Best visual art this week: Hennessy Portrait Prize 2017 shortlist

Family life in focus in Oonagh Hurley’s pensive works while Claremorris Gallery celebrates 10 years

A work by Martin Gale which features in Wonderment at Claremmorris Gallery. Photoraph: claremorrisgallery.com

A work by Martin Gale which features in Wonderment at Claremmorris Gallery. Photoraph: claremorrisgallery.com

 

Wonderment
A group exhibition. Claremorris Gallery, Mount St, Claremorris, Co Mayo. Until December 23rd. claremorrisgallery.com
Rosemarie Noone celebrates the 10th birthday of her Claremorris Gallery in style, rounding up work by some of the artists who have shown there over the years. That’s Brian Bourke, Micheal Farrell, Barrie Cooke, Bernadette Kiely, Hughie O’Donoghue, Camille Souter, Dermot Seymour, Martin Gale, Charles Tyrrell, Tony O’Malley and Donald Teskey. In an informative catalogue essay she describes her own journey towards running a gallery. Her mother, Patricia Noone, founder of the George Moore Society, has long been an avid contemporary art collector, supporter and organiser, and Rosemarie grew up immersed in a world of art – and artists.

From Fake Mountains to Faith (Hungarian Trilogy)
Szabolcs KissPál. Project Arts Centre, 39 East Essex St, Temple Bar, Dublin Until January 20th. 
Two docu-fiction videos and an environmental installation of a fictitious museum by Romanian-born, Budapest-based Szabolcs KissPál offer an analytical critique of the construction of national, cultural and political identities. Specifically, he points to symbols and narratives that “promote a homogenous and oppressive idea of the Hungarian nation”. His project is all too relevant in the context of the current resurgence of nationalist politics.

Oonagh Hurley – Timelines
Catherine Hammond Gallery, Skibbereen, Co Cork. Until December 23rd. hammondgallery.com

Oonagh Hurley, Ladies Pond, 2017 Catherine Hammond Gallery
Oonagh Hurley, Ladies Pond, 2017 Catherine Hammond Gallery.

Cork artist Oonagh Hurley’s paintings are thoughtful considerations of the family archive, in a general and particular sense. Drawing on such materials as photographs and Super 8 film footage, she manages to convey the layers, discontinuities and complications that underlie the conventional contours of the family, and family memories and aspirations, in thoughtful, well made works.

Ulrich Vogl – The nature of drifting
Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Chancery Lane, Dublin. Until December 23rd. kevinkavanaghgallery.ie
In 15 3D map-based pieces, Ulrich Vogl explores the relationship between representations and the world by altering cartographic rules and conventions. In Alpen – half-restored, he enlisted a contemporary art conservator to excise all traces of human life in a map of the Alps, “restoring” the natural environment to its pre-human state and offering a radically different view of the familiar.

Hennessy Portrait Prize 2017: The shortlisted artists
The National Gallery of Ireland, Merrion Square, Dublin Until February 25th. nationalgallery.ie

Tom O’Dea, Self Portrait, 2017, Hennessy Portrait Prize 2017, National Gallery of Ireland
Tom O’Dea, Self Portrait, 2017, Hennessy Portrait Prize 2017, National Gallery of Ireland.

More a longlist than a shortlist, this year’s Hennessy Prize show includes work by 24 artists from an entry of 270. Is that a good sign or a bad sign? Go check it out for yourself, before or after the announcement of the winner on Tuesday, November 28th. Among those included is 2015 prizewinner Vera Klute who shows a video animation self-portrait, one of many intriguing images drawn, painted and, in one case - Bernice Guckian - burned into wood. Tom O’Dea skips the image entirely and exhibits spools of paper with printout of his “decoded single nucleotide polymorphisms” – not quite a blueprint for TomODea.2, but a step in that direction.

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