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Home and Away: Contemporary Irish Art

NOVEMBER 1ST, 2002 - JANUARY 31ST 2003

Artwork exploring the concerns of artists working in Ireland and the United States is the subject of this exhibition. Home and Away: Contemporary Irish Art includes the work of six Irish artists and was curated by Elizabeth Frances Martin and Dr. Annemarie Sawkins. The exhibition opened this past June at the Haggerty Museum of Art in Milwaukee WI.

Featured in the exhibition is work by painters Elizabeth O'Reilly, John Spinks, Helen O'Leary and Kieran McGonnell. Photography and video are represented by Peter Hendrick and Susan MacWilliam respectively. All of the artists are Irish born but now live primarily in the United States, except for MacWiliam who lives in Belfast. The title 'Home and Away' has several explicit and implicit meanings. It refers to the work being created by Irish artists abroad, to the transnational identity of these artists, and to their respective artistic production as international artists.

The paintings by Elizabeth O'Reilly include small intimate studies of the abandoned houses of Gola Island. The interiors she paints serve as subject and inspiration for the exploration of color and form while dealing with me sensitive issue of land in Ireland. John Spinks uses collage; incorporating single wo;ds and text fragments to give each of his works a narrative context. Contemporary developments in photography and video art are represented by the work of Susan MacWillaim and Peter Hendrick. Kieran McGonnell's painting features mythical and biblical characters in contemporary art galleries, and Helen O'Leary's color planes and abstract interesting grids in egg/oil on linen attest to the artists interest in the cumulative and residual aspects of the painting process.

PETER HENDRICK - Born in Dublin, Hendrick grew up in Cork. He studied sculpture in the Chelsea School of Art, London. In 1991 he moved to New York and earned his MFA at Hunter College in 1993. In addition to solo exhibitions in Ireland, he has shown in Washington D.C., Boston, and New York. His work is presently on display at Galerie Anne Barrault in Paris.

DARRAOH HOGAN - Hogan, who was born in Northern Ireland in 1972, earned his MFA from the University of Ulster in Belfast. He has received several awards for his work including a Fulbright Fellowship to study at Hunter College in New York City in 1996. He is currently the director of the Kerlin Gallery in Dublin.

KIERAN MCGONNELL - McGonnell was born in Cork in 1967 and has studied at Hunter College in New York where he now lives. He has had solo exhibitions in Ireland and New York including the American Federation of the Arts and American Irish Historical Society.

HELEN O'LEARY - O'Leary is a native of Wexford County and now lives part of every year in Leitrim, Ireland. She earned a BFA and MFA from the School of Art Institute, Chicago and has received numerous awards including the Pollok-Krasner Award in 1989 and 1996. Her work has been shown in solo exhibitions in Ireland, New York, Chicago and at Pennsylvania State University.

ELIZABETH O'REILLY - The New York City based painter, O'Reilly received her MFA from Brooklyn College. She paints in Ireland and the United States and exhibits regularly in both countries. Her work has been featured at the Albright-Knox Museum, Buffalo, The National Academy of Design, New York and The Royal Hibernian Academy in Ireland. A documentary on her work, funded in part by The Arts Council of Ireland, was recently shown on national television in Ireland.

JOHN SPINKS - A native of Ennis, County Clare, Spinks now lives in Brooklyn. He is a former drama and English literature teacher. Since 1991 his paintings have been exhibited in the United States and Europe. They are included in several distinguished private and corporate collections.

SUSAN MACWILLIAM - MacWilliam is from Belfast in Northern Ireland where she lives and works. She was part of the artists work program at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin in 1999. In 1999/2000 MacWilliam was an artistin-residence at P.S.1 Contemporary Arts Center, New York. She lectures at The National College of Art and Design, Dublin. In 2001, MacWilliam received a major individual Artists Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Irish Arts Center, 553 West 52st St. New York N.Y. 10019
(212) 757 3318.

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