Monday, June 04, 2012

Annual RHA Circle Jerk

Oh dear, it's that time of the year again. I keep going and I keep getting pissed off by the whole sorry saga. The problem is that it's the only game in town so you have to check it out in the hope that you'll find the odd jewel amongst the shite.

We're told by the bland and inoffensive Aidan Dunne that it's a "great show" and that invitations to members have "been cut back".  This is palpably not so. Thomas Ryan RHA and Brett McEntagart RHA have seven pieces each on display and a whole host of the members have four or five (Potter, Pye, O'Dea, Stein, Roche etc.). So there's the usual predominance of tired academic stuff augmented by the usual group of senior artists, often with NCAD connections. There are of course some new names but it's easier for the proverbial camel to get through the eye of a needle than it is for original talent to get in.

The incestuous self-regarding side of the show may never again reach the peak of a few years ago when there were numerous portraits of members by fellow members including two of the faintly ludicrous George Potter. However we still get Amelia Stein showing a photograph of her fellow member (and partner) Mick O'Dea while he returns the favour in a painting.

There are of course occasional moments of relief from the tedium : Teskey's Gearagh paintings (see image), a large moody Martin Gale and the usual classy work from Eilis O'Connell.