Monday, February 19, 2007

Charlie Tyrrell at the Taylor Gallery

It's a sign of healthy state of the art market, and perhaps also a sign of the increasing sophistication of the buyers that an artist as relentlessly abstract as Charlie Tyrrell should have a sell-out (almost) show at the Taylor Gallery. The work consists of two distinct styles: the larger square canvases, dark, austere and portentious; and the smaller works on aluminium, with splashes of colour, grids, hatching, and a generally more playful feel - although playful is probably the wrong term for an artist as rigorous as Tyrrell. In addition to the paintings, one room upstairs in the gallery was devoted to a mural and a series of geometrical drawings (not for sale). These added nothing to the show except to create a curiosity as to what they were all about. Maybe I'll ask him the next time I see him. The opening night wasn't the time as he received the accolades of the large crowd in attendance.

There was a good smattering of artists there including Martin Gale, Gwen O'Dowd and Donald Teskey. Also, some big-name buyers including Lochlainn Quinn and Jim O'Driscoll. The latter was telling all and sundry about his impending quadruple by-pass in the Blackrock Clinic. It says a lot for Jim's devotion to art that he was out at all rather than taking to the bed.

It's getting increasingly difficult to get hold of any work by the hotter contemporary artists. I called into the Taylor Gallery a week before the show and two thirds had already gone. I bought a small aluminium piece anyway but it would not perhaps have been my first choice. How the Taylors manage their clients' demands is a mystery to me. I suppose a lot of people just ask to be put down for any painting by certain artists. So when an exhibition occurs, they put one aside for them. Or maybe, like the last Shinnors show, they tip off certain people that the works are arriving in the gallery and a crowd assembles and falls upon them like shoppers at the opening of a Brown Thomas sale.