Thursday, November 06, 2008

Shinnors Light

A new Shinnors show in the Wexford Arts Centre - featuring a triptych priced at €150,000, a record ask for the artist. The first impression you get when you walk into the shambolic gallery (no price list, unattended desk, poor lighting) is that Shinnors has gone abstract. The sections of lighthouses (the theme of the show) are depicted as black and white squares suggesting Sean Scully, an artist Shinnors claims to detest. There's more happening of course - check out the myriad flecks of colour that enrich both the black and the white. There's an occasional break from the severity of composition: a cat's tail, a sailor's shirt, and a ghostly nude, but the first impression endures.

Of the 8 pieces in the show only 3 had sold (and not the expensive one) the day I was there - a week after the opening. This is unheard of for Shinnors who always sells out. This can be partly explained by the location - an arts centre doesn't bring the big buyers - and by the recession. But perhaps Shinnors has pushed his prices just that bit too far and his buyers have cried enough.