The five best art exhibitions to visit in Dublin this weekend
Sven Sandberg, Amanda Doran, Andrew Simpson, Leah Beggs and Ruth O'Donnell
The Venetian by Sven Sandberg, at Berlin Opticians Gallery
SVEN SANDBERG: SIX PORTRAITS
Online exhibition at Berlin Opticians Gallery, 157 Capel Street, Dublin 1; until February 12th; berlinopticiansdublin.com/exhibitions
Sven Sandberg’s gentle, mellow portraits emerge from a rich mix of sources, starting perhaps with the artist’s travels in Europe. Then he delved into “the diaries and photographs of early 20th century travellers”. Add pictorial conventions in the history of European paintings, film and literature. The resultant paintings are both distinctively individual and archetypal. They evoke a wealth of context without elaboration. He is from California, and in this work it’s tempting to see him as a Jamesian (Henry) observer in Europe.
AMANDA DORAN: FLORA & FAUNA
RHA Ashford Gallery, RHA, Ely Place, Dublin; until February 10th; rhagallery.ie
In her bold, bright, playful paintings, Amanda Doran revises inherited female archetypes from a contemporary perspective – that is, in a time when the definition of woman is being rewritten by “generation Y, social media, self-care advocates and well-being activists”. She imagines a utopia in which women are enabled to realise every possibility.
ANDREW SIMPSON: WHAT’S NOT MINE
Hillsboro Fine Art, 49 Parnell Square West, Dublin; until February 16th; hillsborofineart.com
Andrew Simpson is one of a number of relatively recent art graduates (he graduated in 2013) whose work is lively, intelligent, questing and art historically aware. They tend towards traditional media and methods but take nothing for granted and subscribe to no orthodoxy. Their work, in each case, is more a process of personal investigation and exploration.
LEAH BEGGS: THE SPACE BETWEEN
Solomon Fine Art, Balfe Street, Dublin; until February 2nd; solomonfineart.ie
Leah Beggs is, you could say, a landscape artist but, based for some time now in Oughterard, in Connemara, she is audacious enough to defer to the weather, making no pretence at pinning down a world of solid objects. Her drifts and masses and clouds of pigment, from thin washes to more opaque accumulations, are acutely responsive to atmosphere, to air, light, warmth and cold, and they are quietly persuasive, considered works.
RUTH O’DONNELL: PERFECTLY ORDINARY
Graphic Studio Gallery, Through the Arch, Cope Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2; until February 19th; graphicstudiodublin.com
Over the course of a year, Ruth O’Donnell made more than 120 small etchings drawing on everyday life around her: historical still life works, museum exhibits and more. The individual pieces are on view, together with a series of composite “groups, lines and grids”, which treat the single works as units of language, collectively opening up new areas of meaning and speculation.