation treatment by Lucia Fabbro, Conservator.

In Belgium, the reputation of the Academie Royale des Beaux Arts at Antwerp during the 1870s and 1880s attracted students internationally and Walter Osborne and Roderic O’Conor were among the Irish artists who studied there. The Academy’s teaching philosophy was led by Charles Verlat, Professor of Painting. He emphasised excellence in draughtsmanship alongside a vigorous handling of paint and encouraged students to paint rapidly out of doors using bold colours. From Antwerp, many of the Irish artists such as Roderic O’Conor and John Lavery, headed to the artists’ colonies in Brittany including Pont Aven and Beg-Meil while others favoured the French countryside around the rural village of Barbizon at the edge of the forest of Fontainebleau as well as the picturesque villages in Britain.

In Paris, numerous new academies emerged in opposition to the academic teachings of the École des Beaux Arts. To advance their practices, many of the artists taking advantage of the new public transport system headed off by train to the artists’ colonies which had sprung up around Fontainebleau. These colonies were thronged with those seeking to live the bohemian dream and capture idyllic subject matter drawn from rural life.

The Irish artist Frank O’Meara studied at the atelier of Carolus-Duran in Paris. There, he became friends with John Singer Sargent who joined him for a time in the artists’ colony of Grez sur Loing near Fontainebleau. O’Meara and fellow artist William Stott of Oldham’s preference for autumnal light and even, muted colours in their paintings is in marked contrast to the sun-filled exuberance of the paintings of Walter Osborne, William Leech, John Lavery and May Guinness. These differing sensibilities, one wistful and melancholic and the other bolder and more joyous reveals how specific qualities of light and place can enrich our perception of the landscape surrounding us.

Included on The Culture Trip's top shows in Dublin this Spring:

]]> (Jessica O'Donnell) Mon, 13 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Mon, 13 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Mon, 17 Apr 2017 23:59:59 +0000
Eugeen Van Mieghem: Port Life Audiences can experience the works of acclaimed Belgian artist Eugeen Van Mieghem for the first time in Ireland through an exhibition depicting the vibrant life of the Port of Antwerp at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane.

Eugeen Van Mieghem: Port Life is a fascinating visual account of the pulsating life of a working port at the beginning of the 20th century. Van Mieghem’s work represents a social history, exploring themes of migration, globalisation, port society, the working community, and, the life of the artist - themes that resonate with Dublin as a port city.

Admission free.

Exhibition supported by Dublin Port Company.

Watch Michael Dempsey, Head of Exhibitions, discuss Port Life at Culturefox TV.


If you have already visited Eugeen Van Mieghem: Port Life, we would appreciate your feedback on the exhibition via this very short online survey:

Port Perspectives

]]> (Logan Sisley) Thu, 09 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Thu, 09 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 11 Jun 2017 23:59:59 +0000
Artistic Migration: Frank O'Meara and Irish Artists Abroad Artistic Migration: Frank O'Meara and Irish Artists Abroad

On view in galleries 12 and 13

Curated by Jessica O'Donnell

As part of our theme Artist as Witness: Migrations, this display of paintings in galleries 12 and 13 explores the work of  Irish artists who, influenced by innovative new developments in en plein air painting on the Continent travelled abroad to develop their art practice.  The Taylor prize set up in 1860 provided monetary support for artists who wished to travel and study abroad. It enabled many Irish artists to experience at first hand the pioneering developments occurring in France where the art movements of Realism, Impressionism, Symbolism and Post-Impressionism were to the fore of revolutionary art practice. In Britain, artists including Philip Wilson Steer, whose work is also on view here, promoted modern French painting through the New English Art Club. A rare self portrait by Frank O'Meara which was recently acquired by the Gallery with the financial support of Mary Stratton-Ryan is also on display following  conservation treatment by Lucia Fabbro, Conservator.

In Belgium, the reputation of the Academie Royale des Beaux Arts at Antwerp during the 1870s and 1880s attracted students internationally and Walter Osborne and Roderic O’Conor were among the Irish artists who studied there. The Academy’s teaching philosophy was led by Charles Verlat, Professor of Painting. He emphasised excellence in draughtsmanship alongside a vigorous handling of paint and encouraged students to paint rapidly out of doors using bold colours.  From Antwerp, many of the Irish artists such as Roderic O’Conor and John Lavery, headed to the artists’ colonies in Brittany including Pont Aven and Beg-Meil while others favoured the French countryside around the rural village of Barbizon at the edge of the forest of Fontainebleau as well as the picturesque villages in Britain.

In Paris, numerous new academies emerged in opposition to the academic teachings of the École des Beaux Arts. To advance their practices, many of the artists taking advantage of the new public transport system headed off by train to the artists’ colonies which had sprung up around Fontainebleau. These colonies were thronged with those seeking to live the bohemian dream and capture idyllic subject matter drawn from rural life.

The Irish artist Frank O’Meara studied at the atelier of Carolus-Duran in Paris. There, he became friends with John Singer Sargent who joined him for a time in the artists’ colony of Grez sur Loing near Fontainebleau.  O’Meara and fellow artist William Stott of Oldham’s preference for autumnal light and even, muted colours in their paintings is in marked contrast to the sun-filled exuberance of the paintings of Walter Osborne, William Leech, John Lavery and May Guinness. These differing sensibilities, one wistful and melancholic and the other bolder and more joyous reveals how specific qualities of light and place can enrich our perception of the landscape surrounding us.

Included in The Culture Trip's top shows to see in Dublin this Spring:

]]> (Jessica O'Donnell) Tue, 20 Dec 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Tue, 20 Dec 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Tue, 17 Apr 2018 23:59:59 +0000
Michael Kane: ...Modality of the Visible The Hugh Lane is pleased to present this exhibition of paintings and prints by Michael Kane, 20 October 2016 - 15 January 2017.

Over the past five decades Michael Kane has explored Dublin City observing and investigating the urban landscape. This familiarity inspired Kane’s imagination and yielded up powerful images which are captured in his paintings, drawings and woodcuts. This exhibition presents new work alongside a selection of seminal masterpieces - a survey of a long and committed career as an artist.

The exhibition title is taken from Ulysses by James Joyce, in which Stephen Dedalus ponders the ‘ineluctable modality of the visible’ – ‘thought through my eyes’. The city continues to be Kane’s underlying motif inspired by the everyday movements of its inhabitants: the workers, the poets, and the artists.

In the work of Michael Kane one can also see a masterful amalgam of the classical and the contemporary. For example his woodcut series Agamemnon Felled sees the Greek tragedy played out in biting, sometimes comical, contemporary imagery.

The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with essays by Michael Dempsey, Elizabeth Hatz and Róisín Kennedy.

]]> (Michael Dempsey) Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 15 Jan 2017 23:59:59 +0000 2016 web crop.jpg
Sven Augustijnen The Metronome Bursts of Automatic Fire Seep Through the Dawn Mist Like Muffled Drums and We Know It for What It Is

During the Cold War the FAL rifle was the most distributed weapon in non communist countries, and therefore named the "right arm of the free world". However the rifle appeared on both sides of the ideological spectrum and was depicted in the various conflicts around the world as reported by the famous Paris Match and LIFE magazines.

The Metronome Bursts of Automatic Fire... is a new storyboard installation by Belgian artist Sven Augustijnen for The Hugh Lane's Artist as Witness 2016 exhibition programme. It is an allusion to the light automatic rifle - the F.A.L manufactured by Fabrique Nationale de Herstal, in Belgium. The installation consists of a display of TIME and LIFE magazines and RTÉ archival material that evokes how both weapons and journalism have been entangled in the fabric of our histories.

In Sven Augustijnen's work the traditional codes of documentary practice seem to be both expanded and undermined. Debate and dialogue, as vehicles for embodied social memory and symbolic experience, play a key role in his practice. Fictions, rumours, personal comments and vague remarks are all inseparable from the forms of living memory.


Sven Augustijnen, Spectres, 2011

Augustijnen's internationally acclaimed film Spectres interrogates the legacy of Belgium's colonisation of the Congo and will be screened at the IFI as part of the exhibition. An examination of the biopolitical body, this feature-length film by Sven Augustijnen exposes the fine line separating legitimation and historiography and the traumatic question of responsibility and debt. Spectres won the Public Libraries Prize and GNCR Prize.

Fifty years after his assassination, Patrice Lumumba, Prime Minister of the newly independent Congo, is back to haunt Belgium. Through commemorations, encounters and a return visit, a top-ranking Belgian civil servant who was in Elisabethville on that tragic day of 17 January 1961 attempts to exorcise the ghosts of the past. To the sound of St John's Passion by J.S. Bach, Spectres plunges us into one of the blackest days of the Belgian Congo's colonisation. A special screening of Spectres take place at the IFI on Tuesday 6 September in conjunction with the exhibition. BOOK HERE

Sven Augustijnen lives and works in Brussels. Exhibitions and screenings include Tate Modern, Witte de With, Kunsthalle Basel, MuHKA, Bozar, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Museo Reina Sofia, and Documenta Magazines/Documenta 12. He has held solo shows at Wiels Brussels, De Appel Amsterdam, Kunsthalle Bern and Kunsthalle St Gallen.

For further information please contact:

Michael Dempsey, Head of Exhibitions,, 01 222 5552

Logan Sisley, Exhibitions Curator,, 01 222 5562

]]> (Logan Sisley) Thu, 08 Sep 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Thu, 08 Sep 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 15 Jan 2017 23:59:59 +0000
Gavin Friday: The Casement Sonata Noon and 3pm

'The Casement Sonata' is a sonic response to the centenary of the execution of Roger Casement for the part he played in the Easter Rising. Working closely with Dublin poet James McCabe, performing artist and composer Gavin Friday has created a multi-movement sound piece that captures the essence of Casement’s global odyssey. The Casement Sonata will be played at 12pm and 3pm, Tuesdays to Sundays. No booking is required. Duration: 58 mins.

Gavin Friday Presents
The Casement Sonata Programme Notes

“Death is not dark, only deeper blue”

The Casement Sonata is a sonic installation and ambient poem created
by songwriter singer Gavin Friday in close collaboration with the poet James McCabe. The two Dubliners pay homage to the most elusive and contentious figure behind the Easter Rising, another Dubliner by birth 
who became first a knight of the British Empire and then its most dangerous defector. By seeing imperialism as a human rights issue - at first in the southern hemisphere and then at home - Sir Roger Casement applied an altogether more threatening analysis to British Irish relations than the usual Saxon vs. Celt clichés. Casement's sexuality, and the way in which his private life was manipulated for public effect, tells us much of the lengths to which the powers that be were willing to go in countering this critique. The Sonata comprises five core movements tracing this tragic trajectory.


Roger Casement was born in Sandymount into a family with long links
 to the British Empire and world travel. After the early death of his father, 
he was raised in England and partly in Antrim by relatives before going
 to sea at the age of fifteen. A traveller after the classical mould, Casement spent many years in the service of the Empire, including the Congo and Peru, twilit zones where Belgian and Latin American imperialism were notably corrupted by greed and the booming rubber trade. A man of letters and poet, Casement knew Joseph Conrad and George Bernard Shaw, and is undoubtedly the major influence on both the narrator Marlow and antagonist Kurtz of Heart of Darkness (as embodied by Marlon Brando in APOCALYPSE NOW, Coppola's cinematic reimagining of that novella); as well as Saint Joan in Shaw's tragedy of the same name. He remains the most controversial, globally relevant and contemporary Rising leader.

The Sonata

The Casement Sonata represents a new auditory genre, an ambient poem
 which unites the tradition of narrative and dramatic verse with the rhythm
 of contemporary electronic and trance music. Following the classic sonata sequence from exposition and development to recapitulation, the work
 moves from stability (as represented by Casement's return to Ireland) to 
instability (as heard in his earlier African and South American adventures) and back to renewed stability (as evidenced in his innermost thoughts after sentencing). Gavin Friday inhabits the deep interior of the words, letting his audience experience the global unfolding of Casement's tragedy in re-imagined real time. Formally, the hexameter or six-beat lines of blank verse echoing classical epic gradually give way to terza rima - Dante's purgatorial metre - and finally, elegiac couplets, the ancient Roman metre as practised by the great Latin poets like Ovid. Married to the contemporary soundscape of ambient music, the result is singular.

Banna Strand

The first movement in the Sonata re-enacts the emotional universe 
of Roger Casement as he returns to Ireland in extraordinary conditions.
Travelling from Germany via the U-19 submarine, Casement capsized
 on the dinghy bringing the conspirators home during the dark early hours 
of Good Friday 1916. He regains consciousness on the Kerry strand like
a long-lost Crusoe returned to civilization. He has been away from Ireland,
 his mothership, for years - confined and landlocked in a wartime Germany.
The cynical lip service paid to Irish freedom among German authorities, along
with the paltry contingent of captured Russian rifles supplied (a tenth of expectations) have depressed and disorientated him. Ironically, he has decided to return in
a last-minute attempt to call off the Dublin Rising, but is an isolated figure also
within the revolutionary movement. Alone and ill, Casement is captured and brought by train to Dublin and then London. Banna Strand comprises elements
 of both ancient Irish voyage poetry (immrama) as well as classical myth and
history to capture the essence of a highly sophisticated Victorian mind trapped in historical events of an altogether new and uncompromising kind.


From Banna Strand on Good Friday 1916 the listener is transported decades 
back to the beating pulse of central Africa - Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Largely
 modeled on the figure of Casement in Africa, Conrad's groundbreaking novella
 exposed the dark underbelly of white colonialism, unleashing private infernos 
in remote jungle fiefdoms. The speaking voice travels backwards as Casement 
is incarcerated in the Tower of London, returning over the nightmare ground of Africa
 and its remembered paradise. The Sonata continues the Celtic and classical motifs
 by alluding to Amergin, the mythological first poet of Ireland, as well as Oisín, the last
of a hero race, and Odysseus with his sexual partners. Thematically, Congo marks the
first time when Casement's attitudes to the imperial mission are being seriously challenged, even if he continues in diligent service to the British Crown. King Leopold's private kingdom in Africa was an extraordinary example of sadism and vanity, but its slow fuse was to
 also ultimately explode Casement's belief in all imperial agendas. Here we experience
that first moment of conscious reckoning, as he is still beguiled by knightly illusions.


The heart of the Sonata, Peru forms a phase of complete disillusionment, as Roger 
finally equates the equatorial colonial experience with back home - Putumayo with Connemara. Lost in jungle and moral decrepitude again, the speaker recounts his experience
 of investigating local brutalities, still struck by the local paradise of nature, but
increasingly isolated and disaffected with the imperial agenda. Casement first visited 
Africa as a young man of twenty, in 1884. Now, in 1910 he is middle-aged and already
set on a patriotic path, having already joined the Gaelic League and Sinn Féin five years previously. Peru delves deeper into Casement's inner mind by sourcing fragments of his
written thoughts as recorded in his Amazon journal, part of the so-called Black Diaries. Classical and Celtic motifs recur, in keeping with Casement's education and culture.
The gates of horn or ivory were alluded to in both Homer and Vergil, referring to true
and false dreams respectively, and originating in Greek puns on those materials. Hy Brasil, from which the country's name is reputedly taken, refers to the ancient Irish myth of 
a phantom island to the west, a myth the original Portuguese explorers were familiar with. Ironically also, the U-19, which would eventually take Casement to Ireland, was built
 during this same year of 1910. The following year, Casement was knighted for his services.


In retrospect, Casement’s German stay seems to represent his most despondent phase,
as he is denied further travel owing to the British naval blockade – and his plans for
recruiting an Irish Brigade among prisoners of war at Limburg are repulsed by suspicion 
on the part of the Irish and lip service on the part of the Germans. In the vacuum of wartime Bavaria, he contemplates his predicament on the shores of Lake Ammersee, just south of Munich, at a time when trench warfare is becoming semi-permanent in the fields of France
 to the north-west and his commitment to Irish independence seems a vain illusion. In keeping with this purgatorial mood of endless waiting, the spoken metre here shifts to terza rima, Dante’s classical rhythm. Ammersee captures a moment in time when the epic opportunities of the historical situation seem already wasted and over. Casement’s imagination is pushed to its limits in near-total isolation as he struggles to make sense of the scene, stranded in a society with altogether other concerns and its own iron agenda. This is the lowest point in his personal quest/immram, as he dreams of one last escape even at the cost of life.


As the judgement and verdict is read out at Bow Street courthouse in London, Casement is brought back to the present, during the summer of 1916, with the slaughter of the Somme raging and the Rising receding into seeming fiasco. In Pentonville prison he records his final thoughts as the elegiac metre of the Roman poets replaces Dante’s triple rhythms – we are back at the root of Western poetics and Casement is imaginatively back at the source of his wanderlust – the childhood locale of Murlough Bay in County Antrim. This final movement in the Sonata is laced with Casement’s own imagery as he writes his final letters to his cousins Gertrude and Elizabeth Bannister. Casement’s composure at the end seems extraordinary, from thanking the gentlemen of the jury to the remark of hangman John Ellis: “He appeared to me the bravest man it fell to my unhappy lot to execute.” The Sonata concludes in a mood of transcendence as the imaginary currach Casement has always been voyaging in with mythic companions such as Maeldune sails over the edge of the world – in this case the liminal zone between Eire and Alba, Celtic timespaces beyond jurisdiction.

]]> (Jessica O'Donnell) Thu, 21 Jul 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Thu, 21 Jul 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 21 Aug 2016 23:59:59 +0000 casementcropped.jpg
The Best of Decades: Painting and Sculpture of the 1960s from the Collection This exhibition, drawn from the Gallery’s collection, highlights the vitality of the Irish art scene in the 1960s. Ireland began to benefit from a period of relative affluence with a significant decline in emigration in comparison to the 1950s – hence the title of Fergal Tobin’s account of the period, The Best of Decades. While not a conclusive visual history, this exhibition includes many key figures and works which reflect the debates on international artistic developments – for example, American abstract expressionist painting – and their influences on contemporary Irish art.

New artists’ organisations were established including Graphic Studio Dublin, Independent Artists, Group 65 and the New Artists Group. As a response to the changing times, in 1964 the Irish Exhibition of Living Art initiated the Carroll’s Prize for young artists. New venues opened such as the Exhibition Hall at Trinity College and Project Arts Centre, which began as a three week festival at the Gate Theatre in 1966. The Arts Council of Ireland founded a collection of contemporary Irish art and actively promoted touring exhibitions.

Many of the works in this exhibition were presented by the Contemporary Irish Art Society, which was one initiative that sought to provide greater support for artists, who continued to face economic challenges. The Society was established in 1962 to develop artistic patronage and its members purchased many works for The Hugh Lane (then known as the Municipal Gallery of Modern Art). Until 1991 when the Irish Museum of Modern Art was established, this was the sole national collection of modern art in Ireland. However it did not have a purchasing budget until 1969, when Dublin Corporation (now Dublin City Council) contributed to the cost of Joseph Albers’ Homage to the Square – Aglow, which was presented by the Friends of the National Collections of Ireland. Throughout the 1960s under the leadership of the former curators of the gallery, James White (1961-64) followed by Ethna Waldron (1965-90), The Hugh Lane was re-invigorated with ambitious international exhibitions and education programmes.

Abroad, Irish artists exhibited at international venues such as the Guggenheim Award in New York, the Paris Biennale and the Venice Biennale. The outstanding series of exhibitions of international contemporary art known as ROSC began in Dublin in 1967. The decade culminated in significant travelling exhibitions of Irish art overseas including Modern Irish Painting which toured Scandinavia, Germany and England from 1969 to 1971, and The Irish Imagination 1959-1971, curated by Brian O’Doherty and shown as part of ROSC ‘71 before touring the United States.

List of artists: Patrick Scott, William Scott, Josef Albers, Sean McSweeney, Noel Sheridan, Cecil King, Jean Cortot, Gerard Dillon, Nano Reid, Elizabeth Rivers, Henri Hayden, Sidney Nolan, Camille Souter, David Winters, Ian Stuart, Patrick Collins, Edward Delaney, Gerda J Frömel, Barrie Cooke, Paul Mosse, Brian Wall, Brian O'Doherty, Louis Le Brocquy, Brian Bourke.

]]> (Logan Sisley) Tue, 14 Jun 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Tue, 14 Jun 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 11 Sep 2016 23:59:59 +0000
Liam Gillick: What’s What in a Mirror What’s what in a Mirror? Precisely how does an institution like a museum locate itself in relation to history? Where is the visitor located in the celebration of historical events? Combining the pressures of commemoration and the contingencies of the contemporary, internationally acclaimed artist Liam Gillick invites the visitor to his exhibition at The Hugh Lane into a space of self-examination and reflection on the function of a museum.

Gillick changes the traditional display format of an exhibition and shows work at various locations within the Gallery. The artist provides audiences with a moment’s reverie for the production of self-reflection and appraisal of the now. He asks what the apparatuses are bringing the remnants of the past into the present and bringing things of the present into the future. How has Irish identity stretched since the vision of Mise Éire of 1916? Who is contemporary Ireland commemorating the Rising?

A series of desks and stools constructed from lacquered wood, each furnished with a mirror, are fixed to walls within The Hugh Lane Gallery. The structures rely on the architecture and context of the museum to function. Visitors are encouraged to sit at the desks and work, read, check their phone or just look in the mirror – their backs turned to the art – either observing themselves, the art collection or fellow visitors behind them. The desks are offered as sites of self-reflection and aesthetic absorption for our visitors in this centenary year. Appropriating the aesthetic context of 1916, they carry traces of the early modernism in their form, reminiscent of European avant-garde movements such as Russian constructivism, Bauhaus, and De Stijl.

Accompanying the desks is a short book consisting of texts compiled by Gillick that contrast scientific papers on self-image and a traditional Japanese tale of vanity and hubris.


Liam Gillick (b.1964) deploys multiple forms to expose the new ideological control systems that emerged at the beginning of the 1990s. He has developed a number of key narratives that often form the engine for a body of work: McNamara (1992 onwards) Erasmus is Late & Ibuka! (1995 onwards) Discussion Island/Big Conference Center (1997 onwards) and Construction of One (2005 onwards).

Gillick’s work has been included in numerous important exhibitions including Documenta and the Venice, Berlin and Istanbul Biennales – representing Germany in 2009 in Venice – and EVA International, Limerick, 2016. Solo museum exhibitions have taken place at the MCA in Chicago, the MoMA in New York and Tate in London. Gillick’s work is held in many important public collections including the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Guggenheim Museum in New York and Bilbao and the MoMA in New York. Over the last twenty five years Gillick has also been a prolific writer and critic of contemporary art – contributing to Artforum, October, Frieze and e-flux Journal. Liam Gillick lives and works in New York City.

]]> (Michael Dempsey) Thu, 28 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Thu, 28 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 25 Sep 2016 23:59:59 +0000
The Artist as Witness in Society: Collection The Artist as Witness in Society: Collection

Taking as its starting point the theme of artistic, social and political flux engendered by the 1916 Rising, the Artist as Witness in Society is a substantial exhibition drawn from the Hugh Lane’s prodigious collection.This exhibition sees the galleries rehung with a new selection of work offering diverse perspectives on how artists have depicted the changing world around them; how they have engaged with conflict and the liminal in society; and how artists have explored new ways of seeing.The exhibition includes work ranging from the Impressionists, to the Cubist-inspired paintings of Evie Hone and Mainie Jellett dismissed in their own time as ‘artistic malaria’; and to the searing studies of the conflict in Northern Ireland by Rita Donagh and Willie Doherty among others. New acquisitions including A 2007 portrait of the 11 Irish Dunnes Stores strikers by Garrett Phelan and Wall of Death Hell Rider by Brian Duggan are also exhibited. The Artist as Witness in Society: Collection is curated by Jessica O'Donnell.

For further information please contact: Jessica O’Donnell, Collections Curator, jodonnell.hughlane@dublincity,ie, 01 2225560.


]]> (Jessica O'Donnell) Thu, 10 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Thu, 10 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 02 Oct 2016 23:59:59 +0000
Alan Phelan: Our Kind Alan Phelan: Our Kind
10 March - 2 October 2016

Our Kind is a short film by Alan Phelan which imagines a future for Roger Casement had he not been executed in 1916. This film is set 25 years later in 1941, where Casement is in exile in Norway with his former manservant and now partner Adler Christensen. They are visited by Alice Stopford Green, a close friend and former supporter of Casement. The story unfolds as Adler and Alice both betray their relationships with him, paralleling Casement’s isolation from his homeland, beliefs and the ideals of the Rising.

The film gets it title from the speech Casement made on his conviction, and extracts of this are used throughout the film. The dialogue re-narrativises text from another film which like other recent work by Phelan is not openly credited as the re-staging of the text creates a whole new story and meaning from the original.

This scripting technique enables Our Kind to embrace the complex and contradictory historical interpretations surrounding Casement by taking a counter-factual position. This means that there are few historically correct elements in the story presented. Instead we are given a very different scenario which in itself reflects the flaws common in the genre of historical drama for film, with its need to find drama in history, resulting in stories that speak more of the present than the past. Much of the scholarship surrounding Casement is similarly muddled, caught between interpretative approaches, political prejudices and at times an inverted homophobia that cannot come to terms with Casement’s personal and public lives. Several of these angles are woven into the story, often mis-represented and incomplete.

Our Kind cannot be viewed at face value. The meaning lies between the lines. This is a deliberate challenge to audiences and the prevailing 1916 narrative as Casement is not presented as hero or icon; neither liberated or closeted. Instead we encounter Casement as an ordinary human being with ordinary human needs, emotions, and failings. The film may be stripped of historical fact but there are many references to Casement’s life, opinions and principles that reveal in itself a different kind of truth.

Our Kind was commissioned by The Hugh Lane Dublin City Gallery, funded by Dublin City Council, Department of Arts 2016 Commemorations Committee and The Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon and the Bank of Ireland.

]]> (Jessica O'Donnell) Thu, 10 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Thu, 10 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 02 Oct 2016 23:59:59 +0000 03cropped.jpg
High Treason: Roger Casement High Treason: Roger Casement

Until 2 October 2016

Marking the 2016 Easter Rising commemorations, Sir John Lavery’s monumental painting, High Treason: The Appeal of Roger Casement, The Court of Criminal Appeal, 17 and 18 July 1916 moves from Kings Inns where it has been on loan from the UK Government Art Collection since 1951 to be the centrepiece of this historic exhibition in 2016. This painting depicts the last day of Roger Casement’s appeal against the sentence of death for treason before five judges of the Court of Criminal Appeal in London. Lavery's painting is one of the most significant accounts of the events surrounding the 1916 Rising.

Roger Casement, the highly regarded humanitarian, knighted for his steadfast and unwavering dedication to highlighting the atrocities in the Putumayo region of South America, and prior to that in the Congo in Africa, is shown in the very place where he would deliver his celebrated Speech from the Dock, a speech which is now regarded as one of the greatest orations of all time. Portraits of a number of the legal personalities involved in the Trial and Appeal including judges Lord Chief Justice Sir Rufus Isaacs who presided over the Trial and Sir Charles John Darling who presided over the Appeal as well as the prosecuting council Attorney General Sir Frederick Smith later Lord Birkenhead are on loan from the National Portrait Gallery, London. There are also loans from the National Gallery of Ireland and the artist Elizabeth Magill as well as archival images from the collection of the National Library of Ireland.

Among other works drawn from the Hugh Lane’s own collection are Lavery’s portrait of George Gavan Duffy, who with Sergeant Sullivan represented Roger Casement, and Rodin’s bust of George Bernard Shaw. Shaw supported Casement and advised him ‘to be eloquent about his right to take up arms for the independence of his country.’ The portrait by William Rothenstein of Casement’s great friend Alice Stopford Green is also exhibited. With Casement, Stopford Green was an anti-Imperialist activist who advocated reform at home and abroad in favour of the dispossessed and the exploited. Lavery's fascinating preparatory study of the Appeal which the artist presented to this Gallery in 1935 is also on view.

Curated by Jessica O'Donnell.

An illustrated catalogue High Treason: Roger Casement (ed.) Jessica O'Donnell accompanies the exhibition with essays by Mr Justice Donal O’Donnell, Sinéad McCoole, Angus Mitchell, Chris Clarke, Charles Esche, Tacita Dean and Elizabeth Magill.

The award winning RTE documentary The Ghost of Roger Casement (2002) is being screened in gallery 11. (Directed by Alan Gilsenan. Produced by John Murray and Kim Bartley). Duration: 90 mins.

For further information please contact: Jessica O’Donnell, Collections Curator,, 01 222 5560

High Treason: Roger Casement is kindly supported by the Bank of Ireland.

]]> (Jessica O'Donnell) Thu, 10 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Thu, 10 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 02 Oct 2016 23:59:59 +0000 treason by john laverycropped.jpg
Jesse Jones: NO MORE FUN AND GAMES Irish artist Jesse Jones continues the gallery's 2016 theme of Artist as Witness, in her new work entitled No More Fun and Games. The artist transforms the gallery space into a cinematic experience through sound and architectural interventions. She has commissioned a new composition from renowned American film composer Gerald Busby, who created the score for Robert Altman’s 1977 film 3 Women. In her installation Jesse Jones turns our attention to feminism in Ireland, exploring how individuals share, understand, or experience collective memory. Working with a collaborative curatorial team to create a Feminist Parasite Institution within the exhibition, she explores how art by women has been valued historically. A series of workshops, performances, tours and writings address the question of gender equality in the construction and commemoration of history.

NO MORE FUN AND GAMES: A Gripping Live Performance

A live durational work in galleries 17 to 14
Daily, 12 noon to 4pm
Performers: Eimear Walshe, Michelle Doyle, Niamh Moloney, Emma Balfe, Rachel Fallon and Jesse Jones

Watch an interview with Jesse Jones on

Listen to Part 1 of an interview with Jesse Jones on RTÉ Lyric FM's CultureFile

Listen to Part 2 of an interview with Jesse Jones on RTÉ Lyric FM's CultureFile

]]> (Michael Dempsey) Thu, 11 Feb 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Thu, 11 Feb 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 26 Jun 2016 23:59:59 +0000
2016 Exhibition Programme: The Artist as Witness In 2016 Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane presents a series of exhibitions which have as their central theme the Artist as Witness in Society. The exhibitions contribute significantly to contemporary appraisals of historical and current political and social issues. Diverse in practice, from painting to installation, each exhibition provides a unique voice and illuminates the relevant role the artist plays as a witness in society.

Julie Merriman: Revisions 
5 January – 10 April 2016

Collection: The Artist as Witness
11 February – 2 October 2016

11 February – 26 June 2016

High Treason: Roger Casement
10 March – 2 October 2016

Alan Phelan: Our Kind
10 March – 2 October 2016

Liam Gillick: What's What in a Mirror
28 April – 25 September 2016

Collection: The Best of Decades
June – 11 September 2016

Sven Augustijnen: The Metronome Bursts of Automatic Fire Seep Through the Dawn Mist Like Muffled Drums and We Know It for What It Is
8 September 2016 – 15 January 2017

Beyond Tradition: Michael Kane
20 October 2016 – 15 January 2017

]]> (Logan Sisley) Tue, 05 Jan 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Tue, 05 Jan 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Sat, 31 Dec 2016 23:59:59 +0000
Julie Merriman: Revisions “Rich and fruitful” and “a great, subtle body of work”, **** - Aidan Dunne in The Irish Times.

"A visually gorgeous show" - Cristín Leach in The Sunday Times.

Julie Merriman’s practice is centred on the language of drawing and how it is used to visually describe structure, place, concept and theory. Working from archival material she explores the various conventions of drawing used in construction and design. Merriman investigates how drawing is employed in these contexts as a technology to impart specific information in subjects such as architecture, engineering, science, cartography and mathematics. She is interested in the methodologies and conventions of these drafting professions, but through her creative process the artist reveals the hidden potential of a different aesthetic contained within the drawings.

Revisions is the culmination of a year-long engagement within Dublin City Council departments, meeting with staff in Housing, Architects and Engineering who draw or read drawings as part of their everyday work. Merriman looked at project drawings and had conversations with staff around the role of drawing within the City Council, and how the drawings, old and new, are used, handled and stored. The impact of computer aided design programmes, which rendered manual and older mechanical drawing methods obsolete, was also considered and evaluated.

After viewing the archives in both Engineering and Housing Maintenance, she began working with typewriter carbon film, discovering that it is a medium that creates a ‘slippage’ in the drawing information. Pinned to a paper or canvas surface and drawn upon, these 16mm wide lengths of carbon film exert a controlling force on the drawing process. Under these restrictions the artist allows the artwork to emerge. Merriman is interested in the constraints and frustrations involved in setting up a procedure to produce a drawing that inevitably goes awry. There is an uncertainty to the outcome in the drawing process but also expectation and surprise when the carbon film strips are removed and the finished drawing contains unexpected marks and nuances that transfigure its original function. The visual language of the engineer and architect is still present but its functionality has been disrupted and the potential now exists for new perspectives to emerge.

A fully illustrated publication with essays by Stephanie Straine and Marianne O’Kane Boal is available in the gallery bookshop from 11 February.

Revisions is curated by Ruairí Ó Cuív, Public Art Manager with Dublin City Council. The exhibition is part of Interaction with the City, the second strand of the Dublin City Public Art Programme, and is funded from the Per Cent for Art Scheme through the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.

Watch an interview with Julie Merriman on

Listen to an interview with Julie Merriman on RTE Lyric FM's CultureFile


]]> (Logan Sisley) Tue, 05 Jan 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Tue, 05 Jan 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 10 Apr 2016 23:59:59 +0000
Stephen McKenna: Perspectives of Europe Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane is delighted to present former Turner Prize nominee Stephen McKenna’s latest exhibition, Perspectives of Europe. This unique exhibition features works created throughout McKenna’s career, focusing specifically on cityscapes, parks and trees.

Perspectives of Europe opens to the public at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane on 23rd July. The artist’s deep interest in the structures which underlie the natural and built environment is displayed thematically in groups of paintings depicting classical columns, city ports and specific close-ups of verdant foliage.

Stephen McKenna has worked in several European cities and currently lives in County Carlow. This selection of paintings, from the 1980s to the present, charts the artist’s experience of working in urban and rural environments and reveals his response to the cultural histories that form their identities.

Director, Barbara Dawson, said: “His is a keen and original vision which is informed by his metier –the millennia of Western mythology and its history. Alongside his paintings of cities, in this exhibition there is a focus on the artist’s love of nature in his depictions of foliage. He delights in opening his and our eyes to the poetry contained in their painterly representation ordinary and extraordinary in their compositional structures”.

This exhibition is presented in partnership with Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, and features both national and international loans. It is open to the public until 4th October 2015. A fully illustrated catalogue is on sale in the bookshop detailing all works in both exhibitions.

]]> (Michael Dempsey) Thu, 23 Jul 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Thu, 23 Jul 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 04 Oct 2015 23:59:59 +0000 crop.jpg
Hugh Lane (1875-1915): Dublin's Legacy and Loss Hugh Lane (1875-2015): Dublin's Legacy and Loss celebrates Hugh Percy Lane, the philanthropist and art dealer who presented a priceless collection of artworks to Dublin to establish a Gallery of Modern Art in 1908. Lane drowned aboard the Lusitania on 7 May 1915, after the liner was torpedoed by U-boat 20 off the south coast of Cork on its return from New York to Liverpool. He was thirty-nine years old. The exhibition presents Hugh Lane's vision for the visual arts in Ireland at the turn of the 20th century with works by Impressionist artists Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Edgar Degas and Auguste Renoir hanging together with their Irish contemporaries including Walter Osborne, Frank O'Meara, John Lavery and Roderic O'Conor.

Dublin's Legacy and Loss looks at Hugh Lane and his milieu, his friend and influences – W.B. Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, and Lane's aunt Augusta Gregory, and the artists Sarah Cecilia Harrison, Sarah Purser and William Orpen. The support Lane received from artists is evident in the works they gave to the Gallery including Auguste Rodin, Augustus John, Jack B. Yeats, John Singer Sargent and Lavery. We see how Lane's supporters also purchased superb works by artists including J.B.C. Corot, John Constable, Degas and Monet in an astonishing act of collective philanthropy. Lane himself gave one hundred works to the Gallery by Irish and international artists and supported Irish artists through commissions, especially John Butler Yeats and Orpen. His collection of portraits of prominent Irish personalities makes for fascinating viewing.

Born in Cork of Irish parents, Lane achieved huge success as an art dealer while still in his twenties and went on to be one of the most famous art dealers of his time. Charming and personable with a love of gambling, Lane was a regular visitor to the gaming tables in Monte Carlo often losing thousands of pounds in a couple of weeks. But he always bounced back. After the establishment of the Gallery in 1908, Lane continued to purchase works for the Gallery. In recognition of his services to art, Hugh Lane was made a freeman of the city of Dublin in 1908 and in 1909 was knighted for his work.

Hugh Lane died aboard the Lusitania in 1915. His body was never recovered. This exhibition honours his vision and extraordinary philanthropic support for the visual arts in Ireland. His establishment of this Gallery is considered
the most significant cultural event in the history of modern Ireland. In 1908 the French newspaper Le Figaro declared " entire museum rich in beautiful things, a museum envied by the most prosperous states and the proudest cities and then to give this treasure, gathered with as much effort and care, to a town that one loves – that is the ultimate gesture of this ingenious man."

]]> (Dr. Margarita Cappock) Thu, 30 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Thu, 30 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 03 Jan 2016 23:59:59 +0000 lane 2015 crop for web.png
Declan Clarke: Wreckage in May Artist/filmmaker Declan Clarke presents his most ambitious production to date at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane from 30th April to 4th October 2015. The installation consists of a trilogy of films produced between 2013 and 2015.

We Are Not Like Them and The Most Cruel of All Goddesses are screened on a loop in gallery 11. Wreckage in May is screened on a loop in gallery 10.

The three films reflect upon the impact of industrialisation and modernism in Europe. The first film (We Are Not Like Them, 2013) documents the transformation of Europe’s industrialisation and the scope of its shifting political perspectives. In the second film (The Most Cruel of All Goddesses, 2015) the life and legacy of political theorist Friedrich Engels is shown leading to the formation of NATO in the wake of the Second World War. In the last of the trilogy (Wreckage in May, 2015), commissioned by The Hugh Lane, Clarke focuses on the suppression of the Paris Commune in 1871 and the role played at first by the Impressionist painters in the visualisation of urban modernity and how this role was developed through 20th century cinema and photography.

Inviting a contemporary contemplation, We Are Not Like Them, 2013, film connects four different locations in Europe. It uses the tropes of the early 20th Century documentary film and the mid century espionage film to contextualise these locations, which, in order of appearance, are the former Wallsend and Walker shipyards in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Eisenhüttenstadt, a city on the eastern border of Germany, Nowa Huta, a city on the outskirts of Kraków in Poland, and the Groupe Scolaire L’Octobre – a primary school in the Alfortville district of Paris.

The Most Cruel of All Goddesses, 2015, presents a portrait of the life of German political philosopher Friedrich Engels as a backdrop to a noir/espionage film that follows an unnamed agent on an unspecified mission. The film reflects upon the political history and significance of the Manchester region, particularly Salford where the origins of the socio-political foundations of the 21st century were laid.

Wreckage in May, 2015, uses the thriller/revenge film genre to examine the suppression of the Paris Commune in 1871 and the role of women in the founding, running, and defending of this short lived government. The film also considers the social and militant role of the artist Gustave Courbet in the Commune and how it contrasts with the younger generation of artists, whom he had inspired - the Impressionists. The plot of Wreckage in May shows an unnamed agent figure that follows a female character around a city as she researches the history of the Paris Commune. Unbeknownst to the agent, he disturbs the ghosts of history through his covert intrusions into the woman’s research; the consequences of which are unforeseen and disturbing.

The film trilogy takes seminal moments of history and introduces them into a narrative as active 'agents' that profoundly impact upon contemporary events. Though nominally using historical political events as their subject, the films are entirely grounded in the political present, and function as oblique commentaries on the causes, effects, and ongoing ramifications of the current, political climate. Curator Michael Dempsey said: Wreckage in May obliquely depicts current European social/political history through a cool and understated espionage film. Eliciting techniques of the French New Wave, the installation entices the viewer into a space that parallels the development of French painting from Courbet to Impressionism, with the shift towards auteur theory in 1950s French cinema. Visitors to the gallery can expect to see Gustave Courbet’s The Diligence in the Snow and Berthe Morisot’s Jour d'Été alongside the film screening of Declan Clarke’s films.

A partnership with Tromsø Kunstforening in Norway and HOME in Manchester, where The Most Cruel of All Goddesses is on view from 22 May 2015 to 26 July 2015.

]]> (Michael Dempsey) Thu, 30 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Thu, 30 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 04 Oct 2015 23:59:59 +0000 crop 2.jpg
Phoenix Rising: Art and Civic Imagination Éirigh an Fhéinics: Ealaín agus Samhlaíocht Cathartha

This exhibition and related events explore the current place of civic ideals in urban life and contemporary art practice. It references Dublin's 1914 Civic Exhibition which was inspired by the work of Scottish biologist, sociologist and planner Patrick Geddes and which attempted to re-imagine Dublin as "the phoenix of cities" during a period of economic, social and political strife. The exhibition showcases contemporary artists' responses to the urban environment using different strategies to understand and represent the city. It includes work by Stephen Brandes, Mark Clare, Cliona Harmey, Vagabond Reviews, Stéphanie Nava and Mary-Ruth Walsh.

An accompanying newsletter presents research generated in the lead-up to and during the exhibition. Printed copies are available in the exhibition and pdfs can be downloaded from the links on the right of this page. Most content is also available at:

With the support of the French Embassy in Ireland

Read more about the exhibition in Totally Dublin.

Interview with Cliona Harmey

Interview with Mary-Ruth Walsh

Link to Mary-Ruth Walsh's film 'Take a deep breath now' on Vimeo

Interview with Mark Clare

Interview with Stéphanie Nava

Article on Vagabond Reviews' 'Scientia Civitatis: Missing Titles' from 'The Blue Notebook'

]]> (Logan Sisley) Fri, 07 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Fri, 07 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 29 Mar 2015 23:59:59 +0000 in dublin cropped.jpg
Efforts and Ideals: Prints of the First World War Curator: Dr. Margarita Cappock

In 1917 the British Ministry of Information commissioned several well-known British artists to produce a series of images on different aspects of the war effort.  The aim was to encourage a war-weary public and raise support for the war effort.  The images by various artists illustrate some of the changing attitudes at the time such as the role of women in the war, the industry of war and the casualties of war.  The lithographs were divided into “Efforts” with nine artists producing  six lithographs each on different aspects of the war effort, including Christopher Wynne Nevinson, William Rothenstein and Claude Shepperson.

A further twelve artists were commissioned to produce a single image representing the “Ideals” for which the war was fought.  These included, amongst others, Augustus John, Frank Brangwyn, George Clausen, Edmund Dulac, Charles Ricketts and Charles Shannon.  Many of these artists are also represented in the collection of the Hugh Lane Gallery.  All the lithographs, 66 in total, were produced in editions of 200 and the subscription price for a complete set was 100 guineas. The prospectus published on January 1, 1919 described the series as “a first attempt by a number of British artists, working in unison, to put on record some aspects of the activities called forth by the Great War, and Ideals by which those activities were inspired.” The prints were published by the Fine Art Society and produced under the direction of Ernest Jackson, himself a contributor to the “Ideals” series.


]]> (Dr. Margarita Cappock) Wed, 24 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Wed, 24 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 24 May 2015 23:59:59 +0000
A Modern Panarion: Glimpses of Occultism in Dublin Panarion Nua-Aimseartha:  Éachtaint ar geasrógacht i mBaile Átha Cliath

Derek Jarman / Gunilla Klingberg /  Bea McMahon
Richard Proffitt / Garrett Phelan / Dorje De Burgh

This exhibition features contemporary artists whose works resonate with ideas central to the belief system of The Theosophical Society. The Society was founded in New York in 1875, espousing a doctrine synthesised from esoteric religious, philosophical, and scientific ideas and aspiring toward the formation of a universal community in which all religions, creeds, and races were equal. The popularity of Theosophy in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries was considerable, rapidly attracting a community of adherents worldwide from amongst the many disenchanted people who sought spiritual guidance and vital inspiration in an increasingly secular and industrialized world.

None of the artists participating in the exhibition are themselves Theosophists. However, all of the artists in A Modern Panarion — Derek Jarman, Gunilla Klingberg, Bea McMahon, Garrett Phelan, and Richard Proffitt — pursue an interdisciplinary practice which involves research into realms beyond the material world. A common denominator in the artists’ work is a fascination with unseen worlds and a desire for some form of intuitive transcendence. Through their work they investigate unexplained laws of nature, the powers latent in the human mind, and alternative ways of accessing hidden knowledge. One of the founders of the Theosophical Movement, Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, wrote the book from which this exhibition takes its name. In A Modern Panarion (1895), Blavatsky writes that the book is intended as “a means of healing against the dogma, bigotry, and blind negation of materialism and pseudo-science.” This exhibition is conceived with similar intentions, proposing a multi-layered installation within which the hidden potential of visual art can be explored.

Accompanying the exhibition is To Seek Where Shadows Are, a publication which chronicles of the emergence of the Theosophical Society’s Dublin Lodge, which was founded ten years after the establishment of the original Movement in New York City. What makes the Dublin chapter special, however, was its status as a refuge from the precarious political and cultural situations affecting Ireland at that time. Comprising intellectuals, artists, and radicals, and led by the visionary A.E. (George Russell), the Dublin Lodge became an experiment not only in spiritual awakening but also in cooperative living. To Seek Where Shadows Are is edited by Pádraic E. Moore, designed by Peter Maybury, and features photographs by Dorje De Burgh which document remaining traces and lingering ghosts of the long-gone community.

A Modern Panarion is curated by Pádraic E. Moore.]]> (Logan Sisley) Thu, 19 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Thu, 19 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 07 Sep 2014 23:59:59 +0000 panarion installation crop.jpg
Eva Rothschild The Irish artist Eva Rothschild (born in Dublin 1971, lives and works in London) is one of the most important protagonists of a generation of artists dealing with the expanded concept of sculpture. This exhibition at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane is the first solo museum presentation of her work in Ireland.

In Eva Rothschild’s work, the formal values of modernism and its ideas of utopia are inverted. The history of 20th century abstract art is deconstructed through her installations and through the materialism of her objects they become inquiries into how we as humans develop structures (both physical and metaphoric) to support our values. Rothschild manages to deliver sensation, memory, perception, personal idiosyncrasies and diverse cultural traditions, through the transformation of everyday materials into alien artifacts.

An eloquent admiration of ancient cultures can be discerned through the art historical references of Egyptian and Roman civilisations as well as minimalism and constructivism, but also the influence of American artists Robert Morris and Cady Noland can be seen. Eva Rothschild’s works are tension-filled combinations of varied materials such as - steel, concrete, jesmonite, fibreglass, plexiglas, leather, polystyrene, wood and paper.

There will be a daily screening of Rothschild's film 'Boys and Sculpture' in Gallery 18.

"It is... honest and straightforward, rightly confident of its own absolute integrity, and grounded in solid aspects of the real world." – Cristín Leach Hughes, The Sunday Times

"A homecoming show of splendour" – Kate Coleman, Le Cool 

"Playful and subversive, yet completely assured in execution, Eva Rothschild's series of installations at the Hugh Lane Gallery hint at a retelling of the history of sculpture." – Gemma Tipton,

"Overall this is a formidable exhibition by an artist who has persuasive and cogent vision." - Carissa Farrell, Visual Artists' News Sheet.

Eva Rothschild has already exhibited internationally, including the monumental site-specific 2009 installation “Cold Corners” at Tate Britain, the Nasher sculpture centre, Dallas, Whitechapel Gallery, London, Kunstverein, Hannover, The Hepworth, Wakefield and is represented by Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London, The Modern Institute, Glasgow, Galerie Eva presenhuber, Zurich and 303 Gallery, New York.

Curated by Michael Dempsey.  For further information contact: Logan Sisley ( or Dolores Fogarty (

]]> (Michael Dempsey) Fri, 23 May 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Fri, 23 May 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 21 Sep 2014 23:59:59 +0000 banner small black.png
Sleepwalkers: Gavin Murphy – In Art We Are Poor Citizens In 1904 the then director of the National Museum of Ireland expressed to Lady Gregory his view that he “hoped never to see a picture hung in Dublin until the artist had been dead one hundred years”. At the same time a prominent art collector, Sir Hugh Lane, who was trying to secure a home for his conditional loan of continental pictures opined:

“…there is not in Ireland one single accessible collection or masterpiece of modern or contemporary art… A gallery of Irish and modern art in Dublin […] would be necessary to the student if we are to have a distinct school of painting in Ireland, for it is one’s contemporaries that teach one the most. They are busy with the same problems of expression as oneself, for almost every artist expresses the soul of his own age.”

Gavin Murphy makes works through an assemblage of unique fabricated elements, sourced and found objects, image and text. His exhibition Remember in 2010, part of the Golden Bough series, used critical and historical documents, collected fragments of texts pertaining to the ruin, art and literature, the museum, the novel, and the seen and unseen fabric of Charlemont House (the site of The Hugh Lane). Through audio and images, the installation considered specifically the arts as a system for connecting knowledge, ideas, and cultural memory.

For the Sleepwalkers series, Murphy continues this engagement with the history of The Hugh Lane, now focusing on its collection, its acquisitions and its exhibitions, and the changing role of the museum. Murphy is given the opportunity to revisit, to remember the formal properties of a museum’s gallery space, and engage in a self-reflexive dialogue with both its past and present, working with the collection and the archive as a series of interconnecting ‘texts’.

Within the context of current museum discourse and its pedagogic role, Murphy creates an installation that begins ostensibly in the early 1900s and runs to the exhibition entitled Berlin! in 1991.Through his rigorous work Gavin Murphy makes visible the histories of The Hugh Lane as a municipal museum, as a space for defining, contesting, and interrogating national, cultural identities.

The text, We look at the past through coloured glass, which is included in the exhibition, can be read online.

Sleepwalkers is an ongoing project in which six artists – Clodagh Emoe, Jim Ricks, Sean Lynch, Linda Quinlan, Lee Welch and Gavin Murphy – have collectively used the gallery as a place for research. The first phase attempted to reveal the process of conceiving an exhibition by the display of work and ideas in progress. This process resulted in each artist developing a solo exhibition at The Hugh Lane.

Gavin Murphy is a Dublin-based artist and curator. His recent work includes a film Something New Under the Sun and a publication On Seeing Only Totally New Things in collaboration with designers Atelier David Smith. He is the recipient of various Arts Council awards, and residencies at Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne, and Fire Station Artists’ Studios, Dublin. He is co-director of the art space, Pallas Projects/Studios.

Solo exhibitions include the Royal Hibernian Academy (2012); Oonagh Young Gallery (2012); Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane (2010); Conical, Melbourne (2009); The LAB (2008); and Four Gallery (2006). Group exhibitions include Changing States: Contemporary Irish Art & Francis Bacon’s Studio, BOZAR, Center for Fine Arts, Brussels (2013); Dorm, The Model, Sligo (2010); Frontier, Green on Red gallery (2008); Frou-Frou Foxes in Midsummer Fires, Colony, Birmingham (2007); and Artists/Groups, Project Arts Centre, Dublin (2003).

]]> (Michael Dempsey) Thu, 20 Feb 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Thu, 20 Feb 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 25 May 2014 23:59:59 +0000
Everything must go now Everything must go now: One day of tastes, sights, and sounds

The closing event for Bubblewrap Game: Hugh Lane, part of the Sleepwalkers series

with James Barry, Jeremy Deller, David Eager Maher, Padraic E. Moore, Kevin Powell, and Jim Ricks

1pm — 4pm |Saturday | January 18th | 2014

For Everything must go now, Jim Ricks has curated a range of artists and practices that could not normally be shown in an ordinary exhibition. He is at once exploring what an exhibition can be, through medium and time, and also asking all involved to consider ‘identity crisis’ as a starting point in response to his show, Bubblewrap Game: Hugh Lane. An entertaining selection of responses or micro-exhibitions ensues on January 18th, culminating in a reception. Ricks’ solo show in Gallery 8 will also be open throughout the day.

Throughout Ricks’s involvement with Sleepwalkers he has embraced institutional critique with playful energy. He has pushed and pulled and chipped away at the authority and hierarchies of the art institution. Unauthorised exhibitions were enacted; spontaneous and absurd found material was put on show; cult films screened; a large-scale, open submission exhibition was organised; a facsimile of a famous artwork ‘toured’ the museum for a day, and more. Several other projects were merely envisioned (some too controversial to be realised) and others have been saved for this grand finale.

In Bubblewrap Game: Hugh Lane, Ricks orchestrates a broad range of material in a manner that is simultaneously political and humorous. Several subtexts can be read in the works selected and recreated. A number of pieces play off of assumptions regarding value, authenticity, and authorship, frequently demonstrated in historical art and photographic examples. Images, paintings and prints, that contain some historical controversy about whether they have been staged or photoshopped, for example. Or works that deal directly with appropriation and representation. Beside these selections trapped in an ‘identity crisis’, there are others that explore creativity through repurposing or through destruction.

In response to the diverse collection of art objects and artefacts that comprise Ricks’s show, Pádraic E. Moore will score a soundtrack for the final hours of the exhibition. Using vinyl records and a set of turntables, Moore will generate a collaged column of sound that transforms the sculpture hall into a reverberation chamber.

Chef Kevin Powell, founder of Guerrilla Gruel, will produce a reduced, minimal five course banquet which will be available to the public all afternoon. It will be served on a correspondingly minimal ‘long table’ that will bisect the elegance of the Sculpture Hall. Jim Ricks will be showing a large new textile piece, titled Painting is Dyed, derived from an abstract painting in The Hugh Lane collection.

David Eager Maher subverts historical motifs and methods into complex new narratives.  Eager Maher selected two historic works by 18th century artist James Barry to counter.  In his response, Eager Maher pays close formal and stylistic attention to his precursor, but semiotically updates the works found in the Hugh Lane collection.  The day will end with a closing reception for this spin-off exhibition, Savage State.

Special thanks to Margarita Cappock, Michael Dempsey, Logan Sisley, Jane McCree, Kevin Powell, David Eager Maher, Pádraic E. Moore, Jeremy Deller, and all the staff at The Hugh Lane. | |

]]> (Michael Dempsey) Sat, 18 Jan 2014 13:00:00 +0000 Sat, 18 Jan 2014 13:00:00 +0000 Sat, 18 Jan 2014 16:00:00 +0000
Sleepwalkers: Jim Ricks – Bubblewrap Game: Hugh Lane Jim Ricks’ installation for the Sleepwalkers series, Bubblewrap Game: Hugh Lane, develops a narrative of comparisons in a humorous and diverse display of objects – including paintings from The Hugh Lane’s collection, borrowed artworks and flea-market kitsch – all exhibited on an equal level as an open fragment rather than closed system. There is no judgment or standard of taste made on the respective cultural, aesthetic, historical or market worth of each object, yet each is linked to the next on a single shelf in a circumnavigation of the curved walls in Gallery 8. Ricks brings the belief in changeable standards and their contradictions to life in an installation of experiment, doubt and arbitrary perception. In Bubble wrap Game: Hugh Lane, Jim Ricks emphasises a shift from biography and medium to method and situation, and contemplates his ongoing interest in ideas about the symbolic and monetary value of property.

This combination of diverse objects set side by side to create new meanings can be seen as a form of collage. The artist has called this method ‘Synchromaterialism’.  The trail of objects can be followed in either direction around the curved room with no fixed starting point. This creates a loop that Ricks, citing Karl Marx, sees as historical narrative repeating “first as tragedy and then as farce”. Viewers are invited to create their own narratives and connections between the objects on display.

Jim Ricks is interested in pushing acceptable notions of a hybrid art/curatorial practice while dissolving normally accepted hierarchies. Working in a collage format, the artist utilises appropriation (the use of pre-existing objects or images which challenges ownership and authorship) and sees curation as a logical extension of that. For Bubblewrap Game Ricks has included works from The Hugh Lane collections by artists such as Gerard Dillon and Robert Ballagh as well as works on loan from artists including Raphael Zarka and James Hanley. The artist’s use of appropriation – taking existing objects or artworks to make new work – can also be interpreted as piracy, repurposing or misuse.

Jim Ricks studied at the National University of Ireland, Galway/Burren College of Art and the California College of the Arts. Originally from California, he has lived in Ireland for 8 years. Ricks was selected for Futures 12 at the Royal Hibernian Academy in 2012. In the last two years Ricks has created and toured the popular public work the Poulnabrone Bouncy Dolmen. Alongside his own exhibitions he has curated shows in Dublin, London, Galway and San Francisco. As a member of Cause Collective he recently toured to Afghanistan with the collaborative project: In Search of the Truth (The Truth Booth).

Sleepwalkers is an ongoing project in which six artists – Clodagh Emoe, Jim Ricks, Sean Lynch, Linda Quinlan, Lee Welch and Gavin Murphy – have collectively used the gallery as a place for research. The first phase attempted to reveal the process of conceiving an exhibition by the display of work and ideas in progress. This process results in each artist developing a solo exhibition at The Hugh Lane.

]]> (Michael Dempsey) Thu, 31 Oct 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Thu, 31 Oct 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 19 Jan 2014 23:59:59 +0000
Dublin Divided: September 1913 Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane is pleased to present the exhibition, Dublin Divided: September 1913, marking the centenary of the Dublin Lockout of 1913.

At the beginning of August 1913, the city of Dublin was on the threshold of a momentous showdown between organised labour led by James Larkin, founder of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union, and Dublin's capitalist entrepreneurs represented by the leading business magnate, Cork-born William Martin Murphy.

Against this backdrop of bitter class conflicts and the rise of organised labour, the debacle continued regarding the establishment of a permanent Gallery to house the art collection first offered to Dublin by Sir Hugh Lane in the winter of 1904.

Dublin Divided: September 1913 provides an opportunity to reflect on the different agendas of the individuals involved in that momentous and bitter dispute and explore how the history of the Gallery was interwoven with the Lockout. The workers' leader, James Larkin, though raised in poverty, appreciated art and beauty and sought the cultural as well as economic and social liberation of the manual labourer. Seán O'Casey noted that Larkin wanted the rose along with the loaf of bread on a worker's table.

James Larkin supported Lane's Municipal Gallery project, and declared that William Martin Murphy, for his meanness in the matter of Sir Hugh Lane's offer, would be condemned to keep an art gallery in Hell.

A century later, the Hugh Lane Gallery's collection contains many portraits of the key individuals who were active in the Lockout as well as works by artists who became involved in the dispute, including William Orpen and George Russell (AE). The exhibition also provides a rich resource of evocative images that depict life in Dublin in the late nineteenth century and first decades of the twentieth century.

The exhibition features paintings, sculpture and drawings by artists including John Lavery, Sarah Purser, John and Jack B. Yeats, Casimir Markievicz, Auguste Rodin, Sarah Cecilia Harrison, Maurice MacGonigal and Louis le Brocquy.

Dublin Divided: September 1913 is curated by Margarita Cappock.

A fully illustrated catalogue will be available with essays by Padraig Yeats, Margarita Cappock and Helen Carey.

Supported by The Department of Arts, Heritage and The Gaeltacht.


]]> (Dr. Margarita Cappock) Thu, 26 Sep 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Thu, 26 Sep 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 02 Feb 2014 23:59:59 +0000
13 Women: A 12 Hour Live Performance 'amongst the debris and rubble the head and shoulders of a woman were seen'

13 Women, a new live performance by Amanda Coogan in collaboration with twelve performers, explores the Church Street disaster of 1913 and its parallel with contemporary Irish society.

The Irish Independent’s newspaper headline of 17th September 1913; ‘And they still think of Art Galleries!' 'locates this exploration particularly in The Hugh Lane and the controversial establishment of Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane.

13 Women
forms part of ANU production’s THIRTEEN which presents a series of cluster works in site specific locations around Dublin exploring the 1913 Lockout from this contemporary vantage point.

13 WOMEN, a new moving image collaborative work with Paddy Cahill, can be viewed online at The performance took place in The Hugh Lane over 12 hours and was captured in this video using time-lapse photography, the entire 12 hours resulting in a new 8 minute film.

Amanda Coogan is a performance artist. She is at the forefront of some of the most exciting and prolific durational performances to date. Her live performances are referents for video and photographic works. Her expertise lies in her ability to condense an idea to its very essence and communicate it through her body. Her work often begins with her own body and challenges the expectations of the contexts. Previous performance works include head banging to Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’, and signing the lyrics to Gill Scott-Heron’s ‘The Revolution will not be Televised’.

]]> (General Enquiries) Fri, 20 Sep 2013 10:00:00 +0000 Fri, 20 Sep 2013 10:00:00 +0000 Fri, 20 Sep 2013 22:00:00 +0000
Sleepwalkers: Sean Lynch – A blow-by-blow account of stone carving in Oxford Sleepwalkers is an ongoing project where six artists (Clodagh Emoe, Jim Ricks, Sean Lynch, Linda Quinlan, Lee Welch and Gavin Murphy) collectively used the gallery as a space for research. This is an attempt to reveal the process of conceiving an exhibition by the display of work and ideas in progress as they are being discussed and developed by artists and curators. The process results in each artist developing a solo exhibition in the gallery. The first of these solo exhibitions was Clodagh Emoe: The Closing of Mystical Anarchism, which closed on 13 January 2013. The next in the series are two exhibitions running simultaneously – by Lee Welch (in gallery 8) and Sean Lynch (in gallery 10) from 10 July to 29 September 2013.

Sean Lynch: A blow-by-blow account of stone carving in Oxford

A blow-by-blow account of stone carving in Oxford is an installation by Sean Lynch exploring the work of nineteenth century stone carvers John and James O'Shea, whose naturalistic renditions of animals and plants are still visible in locations in Dublin and Oxford.

From an artisan working class tradition, the O'Sheas completed a series of notable stone carvings in 1850s Dublin before relocating to Oxford to work on the new Museum of Natural History. While specific historical circumstances remain unclear, controversy surrounded the carvings of monkeys on the building's facade. Popular belief claimed the O'Sheas carved a rendition of Darwin's theory of evolution, a contentious subject within theological and social debate of the time. Due to a resulting quarrel, a series of impromptu carvings were attempted by James O'Shea intending to caricature the authorities of Oxford as parrots and owls; these are still visible at the site today.

A focal point of the installation is a carving of a monkey within an architectural setting, completed by carver Stephen Burke in the style and ethos of O'Sheas. Accompanying photographs and a slide projection, with a scripted narration performed by Gina Moxley, argue for the ethnographical relevance of the O'Sheas to the identities and urban infrastructures of both Dublin and Oxford.

The work of the O'Sheas can still be seen on the Museum Building in Trinity College, and carvings of monkeys on the former Kildare Street Club (now the National Library and Alliance Française) have been credited to James O'Shea. Sean Lynch's work references these sites as being alive with diverse allegorical and associative meanings and encourages a contemporary reappraisal.

A blow-by-blow account of stone carving in Oxford is curated by Michael Dempsey and Logan Sisley in collaboration with Paul Luckraft, Modern Art Oxford, where the project will be presented in early 2014. Research and production is supported by Gasworks, London, TrAIN: Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation, University of the Arts, London, Cove Park, Scotland, and the Arts Council of Ireland.

]]> (Michael Dempsey) Wed, 10 Jul 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Wed, 10 Jul 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 29 Sep 2013 23:59:59 +0000
Sleepwalkers: Lee Welch – Two exercises in awareness and observation Sleepwalkers is an ongoing project where six artists (Clodagh Emoe, Jim Ricks, Sean Lynch, Linda Quinlan, Lee Welch and Gavin Murphy) collectively used the gallery as a space for research. This is an attempt to reveal the process of conceiving an exhibition by the display of work and ideas in progress as they are being discussed and developed by artists and curators. The process results in each artist developing a solo exhibition in the gallery. The first of these solo exhibitions was Clodagh Emoe: The Closing of Mystical Anarchism, which closed on 13 January 2013. The next in the series are two exhibitions running simultaneously – by Lee Welch (in gallery 8) and Sean Lynch (in gallery 10) from 10 July to 29 September 2013.

Lee Welch: Two exercises in awareness and observation

For Two exercises in awareness and observation gallery eight has been filled with a regular rhythmic pattern of vertical stripes, a measure that plays with the parameters of the gallery, like a concertina that swells and contracts. The repetition of lines also induces an order and structure, yet its monotony on such a large scale is at times potentially overbearing. As a counter to this, within the space can be found interruptions, variations and intimacies drawn out by way of objects, video and text.

A shelf with a mirror top supporting 12 invitation cards can be found in this oscillating chamber. Six of the cards bear quotes; one card reads: "Every movement reveals us". The other six reveal a place and time, co-ordinates to a future event. The dimensions of the invitation cards replicate the golden rule ratio. Their placement on the shelf reveals the mirror that lies underneath, a device that acts like a re-framing structure, while also supporting a gathering of objects that sit and share a space with the invitation cards. This choreography of the objects will change and be replaced over the course of the exhibition, each configuration charging and changing how we read the text. A second mirrored shelf displays the six invitation cards propped up against the wall. A third display takes the form of a projection onto a stretched canvas with a sequence of images from the artist's studio.

Each invitation card is bidding the visitors to partake in various events scheduled inside and outside The Hugh Lane. The card "Every movement reveals us" is an invitation to Tai Chi workshops hosted by Natalia Krause in the Sculpture Hall of The Hugh Lane that will take place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the three month exhibition period. These workshops commence during the opening of the show. For Tai Chi bookings (€5 per class) please email

Each of the invitations elicits the audience to a different place where particular modes and forms of rhythm, repetition, movement and placement are practised. On a closing note to the exhibition and in collaboration with The Sundays @ Noon Concert Series there will be a concert held in the Sculpture Hall entitled The Portsmouth Sinfonia (A Homage) on 1 September. The philosophy of the Portsmouth Sinfonia is that anybody can join; there is no basis of skill required. The only guiding rule of the orchestra is that the musicians should not be able to play the instrument they hold in their hands.

]]> (Michael Dempsey) Wed, 10 Jul 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Wed, 10 Jul 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 29 Sep 2013 23:59:59 +0000
Jonathan Cummins: When I Leave These Landings Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane is collaborating with the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) to exhibit three film-based installations by Jonathan Cummins. Go Home (2010–2013) and Out The Road (2012– ) will be exhibited at The Hugh Lane while When I Leave These Landings (2004–2009) will be shown concurrently at NCAD Gallery, Thomas Street, Dublin 8. The exhibition will also be exhibited in collaboration with VOID, Derry, as part of the City of Culture 2013 Programme.

Rooted in a simple act of sustained conversation, these inter-connecting works address the impact of extreme ideological conviction on self, family and society. Evolving from an art project in prison, the work engages with four anti-agreement political prisoners during their time in prison and for a period of time after their release and when they go home. The conversation eventually extends to the families of the men. Produced over several years, these intimate artworks trace lives lived and in so doing reflect on difficult subject matter.

A series of conversations, under the general heading of 'The Impossible Conversation' anticipate and explore questions raised by the exhibition content. This programme of conversations will culminate in a symposium with international speakers on 11th May at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane.

]]> (Logan Sisley) Thu, 18 Apr 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Thu, 18 Apr 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 02 Jun 2013 23:59:59 +0000
Sean Scully: Doric This exhibition presents Sean Scully’s Doric paintings, a series of works he has produced since 2008. The title references one of the three orders of ancient Greek architecture, the least ornate Doric order, and the paintings were conceived as a celebration of the contribution of classic Greek culture to humanity. The Doric order impressed Sean Scully for its simplicity and force, “the spaces between the columns are space for thought, for light, for questioning and growth.”

The monumental Doric paintings combine austerity with luminosity and solidity with movement and rhythm. Variations of black, grey, and off-whites are arranged in broad, horizontal and vertical bands, use an abstract visual language which is unique to the artist.

Born in Dublin, Sean Scully is one of the world's leading abstract painters. Based in New York, he has exhibited extensively and over the last decade has held retrospectives in Metropolitan Museum, New York, Philadelphia museum of Art, and the National Gallery of Australia.

This exhibition also includes earlier works that are thematically linked to these recent paintings. They include a series of watercolours inspired by the architecture in the Greek island of Simi from the 1980s. Scully writes: “Most of these watercolours show windows and architectural inserts… All affected by Simi. All reflecting a classicism that is embedded in the simplest of structures. And of course, there is the constant still light.”

Sean Scully: Doric is curated by Oscar Humphries and is presented in association with Benaki Museum, Athens and IVAM, Valencia.

]]> (Logan Sisley) Thu, 28 Mar 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Thu, 28 Mar 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 09 Jun 2013 23:59:59 +0000
Sleepwalkers: Future Perfect Curated by Jim Ricks

Asylumarchive, Gemma Browne, Fiona Chambers, Carol Anne Connolly, Paul Doherty, Mark Durkan, John Gayer, Raine Hozier Byrne, Moze Jacobs, Myra Jago, Bartosz Kolata, Eoin Mac Lochlainn, Shelly McDonnell, Ian McInerney, Caroline McNally, Lorraine Neeson, Bláthnaid Ní Mhurchú, Thomas O’Brien, Tadhg Ó Cuirrín, Peter O’Kennedy, Ethna O’Regan, Fergus O’Neill, Lynda Phelan, Ben Sloat, Chris Timms, Chanelle Walshe, and Lee Welch.

]]> (Michael Dempsey) Fri, 07 Dec 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Fri, 07 Dec 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 16 Dec 2012 23:59:59 +0000
Into the Light: The Arts Council – 60 Years of Supporting the Arts To celebrate its 60th anniversary, The Arts Council is working in partnership with four prominent Irish galleries: Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, The Model, Crawford Art Gallery and Limerick City Gallery of Art to produce a series of exhibitions as a major national showcase of works by over 100 artists from its collection.
The exhibition in The Hugh Lane is curated by Michael Dempsey and will present works from both the Arts Council Collection and The Hugh Lane’s own collection. It is entitled Seeing clouds for the first time. Invited artist Karl Burke will also feature with a new commission by the Arts Council for the installation. Seeing clouds for the first time will address floor/wall relationships and institutional framing as extensions of the abstract picture plane. The aim is to create dialogue between the experience, the reception, and the production of art – an indication of the continuity between the past and the present, between then and now.

]]> (Michael Dempsey) Wed, 28 Nov 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Wed, 28 Nov 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 24 Feb 2013 23:59:59 +0000
Lawrence Carroll: In the world I live In the world I live showcases an installation of works by internationally acclaimed Irish artist Lawrence Carroll.  Carroll's works reflect the artist's humanity and despite their large scale they exude a particular intimacy. Part of this is due to his working process and his attitude to materials. His works use materials already employed for some other purpose and the signs of this use are still visible. His working process transforms them into highly personal works, while losing nothing of this previous life.
The exhibition will occupy five interlinking spaces allowing the viewer to wander back and forth between works from different periods from 1984 to 2012. Carroll often refers to himself as a storyteller when speaking or writing about his work.  Creating this installation allows him to play with this notion of narrative, connecting abstract language with the world of representation and the human condition.
Lawrence Carroll: In the world I live will be documented by an illustrated publication. The exhibition will travel to Casal Solleric, Palma de Mallorca, in 2013, supported by Culture Ireland.

Review on

]]> (Michael Dempsey) Fri, 09 Nov 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Fri, 09 Nov 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 10 Feb 2013 23:59:59 +0000
Sleepwalkers: Clodagh Emoe – The Closing of Mystical Anarchism Mystical Anarchism is the title for an ongoing project that developed out of an initial collaboration between artist Clodagh Emoe and the philosopher Simon Critchley in 2009. The process began with an unauthorized midnight lecture in Glendalough, Co. Wicklow. Over one hundred people gathered together on a custom-made mat (measuring 17 metres x 7 metres) to hear Critchley's invocation of the Movement of the Free Spirit in his lecture focusing on the writings of the 14th century mystic Marguerite Porete. Mystical Anarchism has since incorporated a film produced between 2009 and 2011, a series of screenings/events performed throughout 2012 and now this installation as Clodagh Emoe's contribution to Sleepwalkers
The museum can offer a space for reflection and contemplation and Emoe's installation is presented as a way of continuing her consideration of art as thought. As part of Sleepwalkers, Mystical Anarchism seeks to enhance the process of thought through reflection and imagination by offering the mat used at the original gathering in Glendalough in a space for quiet contemplation alongside the film of Simon Critchley's lecture.

]]> (Michael Dempsey) Thu, 18 Oct 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Thu, 18 Oct 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 13 Jan 2013 23:59:59 +0000
Sleepwalkers: Jesse Jones – The Trilogy of Dust The work of Jesse Jones primarily takes the form of short films, works which renegotiate the material and ideological structures of cinema. They are concerned with how cultural artefacts can be restaged to reveal embedded histories of dissent - and their contemporary relevance. As a catalyst for the production as progress phase of the next six invited artists in the Sleepwalkers experiment Jesse Jones' Trilogy of Dust acts as a formidable point of departure.

The Trilogy of Dust

The Trilogy of Dust consists of a collection of three films made by artist Jesse Jones over the past three years; Mahogany 2009, The Predicament of Man 2010 and Against the Realm of the Absolute 2011. The Trilogy of Dust depicts a narrative arch that shifts from Brechtian alienation to the cognitive estrangement of Science fiction. Each film is connected through a series of desert, dust and ash landscapes, from the desert of central Australia to a manufactured desert of post industrial detritus. Each of these stark landscapes forms an eerie stage to speculations on social and economic collapse and their repercussions for human existence.

The work of Jesse Jones (born 1978, Dublin, lives in Dublin) primarily takes the form of short films, works which renegotiate the material and ideological structures of cinema. They are concerned with how cultural artefacts can be restaged to reveal embedded histories of dissent - and their contemporary relevance. The artist isolates forms and subjects that can be utilised as tools, both in re-imagining and in directly intervening in the public sphere.

Mahogany 2009 (35 mins 16mm)
Re-scripted from the final scene of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's 1927 opera The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. Jones's film tells the story of a city outside of society, whose inhabitants are offered a space of 'infinite freedom' as long as they pay enough money. This freedom manifests itself in an excessive indulgence of pleasures. Mahogany, shot in the Australian outback, restages this fictitious city in the wake of its collapse, as a dialogue between the city's architect Begbick, and a Whisper Choir made up of its inhabitants. With the suspension of time, and setting the action in the void of the desert, the video takes the allegorical geographical location and historical moment as a starting point for a critique of present political conditions. Whilst Brecht intended Mahagonny to be a criticism of the false freedoms of the Weimar Republic, Jesse Jones tests the marginality of political gesture and the crisis of forms of viable political action in contemporary post-utopian society.

The Predicament of Man 2010 (3 mins 16mm and digital mixed media)
Using footage shot in an opal mine in Cobber Pedy, Australia, intercut with over a thousand still images that appear momentarily on screen, Jones subliminally contrasts the desolate landscape with flashes of often recognisable 20/21st century icons and events. The Predicament of Man creates an uneasy and foreboding slippage in time that hints at an apocalyptic future. Its title is borrowed from an essay in Limits to Growth, by the economic think tank; The Club of Rome in 1972. The Predicament of Man examines the consequences of exponential growth theories of late capitalism and how they may not only over stretch our resources carrying capacities, but also our sensory capacity to perceive reality itself.

Against The Realm of the Absolute 2011 (12mins 16mm )
Commissioned by Collective gallery Edinburgh, set in a distant future in which a great plague has wiped out the male population of the world. Adapted in part, from Joanna's Russ's iconic separatist feminist Sci-Fi novel from 1975, The Female Man. Against the Realm of the Absolute seeks to investigate the multiple narratives of Feminism and how it is inevitably tied to a critic of Capitalism itself. Filmed in the ash lagoons of Cockenzie power station and made in collaboration with a feminist megaphone choir formed by Jones in Edinburgh in 2011, Against The Realm of the Absolute attempts to attend to the multiple possible dytopic future crisis we might face and how, through this very act of fictional speculation, we may in turn open up critiques of our present reality.

]]> (Michael Dempsey) Thu, 05 Jul 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Thu, 05 Jul 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 07 Oct 2012 23:59:59 +0000 2009_web_crop.jpg
Sleepwalkers: Production as Process Sleepwalkers is the title for an investigational programming format based on 'exhibition making' where one's non-specific expectations of museums can be stretched out. It is an unusual experiment in exhibition production. Over a six month period Gallery 8 is open to the public as it operates as a meeting hub for six invited artists to develop and synthesise their overlapping fields of knowledge into a programme of future site specific installations to be exhibited in 2012 and 2013 at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane.

The six artists are: Clodagh Emoe, Lee Welch, Sean Lynch, Linda Quinlan, Jim Ricks and Gavin Murphy.

A blog documenting the process can be found at:

]]> (Michael Dempsey) Tue, 19 Jun 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Tue, 19 Jun 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 12 May 2013 23:59:59 +0000
Revolutionary States: Home Rule and Modern Ireland This exhibition commemorates the centenary of the introduction of the Third Home Rule Bill to the British Parliament. Although passed, Home Rule was never implemented due to the outbreak of World War I. Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane is marking this historic milestone with the exhibition, Revolutionary States: Home Rule and Modern Ireland, which explores the political and cultural context. The Gallery is uniquely placed to tell the visual story of this turbulent and complex period in Irish history.

The exhibition features over 70 paintings, sculptures and drawings, from both the collection of The Hugh Lane and from The Ulster Museum. Many of Ireland's finest portrait painters are represented including William Orpen, John B. Yeats, John Lavery, Sarah Purser and Sarah Cecilia Harrison. Stunning images of Irish life and landscape by artists such as Jack B. Yeats, Grace Henry, Seán Keating and Paul Henry are also included. Auguste Rodin, Jacob Epstein and Antonio Mancini add an international dimension.

Revolutionary States: Home Rule and Modern Ireland is curated by Logan Sisley. A fully illustrated catalogue with essays by R.F. Foster, Michael Laffan, P.J. Matthews, Barbara Dawson, Margarita Cappock and Logan Sisley accompanies the exhibition and is available from the Gallery bookshop. There is also an extensive education programme running over the course of the exhibition. Entry to the exhibition is free.

Revolutionary States: Home Rule and Modern Ireland is supported by The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

]]> (Logan Sisley) Thu, 24 May 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Thu, 24 May 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 21 Oct 2012 23:59:59 +0000
Barry Flanagan: Silâns On 22 February, the Gallery will launch the facsimile edition of Silâns Magazine, the influential publication produced and edited between 1964 and 1965 by Barry Flanagan and his fellow students Alistair Jackson and Rudy Leenders in St. Martin’s School of Art. The Silâns editions – the title is taken from the phonetic spelling of silence in French – are a valuable insight into a period of significant artistic creativity, experimentation and enquiry in London.
In a letter to Anthony Caro during this period, Flanagan writes: “The Friday evening classes were good meat for my imagination. The classes prompted the writing of poetry, a play, film scripts, songs, the purchase of cine equipment and work on a means to translate movement and atmosphere into music. I might claim to be a sculptor and do everything else but sculpture. This is my dilemma.”
In the first issue, distinctions in the unseen are defined and characterised. An epigraph from Joyce’s Ulysses “everything speaks in its own way” is followed by “A prelude to a sculpture that has never been seen” and “A prelude to a sculpture that has never been seen before”.
In 2006, The Hugh Lane organised an outdoor exhibition, Barry Flanagan on O’Connell Street, comprising ten of Flanagan’s famous hare sculptures placed along Dublin’s main thoroughfare. In 1996 the artist donated Horse Mirrored: Sheep Boys: Cow Girls to The Hugh Lane. A small exhibition of Barry Flanagan’s work on
paper accompanies the launch of Silâns.

]]> (Michael Dempsey) Wed, 22 Feb 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Wed, 22 Feb 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 10 Jun 2012 23:59:59 +0000
Sleepwalkers: Walker and Walker – Barry Flanagan Sleepwalkers: Possibilities - Contingencies

Curated ≈ Michael Dempsey

Walker and Walker - Barry Flanagan

Sleepwalkers: Possibilities - Contingencies is an investigational programming format based on ‘exhibition making’ and a ‘project in progress’ where one’s non-specific expectations of museums can be unfolded.

Following the metaphors explored in the Golden Bough exhibition programme, galleries eight and ten are activated as spaces of reflection and debate. The programme will reflect upon whether our collective memory is mirrored by the museum or does the museum construct a visual narrative of our identity that we internalise? This is of immediate importance in the contemporary debate of re-imagining communities and whether a singular stance is plausible anymore in the disrupting of established hierarchies.

Sleepwalkers is an attempt to develop a dialectic process between artist and audience in ‘exhibition making’ as it asserts itself through the interaction of chance and reciprocity. The moot points explored are the complexities of relationships between individuals and institutions in an exchange which transcends traditional inside/outside or right/wrong binaries.

The Owl of Minerva is the title for Walker and Walker’s installation in gallery ten and in it they will be showing their film Mount Analogue Revisited, a reworking of Rene Daumal’s book Mount Analogue. As the first exhibition in the Sleepwalkers programme, Walker and Walker have produced a body of new work which addresses both the concerns of the film, the two adjoining spaces, and a response to the work of Barry Flanagan, SILÂNS, as seen concurrently in gallery eight.

]]> (Michael Dempsey) Wed, 22 Feb 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Wed, 22 Feb 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 10 Jun 2012 23:59:59 +0000
The Golden Bough: Tim Robinson: The Decision Tim Robinson is both a writer and artist based in Roundstone, County Galway. He left London in 1972, for the Aran Islands where he began to research and make maps of the islands and later of the Burren and Connemara. These maps comprise drawing and collage and are informed by the historic/folkloric associations of the topography as well as the geographical positioning. Hand drawn, the attenuated marks recall his experiences of walking this terrain and acknowledge the human imprint on the landscape as he encountered it.

As well as the maps, this exhibition, The Decision includes some earlier artworks that in retrospect Robinson recognises as prefiguring this renowned mapping project.

In these early works reflecting upon the many tenuous and indefinite forces that converge to produce our fates, Tim Robinson creates an iridescent installation out of the threads of his life’s journey. Robinson suggests that, even by moving from city to island, from centre to periphery, from the visual to the written, one cannot transcend one’s habitual and limited creative means – a fact that calls in question the very concept of ‘decision’.

Tim Robinson studied mathematics at Cambridge and taught the subject for three years in Istanbul. He then began a career as an artist with an exhibition at the Galerie Fuchs, Vienna, and later showed at Signals Gallery and the Lisson Gallery in London. His writings include a two-volume study, Stones of Aran, and a trilogy on Connemara of which the final volume, Connemara: A Little Gaelic Kingdom, has just been published by Penguin Ireland. He is a member of Aosdána and the RIA, has an honorary degree from NUI, and is currently the Parnell Visiting Fellow at Magdalene College, Cambridge.

Listen here to an interview with Tim Robinson on The John Murray show on RTE Radio 1.

]]> (Michael Dempsey) Mon, 05 Sep 2011 10:00:00 +0000 Mon, 05 Sep 2011 10:00:00 +0000 Sun, 22 Jan 2012 23:59:59 +0000
Civil Rights etc. Rita Donagh and Richard Hamilton Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane is pleased to present this major retrospective exhibition by two of Britain’s most respected artists, Richard Hamilton and Rita Donagh. The exhibition includes works from the 1960s to this decade that primarily relate to Ireland, but also to seminal moments of social change in recent history. The two artists share a viewpoint of ‘political or moral motivation’ and a concern for human rights and justice, while also using images directly taken from popular culture and the mass media. The Hugh Lane has worked closely with the artists on this exhibition which explores both their shared concerns and divergent practices.

Richard Hamilton was a key member of the Independent Group and one of the leading artists during the emergence of Pop Art in Britain in the 1950s. Born in 1922, he studied at the Royal Academy Schools before and after the war and subsequently in the Slade School of Art. Hamilton’s work, addressing themes of consumerism, contemporary culture, politics and war, continues to be hugely influential and respected internationally. Civil Rights etc. concentrates on his iconic political works, including Kent State and Swingeing London, as well as the striking images from Northern Ireland during the Troubles. The exhibition also features the installation Treatment Room, a response to Margaret Thatcher 's reign as Prime Minister in Britain and his more recent protest pictures created in the context of the war in Iraq in the early 90s, as well as more recently the 00s and the current situation in the Middle East.

Rita Donagh was born in 1939 and studied Fine Art in the University of Newcastle (where Hamilton taught). In 1962 she became a tutor there before teaching in the School of Fine Art at Reading University, the Slade School of Art and Goldsmiths in London. Since the 1970s her work has focused on the political unrest in Northern Ireland and her concern for the future of Ireland. Donagh frequently uses media imagery and maps in her work; Civil Rights etc. includes both her explorations of the territories of Ireland and of the British Midlands, where she grew up. Her interest in the nature of abstract and representational imagery, inherent in map-making, is also evident in the self-portraits included in this exhibition.

Curated by Barbara Dawson.

A fully illustrated catalogue with essays by Michael Bracewell, Declan McGonagle and Barbara Dawson accompanies the exhibition.

For details of education resources for teachers and students related to this exhibition please go

]]> (Michael Dempsey) Mon, 05 Sep 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Mon, 05 Sep 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 15 Jan 2012 23:59:59 +0000
On the Nature of Things by Katie Holten On the Nature of Things is a public artwork for Dublin created by Katie Holten as part of Dublin Contemporary 2011. Texts are written on the streets of the city centre with hand-painted ceramic tiles. The source for the text is a found copy of On The Nature of Things, by the Epicurean poet Lucretius. Although written c. 50 B.C., the poem persuasively lays out a strikingly modern understanding of the world. Every page reflects a core scientific vision - a vision of atoms randomly moving in an infinite universe – imbued with a poet's sense of wonder. He thought we should live, not in fear of gods, but in the pursuit of pleasure.

Katie Holten has installed Primal Forms of Stuff on the steps of The Hugh Lane. Click here for a map of other locations.

]]> (Logan Sisley) Mon, 05 Sep 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Mon, 05 Sep 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 13 Nov 2011 23:59:59 +0000
Willie Doherty: DISTURBANCE Willie Doherty is renowned for his video installations and photographs. DISTURBANCE at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane surveys the artist’s works from the early 80s to today, including his most recent video, Ancient Ground, shot earlier this year on the peat bogs of County Donegal.

Ancient Ground focuses upon barely visible traces of human trauma within a rural terrain. Evidence of undefined violence is captured with forensic attention to detail; implying that whatever unspoken occurrences took place in the past will not disappear and cannot be forgotten. The artist's concerns with territory, surveillance and the part land plays in cultural hegemony can be traced back to his photographs of his native Derry and its environs from the 1980s. Exploring an understanding of place through terrain, these iconic works overlaid with text, play out the dichotomies of the familiar appropriated by conflicting ideologies at war.

Doherty’s work is rooted in the politics and topography of his native Derry, the walls of Derry and the river Foyle with its east bank and its west bank and the proximity of its border with the Republic of Ireland is, as he says, “a perfect theatre of war”. His practice however, transcends the specificities of any particular context as this exhibition reveals. The current work shifts between the urban and the rural. What the terrain has witnessed is patiently tracked down. His discoveries, the scars of human activity on the land are yielded up and captured on camera. Doherty unflinchingly confronts the underbelly of society, making what is concealed more visible. The insistent repetition of text and the constraints of imagery within the circularity of language emphasises that sense of entrapment; who is the protagonist, who is the victim? Calling himself an old fashioned landscape artist, Willie Doherty holds a unique position in contemporary art. His engagement with the land is very particular - shifting ground upending the surety of position. His surveillance of territory looks for evidence of association with social and political concerns and is carried out by walking it or watching it through the windscreen of a car or bus window. What he uncovers appears in series of images which fully acknowledge the ambiguities, complexities and paradoxes that brought them into being.

We are delighted to present Willie Doherty’s first exhibition at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane in collaboration with Dublin Contemporary.

Curated by Barbara Dawson

A fully illustrated catalogue with an interview with the artist and Barbara Dawson and text by Colin Graham accompanies the exhibition.

For details of education resources for teachers and students related to this exhibition please go to 

]]> (Logan Sisley) Mon, 05 Sep 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Mon, 05 Sep 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Sun, 15 Jan 2012 23:59:59 +0000 pool ii_201cropped1.jpg