Anita Groener: Heartlands
Anita Groener could be tentatively placed within the Irish/international new expressionist mould, her work residing beneath that dark smouldering mantle which shrouds such artists as Patrick Graham and Brian Maguire. That said, Groener's art retains an individuality, the creative impulse residing elusively within the artist; any externalising of concept or theme is therefore done in a muted, tangential fashion.
The first thing to hit you about these 28 paintings is, paradoxically, their sparsity. Imagery is used, but it is a notional, diagrammatic type, usually smothered by layers of paint. On a purely tactile level, then, these paintings are very seductive, the colours low-key but not without presence, the surface rich and vital, edging ever closer to purist abstraction. But it is the absolute reverence for the understated which propels these paintings - a silence or calmness that almost seems to contradict the vigour of their execution.
These are paintings of nowhere and everywhere simultaneously - a vocabulary of sensations and experiences etched on to the artist's subconscious. The fragility of the imagery seems to support this as spaces/landscapes are proffered without being literal, while collaged elements of text or organic matter establish Groener's preoccupation with time and place.
Maybe within this subject resides a tension between a wish to express something important and a fear that doing so might overstate or trivialise that message. If so, it is more rewarding to have such questions left unanswered.
Until April 20th.