Wednesday, November 12, 2008

RHA Annual Exhibition 2008

The good, the bland and the ugly - although as always the bland predominates. What stood out? A big powerful Teskey seascape (although it teetered between landscape and portrait size in a disconcerting way), a couple of typical Martin Gales, a smashing Mick O'Dea portrait of a woman against an orange background (such expression in the face compared to the waxwork efforts of James Hanley), a couple of moody pieces by Francis Matthews, and some classy visual poetry from Eilis O'Connell. Nick Miller disappointed with his lacklustre and inaccurate portrait of Sean McSweeney. McSweeney himself had an unusual landscape that moved away from his rural Rothko style - but still retained his characteristic iridescent green. Same as before stuff from Felim Egan, John Noel Smith, William Crozier (I just don't get it), John Shinnors and Liam Belton. There was nothing there I lusted after but would have bought the weird nude by Jack Donovan had I being in funds.

The redesigned building is a big improvement with a coffee shop and bookshop added and a few more discrete gallery spaces.