Richard Gorman wins Savills Art Prize at VUE 2015
Gorman won the prize for a series of prints made at Stoney Road Press
A series of paintings by Richard Gorman in the RHA Annual Exhibition in 2014. Photograph: David Sleator
The artist Richard Gorman has been named as the first winner of the Savills Art Prize, a new visual arts award worth €5,000, presented by Savills auctioneers at the opening of Vue 2015, Ireland’s contemporary art fair, tonight.
Gorman is one of the country’s foremost abstract painters. About 20 galleries from throughout Ireland are participating in Vue, which takes place over the weekend at the RHA Gallagher Gallery.
He received the award for a group of prints made at Stoney Road Press in Dublin. “I’m completely delighted,” he said. “These are very large prints, made with laser-cut aluminum and printed on hand-made Indian paper, so it really is a team game. It was James O’Nolan from Stoney Road who came up with the idea and it would have been impossible without their collaboration.”
Born in Dublin in 1946, Gorman has divided his time between Ireland and Milan since the 1980s. He has also worked and exhibited regularly in Japan and Paris. Last year, he became the first Irish artist to design a scarf for Hermes. Primarily a painter, he has also worked extensively in printmaking and, to a lesser extent, sculpture. He will show at Assay One in Milan at the end of November and following that will embark on a new body of work at Atelier Michael Woolworth in Paris.
He makes spare compositions with sharply delineated curvilinear forms using areas of flat, perfectly pitched color. He is known for the exceptional elegance and economy of his work, including several series of innovative hand-made paper pieces in which the pigment is soaked into the thick surface texture of the paper. Stoney Road Press features a display of his work as part of Vue.
Galleries participating in Vue each nominated an artist as a contender for the prize, based on a body of work produced within the last year, and RHA director Dr Patrick Murphy, who has an extensive track record as a curator of contemporary Irish art, adjudicated. Savills MD Angus Potterton pointed out that there is logic to the property company funding an art prize, as most art is destined not for museums but for home and business settings.
Vue began in 2007, in the RDS, and soon ran into the hard years of recession, which stopped the Irish art market in its tracks. It moved to the RHA on Ely Place in 2011.
As well as most of the prime Dublin galleries including the Cross, Eight, Gurley’s, Green on Red, Hillsboro, Ibo Jorgensen, Kevin Kavanagh, the Molesworth, NAG, Olivier Cornet, the Pepper canister, the Rubicon, the Solomon, Taylor Galleries and Hoonah Young, the Fenderesky from Belfast and Catherine Hammond from Glengarry are also represented. Print specialists the Graphic Studio, SO Editions and Stoney Road Press are also there.