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Samuel Walsh


15 March - 29 April 2022

Oliver Sears Gallery is pleased to present Hiatus by Samuel Walsh. Emerging over the two years of the Pandemic, Walsh insists that the works are not ‘Covid’ paintings. They certainly retain the artist’s signature methodology of designing a composition by distilling and developing strands of thought that connect Walsh’s broad intellectual concerns. He hops from theme to theme; his paintings might be described as an abstract artist’s parallel to W.G. Sebold’s meandering reveries.


While the works draw on individual sources, Walsh has deployed a new, unifying device. A perfect circle is inset into most of the new paintings, like a circular watch dial within a square frame. But it’s as though the dial has been turned a few degrees off centre so that gestural lines that flow across the canvas are broken and offset. The message is clear: the world is out of kilter; still possessed of beauty but unstable and unpredictable. The paintings may be more about Covid than the artist admits.


Two paintings refer to Homer’s Iliad.Four paintings refer to aspects of landscape and the other four are drawn from Baroque painting, the dance world, elephantine behaviour and an old English word for shrine. The themes may be disparate but the approach to constructing each image uses the same devices of lines, dots and planes of often vivid colour. Samuel Walsh provides us with maps of thought processes and of a conscience, long lived.


Walsh was born in Wimbledon, London in 1951. He is in the words of Róisin Kennedy the art historian:

‘…one of the country’s leading exponents of abstract art…’

He studied at the Limerick School of Art & Design, LIT and subsequently took an MA in Fine Art (Painting) at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. He also holds a NUI Diploma in Philosophy from Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. He was elected a member of Aosdána in 1997 and has served as a Toscaire three times. His international career is extensive and he has earned a considerable reputation for his work in Europe. His work derives from brief, fleeting looks at situations or things as he passes through the world. The work starts with small, thumb-nail sketches, from old master paintings in museums to crowds of people at a concert or wedding, ideas generated by passages in a book, and of geographical spaces or architecture or anything really that takes his eye. He is in many Irish public collections including the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Arts Council, Department of Foreign Affairs, Aer Rianta, Dublin Airport; Butler Gallery, Kilkenny; Limerick City Gallery of Art, Trinity College Dublin, National Concert Hall, Dublin.







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