Must-See Dublin Gallery Shows This Spring

Fish Market, Galway by Walter Osborne
Fish Market, Galway by Walter Osborne | © Sotheby's, London / WikiCommons
Kate Phelan

Baroque masters, modern Irish art and 18th-century Japanese prints are all covered in the spring exhibition programmes of Dublin’s main museums and galleries. Read on to find out which to see first.

IMMA Collection: A Decade at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (April 28, 2016 – May 7, 2017)

Building, Museum

The Drummer by Barry Flanagan at IMMA
© William Murphy / Flickr
The historic building that was once the Royal Hospital Kilmainham is now singularly dedicated to the present, housing the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA). IMMA Collection: A Decade has been in situ since last April, celebrating the hoard of contemporary work that the museum has been able to amass over the past 10 years. The exhibition features many donated works, highlighting the effects of post-recession funding cuts on the museum’s ability to fulfil its mission. Closing this May, this show also features recent purchases by artists based in Ireland made possible by the corporate Hennessy Art Fund for IMMA.

Beyond Caravaggio at the National Gallery of Ireland (February 11 – May 14, 2017)

This major exhibition of work by the Italian painter Caravaggio and those he influenced – known as ‘the Caravaggisti’ – is the result of a collaboration between the National Galleries of Ireland, Scotland and the UK. At the heart of the show are four of the influential artist’s best-known works; The Taking of Christ (1602) a permanent resident at the gallery – will be joined by paintings such as Boy Peeling Fruit, (c.1592), Caravaggio’s earliest known work, now a part of the British Royal Collection. Pre-booking is advised for this exhibition, and full-price tickets cost €15.
National Gallery of Ireland, Merrion Square W, Dublin 2, Ireland, +353 1 661 5133

The Calling of Saint Matthew (1599–1600) | © Public domain / WikiCommons

Artistic Migration: Frank O'Meara and Irish Artists Abroad at The Hugh Lane (February 13 – June 11, 2017)

Market, Museum

Fish Market, Galway by Walter Osborne
© Sotheby's, London / WikiCommons
Currently housed in two galleries at The Hugh Lane, this project plays a part in a wider theme of Artist as Witness: Migrations. It concentrates on work produced by Irish artists who went overseas to hone their craft, such as Roderic O’Conor and Walter Osborne, and how the travel affected their style. Irish impressionist landscape artist Frank O’Meara is another one who trained abroad, as a student of instructor Carolus-Duran in Paris. A newly acquired and painstakingly restored work by O’Meara – a ‘rare self-portrait’ – also forms part of this illuminating showcase.

The Art of Friendship: Japanese Surimono Prints at the Chester Beatty Library (March 3 – August 27, 2017)

Building, Library, Museum

Surimono print in occidental style by Katsushika Hokusai
© Public Domain / WikiCommons
The Chester Beatty Library’s East Asian Collection holds many high-quality Japanese artefacts, especially printed picture books and scrolls. This temporary exhibition will highlight the museum’s array of surimono. Meaning ‘printed thing’, surimono are a form of richly decorated woodblock prints commissioned as gifts to mark special occasions, popular during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Surimono were also commissioned by poetry societies to illustrate poems. The exhibition is intended to mark the 60th anniversary of formal diplomatic relations between Japan and Ireland.

Croquis: Painted Tie Designs at The Douglas Hyde Gallery (February 17th - April 5th, 2017)

This intriguing collection of petite 1920s and 30s gouache on paper paintings belong to a retired tie maker from New York City. Decorated with abstract Art Deco and Art Nouveau patterns, the rough designs were destined to be put through jacquard weaving machines, shrunk and replicated many times over in order to create necktie patterns. The exhibition at The Douglas Hyde Gallery claims to provide ‘a rare opportunity to see the early stages of everyday designs and patterns that are easily overlooked or taken for granted in their final forms’.
The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland, +353 1 896 1116

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