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Marching Band Circus Arrives The Studio

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Gerard McGourty

Artist profile

Born in Enniskillen, Gerard McGourty is a self-taught artist who, since 1989, has had numerous solo exhibitions and is represented in major private collections in Ireland and the USA.
 

Art critics on his work:

  • 'Framing pictures for Christies in London in 1983 awakened Gerard McGourty's interest in Art. While exposure to artists such as Monet, Van Gogh and Munch introduced him to Modernism and Expressionism, McGourty’s work can best be described as a love affair with paint. The work exists without the structures or characteristics of draftsmanship, yet the paintings are rooted in an instinctive and natural grasp of composition, harmony and balance.
    Images emerge almost despite his method of applying paint, usually working on the canvas without a plan. Accidental effects are embraced allowing a freshness and renewal of expression. It’s a fearless even reckless approach to painting. The works take on a life of their own allowing freedom of interpretation and interaction between viewer and painting'
    - Blue Leaf Gallery
  • 'Expressionist? Modernist? Contemporary Art? Perhaps, New Celtic Expressionism? None of the experts are really sure of how to categorise Gerard’s work but they are unanimous in recognising its strength' - Sol Art Gallery
  • 'Gerard was born in County Fermanagh and is one of the most interesting painters in Ireland today, broadly described as an expressionist or modernist painter. Gerard represented Ireland in the international biennial of contemporary art Florence in 2005. His international standing is acknowledged by a personal invitation from the French Painter Claude Pissarro, grandson of French Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro, to participate in the Salon d'Arts de La Rochelle' - McKenna Gallery (NI)
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Exhibitions:

  • ART LONDON (October 2011)
  • Affordable Art Fair New York City (September 2011)
  • Donegal Art Fair (July 2011)
  • Frame: Art cycles (group show) – Kerry Bicycle Festival (May 2011)
  • Cork Cycling Festival – Bike Themed Art (group show) (July 2011)
  • Sol Art Gallery – solo show (May 2011)
  • RDS Art and Design Fair (May 2011)
  • No Grants Gallery, Temple Bar, Dublin: ‘Sketches from a Winter Journal’ – a solo show, opening a 2011 exhibiting season in NGG (February 2011)
  • Mill Theatre, Dundrum, co Dublin – solo show (planned: September 2011)
  • Millrace Gallery, Blackrock: Soiree: Celebrating 10 years in Blackrock, (October-November 2010), solo & group shows (1999-2009)
  • RDS ART Fair (with Bad Art Gallery): 5-7th November 2010
  • RDS Antiques & Fine Art Fair (26-28th November 2010)
  • London ART Fair (2007, 2009)
  • Paris ART Fair (2008)
  • Festival of the Masters Florida, US (2008)
  • RHA Annual Show (1993)
  • representing Ireland in the International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Florence, IT (2005)
  • Blue Leaf Gallery, Dublin: solo & group shows (2002-2010)
  • Sol Art Gallery, Dublin: solo & group shows (2007-2009)
  • McKenna Gallery, Armagh, NI: group shows (2009-2010)
  • Cherrylane Gallery: group shows (2006-2010)
  • Armagh Arts centre, NI: solo show (2006)
 
 
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'A Room of His Own' - essay by Charlotte De Brabander:
 
Experiencing Gerard Mc Gourty’s studio and home is like entering a world within the world, that of a human beings mind. Huge ceilings, stained glass, hardly any furniture except baroque-style pieces created by the artist, splashes of colour on the walls, gold powder sprinkled on the floor, a woman sculpted in bronze hiding in the place and then, everywhere, paintings.
First, I’m struck by a dancing cruelty of red -”Le Moulin Rouge”, I exclaim! “Do you think so" ? says Gerard. Well, for sure I think so! For me as a French lady, there is absolutely no doubt, it is the Moulin Rouge!
For Gerard it’s different, it’s not a place, it's a story originating in red. A troubled red becoming figures, like Riverdance dancers and then, the theatre appears. Outside, Paris and finally the mill, over there, Le Moulin Rouge. I ask, ”How did the Riverdance dancers become French ?” “I don’t know”, says Gerard “the painting did!”
Gerard never plans, he has a fascination for colours and through them come memories; notably childhood memories, light and sounds of West Fermanagh and of the surrounding counties of Leitrim and Donegal - Gerard fell in love with this particular blue on a trip to Italy, so he painted a sky enhancing the beloved colour. But underneath, in the field, appeared dark characters of his past, Diggers!

“So”, I say while I’m taken by a cubic scene where I feel more than I recognise - cities of Italy, south of France mixed with shapes of Dublin, “you don’t control anything! But when do you know that the painting is finished? ”I feel good” he replies, “the painting looks fluid and free, the painting is not chained!” “And then”, I ask, “what so do you feel about your painting, do you like it?” “Well”, he says “yes”! Even though, I’m sometimes a little disappointed, almost like a relationship - you know - you give so much that sometimes you expect more in return!”
It’s this disappointment that can lead to further additions and, more than that to a complete superimposing. So perhaps beneath the Moulin Rouge or the Diggers lies an ancient love, a previous painting that had to die.
Expressionist? Modernist? Contemporary Art? Perhaps, New Celtic Expressionism? None of the experts are really sure of how to categorise Gerard’s work but they are unanimous in recognising its strength.
Gerard Mc Gourty’s paintings are widely collected in Europe and the USA, two over - intellectualised places where ultimately it’s through the senses that we need to feel the world.
Charlotte De Brabander
 
 



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