Vikings in photographs and Lucian Freud Freud in focus – the week’s best art exhibitions

Even President Putin couldn’t fault Andrei Molodkin’s decapitated head of the Statue of Liberty titled ‘Failed Utopia’

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Helena Gorey: Proscenium

RHA Ashford Gallery, Ely Place, Dublin Until March 11 rhagallery.ie

Helena Gorey’s proscenium arch is the daily domestic frame through which she observes the unfolding seasons in the landscape around her – a rural townland in Co Kilkenny, rich in natural life and layered with human history. In poetic terms, her approach is metonymic: the myriad complexities of a scene are distilled into one glowing expanse of colour, for example. It’s thoughtful, observant, disciplined work.

Paul McKinley: Elysian Fields

Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Chancery Lane, Dublin Until March 10

A visual meditation on Greece as portrayed in its landscapes, viewed in the light of its classical history, its recent economic woes and its exemplary humanitarian response to the even more recent refugee crisis in the Mediterranean. Drawing on multiple sources with consummate technical skill, he explores the intertwined nature of myth, history, people and environment.

Andrei Molodki: Fallout Pattern

Rua Red, South Dublin Arts Centre, Tallaght Until April 6 ruared.ie

Once a Russian army conscript, conceptual artist Andrei Molodkin draws on Wikileaks documents that assess the impact of a US nuclear missile strike on Russia. He also addresses the efforts to the US to determine “Russia’s alleged influence in the US elections.” An exploration of renewed Cold War paranoia? Possibly, but then, even President Putin couldn’t fault Molodkin’s decapitated head of the Statue of Liberty titled Failed Utopia.

The Freud Project: The Ethics of Scrutiny

The Freud Centre, Garden Galleries, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin Until September 2 imma.ie

In her curatorial approach to IMMA’s Freud Project, artist Daphne Wright takes Lucian Freud’s intense studio practice – with sitters posing for “weeks, months or even years” – as her starting point to explore that psychology of looking and the relationship between artist and sitter. She juxtaposes Freud’s works with writings by Emily Dickinson, John Berger, Lydia Davis and Sigmund Freud. Johnny Cash also features, with artists Gwen John, Alice Neel, Kathy Prendergast, Wiebke Siem, Marlene Dumas and Thomas Schütte.

Vikings in Focus

Mermaid Arts Centre, Main St, Bray, Co Wicklow Until March 17 mermaidartscentre.ie

The work of Jonathan Hession and Bernard Walsh, the two official still photographers who covered the second Viking invasion: the making of the first two series of Vikings as they were being filmed at Ashford Studios and other Irish locations, including Luggala Estate, the Devil’s Glen, Silver Strand and Brittas Bay Beach, Avoca Mines and Blessington Lakes.

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