Category Archives: Art – Exhibitions/Reviews etc.

Percy French retrospective at the Oriel Gallery, Dublin – April 1st to May 1st, 2011

Percy French – A Retrospective

At: The Oriel Gallery, 17 Clare Street, Dublin 2

Tel/Fax:  (01) 676 3410

A retrospective exhibition of nostalgia celebrating the life and work of Percy French (1854-1920). The largest collection of Percy French watercolours ever exhibited will be open to the public from Friday 1st April and will continue until Sunday 1st  May 2011. A select number of works will also be available for sale.

Opening hours:

Mon – Friday 10:00am to 5.30pm

Saturday 11:00 – 4:00pm

An exhibition not to miss! While many outside the Art collecting world will only know of Percy French for his humourous song writing, his reputation as a watercolourist is gaining in stature with every passing year. His paintings continue to turn up at auction quite often with prices still in the affordable bracket and their value is sure to appreciate – unlike bank shares! “The Grand Canal (above) was painted in 1896 but sadly is only on loan to the exhibition.

Dublin Painting & Sketching Club Exhibition – Mon.4th to Sun.17th April

The Concourse Gallery
Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Hall,
Marine Road, Dun Laoghaire

The 133rd Exhibition of the Dublin Painting & Sketching Club

From: Tues.4th April to Sun.17th April, 2011


Monday – Saturday 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sundays 11:00am – 5:00pm

To celebrate the award of UNESCO ‘City of Literature’ to Dublin this year’s Exhibition includes a literary theme as part of the exhibition. Paintings including portraits of writers, images inspired by pieces of prose or poetry and scenes associated with writers will be exhibited.

The Exhibition is supported by Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council Arts Office and is sponsored by Whytes Auctioneers

"The Storyteller" by Aidan Hickey

Further details and a preview of some of the works being shown:



County Hall, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin.

4th October 2010 – 16th October 2010


OPENING TIMES: Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm; Sunday 10am – 5pm

Ends Saturday October 16th at 1pm

Please note all works purchased must be collected between 1pm and 5pm on Saturday, 16th October 2010.  Works may only be collected at that time.


Art for Art’s Sake?

I’m glad to see that I’m not the only person not sufficiently evolved to appreciate the ‘art‘ of Sean Scully and this item (and comments) from The Art Newspaper which I came across today has cheered me up no end.


Ulster Museum in Northern Ireland reopens with Sean Scully retrospective

After a three year closure and £17.2m refurbishment, more of its permanent collections are on show

By Martin Bailey | Web only
Published online 29 Oct 09 (Museums)

BELFAST. Ulster Museum reopened on 22 October, following a three-year closure for a £17.2m refurbishment and its collections of art, natural history and Irish history have be redisplayed. To create a welcoming entrance area, the roof has been raised to create an atrium between the original 1929 building and a 1972 extension. This has also increased gallery space in the museum by a quarter and the display is denser, so more of the collection is on show. Most of the costs were met by Northern Ireland’s Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (£11.2m) and the Heritage Lottery Fund (£4.7m).

For the opening, the nine fine art rooms on the upper levels has been devoted to a Sean Scully retrospective, with 90 works (the Dublin-born American abstract artist who has twice made the Turner Prize short list).


29 Oct 09
15:11 CET

Ann Stevenson, Lisburn

Happy days,you are back! Visited yesterday—very impressed. Well done getting Sean Scully to exhibit-big coup. I’m afraid I don’t get him but I can live with that! Will be back again and again.

29 Oct 09
19:37 CET

Martin Curran, Belfast

I think Scully’s lost his touch. All his new work is blocks and stripes on a page. As opposed to his old work, which was….

29 Oct 09
19:38 CET

Paul, Banbridge

Ann, it’s not such a big coup and I am sure the vast majority of the visitors to the museum will not get him either. Rather than opening with a show that could excite the whole audience the Museum have devoted 7 galleries where one would do.

30 Oct 09
20:30 CET

Ann Stevenson, Lisburn

On entering the gallery I was confronted by what I thought was a selection of rugs from Ikea. After wandering around for a while, in a bemused state, home I went, and out came the laptop. I listened to Mr Scully and suddenly I DID GET IT! If he can fool so many people so much of the time, and make lots and lots of money, good luck to him and “VIVA IKEA”.

15 Dec 09
19:45 CET

Jules, Belfast

I was really disappointed by the art gallery section. I found Scully’s work to be repetitive and quite frankly the sort of work a 3yr old would be doing in nursery. I could understand 3 or 4 samples of his work mixed with other artwork, but no. Approx 40 canvases of what looked like paint tester strips. Rubbish.

"Untitled" by Sean Scully, or unsold as it was at auction a couple of years back. Spot the difference between this and a Dulux paint chart?

The Emperor’s New Clothes – Part.I.

Bobby McLean at the Watch House Gallery, Enniscorthy.

I wrote this piece a couple of years ago and never got round to submitting it for publication and am using it here as the first in a series on Art collecting.

We were recently invited by friends to the opening of an exhibition of paintings by Glaswegian painter, Bobby McLean at the Watch House Gallery in Enniscorthy. Not being a great lover of art exhibitions, I went along to keep my wife company safe in the knowledge that at least it was an excuse to have a few drinks afterwards.

I should have brought my sunglasses. A cursory look around the garish collection of landscapes (?) crudely daubed in oils confirmed my opinions on contemporary art and I was looking for the way out. This art is best viewed in a dark room, it is for laying down and avoiding! If it weren’t for the outrageous prices which varied from €450 to €2,500 I would say don’t give up the day job, but if he can fetch these prices perhaps it is I that should change jobs. This artist cannot paint, although this shouldn’t deter him as many others from the primitive school such as Jack B Yeats command huge prices, but they generally have to be dead first. Out of the twenty eight pictures on view no fewer than fourteen were imaginatively titled “Landscape in Red”! At the bottom of the price list a note stated ‘Art may be purchased in installments’ – enough said.

My friend and I slipped away before the opening speeches, leaving our wives behind with strict instructions not to buy anything. As we savoured our pints of Guinness in a nearby hostelry we hoped that they would not waiver but we needn’t have worried as they joined us as soon as was polite after the speeches. They had learnt that the artist was a ‘colourist’ – that much even I could see but what is obsession with badly drawn electricity pylons?

My advice to anyone thinking of investing in a Bobby McLean painting is don’t! Save your money and nip down to your local Euro shop instead and pick up a nice cheap print that your family and friends will at least understand. If I am not very much mistaken in a few years time it will be worth as much as any of the paintings on view. If this is ‘art’ I will eat not just my hat but my entire wardrobe!

Next up Sean Scully.