The surreal in Irish art


FE McWilliam Gallery Studio, 200 Newry Rd, Banbridge, Co Down Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 1-5pm Until Sep 11 048-40623322

Think of Irish art and you may not immediately make the connection with Surrealism, but it is certainly there, as this show sets out to demonstrate. The affinity between the writings of Flann O’Brien and Surrealism is obvious.

Less obvious, but equally pronounced, is the surreal vein that runs through modern and contemporary Irish art. Colin Middleton and FE McWilliam himself went through overtly Surrealist phases in their working lives. But it would be hard to understand a great deal of what Dorothy Cross (Saddle, leather, steel and cows udder, above), Alice Maher, Kathy Prendergast, Dermot Seymour and other contemporary artists have done without the references provided by Surrealism.

Others who feature in what should be an intriguing, illuminating show include Gerard Dillon, Rita Duffy, Andrew Folan, Patrick Hennessy, Nevill Johnson, John Luke and Jack Pakenham.

The Surreal in Irish Art travels on to Drogheda’s Highlanes Gallery in September.

Can’t See That? Catch This

Twenty: Celebrating 20 Years of the Irish Museum of Modern Art Imma, Dublin Until Oct 31 01-6129900