Friday, December 30, 2011

POSITIONS at Wandesford Quay Gallery, Cork



a group exhibition at the CIT Wandesford Quay Gallery running from Friday 6th January – 31st January 2012.

“Is the syntax that requires beginnings, developments and ends as statements of fact the only syntax that exists? That's the real question. There are other syntaxes.
There is one, for example, which demands that varieties of intensity be taken as facts. In that syntax nothing begins and nothing ends; thus birth is not a clean, clear-cut event, but a specific type of intensity, and so is maturation, and so is death.”
Carlos Castaneda: “The Active Side of Infinity”
Why do certain artists choose to follow traditional methods of creating art, while others feel free to make videos, performance and installation?
Is there a place for tradition within contemporary practice, or has today’s cutting edge art lost sight of skill and craft?
While a love for tradition may hold back certain artists from exploring new syntaxes, does the freedom to create anything in any way mean that contemporary art is being made in a vacuum? Or are both directions simply differing “intensities” of creation?
This exhibition seeks to explore the various artistic positions that artists have taken and why.

Wandesford Quay Gallery, Clarke’s Bridge, Cork

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

INVITATION: Open Studio 3rd December 2011

            Open Studio at 7 Henrietta Street, Dublin 1.
            3 December. 12-6pm

After 3 years in this studio I'm moving out, so to acknowledge my time here and the work produced I'd like to invite you to come see the beautiful space and my work.
At the moment I'm working towards a exhibition in Queen Street Studios Belfast in January, so there's plenty of work on the go! Please see below for further details of exhibition...

The building is AMAZING, so bring along anyone interested in Architecture, History and Art... The building and street has a long tradition with artists, No.7 is now home to 9 artist studios, I'll confirm other names if they want to open their doors too...

I hope you can make it,

Shimmering Synthetic Appearances; I Want To Put You Back In
7 Henrietta Street           3rd December 2011                                                                                            Queen Street Studios    19th January- 18th February 2012

Rothko revered the communicative abilities of Art and the shared space between the Artist and Audience.‘I want to put you back in’ is a quote that relates to his practice and the impact of the spacial environment he created.

Keehan’s research into Rothko, Phenomenology and Painting Environments has brought her to this two part exhibition. The first part is an introduction to the process of the ‘Blue’ paintings by inviting people into her studio in an Open Studio, 3 December 2011. This, the primary environment of the paintings, is unfinished and a little crude. The audience witness the Blue Lighting, the ‘tent’ set-up under which the work is produced, as well as seeing the basic painting techniques used.

The second part of the exhibition is at Queen Street Studios. Here the ‘Blue Paintings’ are exhibited in a bright, clean gallery space. Removed from the components of their production, the paintings create their own blue impact and generate a submersion into the painting environment.

The two venues of the exhibition are in two separate cities, enforcing their divided stages. This is a step further from Keehan’s ‘Blue Studio Project’ exhibition in Berlin 2010, where both studio and gallery were in the same building though staged six months apart.

I Want To Put You Back In, also refers to the placement of objects in the Still Life and the objectless Still Life. The satin backdrop is the principle object in the paintings, followed by the Blue Light. After that tangible objects are placed in and around the picture plane to further emphasize composition and textures. The sparseness of objects in this manner, moves the work towards minimalism and the experimental abilities of realism.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I want to be painted by George Condo

Two fantastically amazing exhibitions on in the Hayward Gallery- George Condo and Pipilotti Rist. I’m a longtime fan of Condo, but I guess now that I have certain questions concerning parts of my painting practice some thoughts came to me about Condo’s technique. Condo’s use of paint is as peculiar as the content; some paintings have in parts a heavy use of medium, maybe liquin. This leaves patches of gloss beside (rather than on top of) matt areas of oil paint. The unregulated wet and dry look to the paintings can be distracting due to the reflection of the lights, but when compared to the content it exaggerates the mania within the composition.
In the large room, one wall is devoted to portraits. The Salon-style hanging adds to the Renaissance appropriation of painting styles used by Condo. I feel privileged, though slightly disturbed, by the glimpse inside his head; meeting the absurd characters that knock-about within. I particularly like ‘The Psychoanalytic Puppeteer Losing his Mind’ 1994, ‘Three Armed Man’ 2002, and ‘Escaping Figures’ 1998. 

Across from this wall are the three crucifix; Christ with the two thieves. My initial perception was of how brilliantly he depicted their torment and mania while hanging on the cross; bursts of colour exploding out of Christ with his bulging eyes, the other two thieves, equally distorted as the realisation of their slow death. However I was disappointed when I read that the burst out of Christ was confetti- I’m sure the poor fella didn’t feel much like celebrating… so I’ll stick with my first idea that it’s some kind of painful mania bursting out of his body… 

In Room 2, the walls are painted a burnt umber and fall back completely, which let the characters pop out. Condo captures the inner crazy in all of these characters. The accompanying text says we all know somebody like them, but I think it’s more- we all have one of them lurking beneath. I want him to paint me.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

NEXT/Art Chicago

Look out for The Molesworth Gallery's booth at Next/ Art Chicago 29th April- 2nd May, I'll have 4 paintings shown there!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lookie Likie, Mimetic Protagonist at The Molesworth Gallery, Dublin

Allyson Keehan

Lookie Likie, Mimetic Protagonist

March 24th 7th - April 20th

On first viewing, Allyson Keehan's meticulously rendered trompe l’oeil paintings of drapery seem rooted in the realist genre. A closer examination, however, reveals the importance of the process of making the paintings. This process is hugely impacted by the studio space, in particular the distinctive manipulation and modulations of light in the set-up of the subject matter for each image.

Keehan's two major concerns in the work are space and light. She is interested in how changing one element of a painting’s set-up can affect a whole body of work, and also the surrounding environment. In her most recent work, she has used blue and white artificial light to distort the subject and focus the attention of the viewer on the complex interaction of colour, light and form that regulates our visual interface with the world around us. The painting White satin in blue light, for example, compels us to question the colours we perceive in the optical receptors of our brain. "White is white," she is telling us, but only in the very delicately-balanced colour-spectrum of daylight.

Keehan is also drawing the viewer’s eye to geometric shapes in the fabric, thereby accentuating the abstract quality in the paintings. Occasionally, a singular object is integrated to distrupt the uniform landscape, allowing textures and solid forms to be juxtaposed with the subdued flow of the drapery. This intricate compositional interplay shapes the visual dialogue between the various elements of the painting, and between the painting and its audience.

Keehan graduated from the Byam Shaw School of Art (University of the Arts London) in 2004 with a Masters in Fine Art, after completing a BA (Hons) degree in Fine Art Painting in 2002 at the Limerick School of Art and Design. She has exhibited in Berlin, in London (at the Purdy Hicks Gallery) and extensively throughout Ireland. She was an invited artist at the 2010 RHA Annual Exhibition and recently undertook a residency in Takt Berlin. She now lives and works in Dublin.