Monday, August 10, 2015

New Paintings - Michael Canning

An edited version of this review appeared in the Sunday Times Culture magazine on the 9 August 2015.

Catherine Hammond continues to fly the flag for top quality contemporary Irish art in scenic Glengarrif. Her latest offering is a striking exhibition of new work by the Limerick artist Michael Canning. The show is dominated by two giant pieces Selva Oscura I and Selva Oscura II - dramatic depictions of a dark wood through which an ethereal light glows. These virtuoso works, over ten feet tall, were created on paper using acrylic, charcoal, soot, ash and pencil. They must have tested the artist's technical and logistical abilities. Elsewhere Canning continues his detailed renditions of the flora of his native county. Don't be distracted by his titles (Night in Attica etc.), these exotic looking plants are all to be found in his local hedgerows. Not that Canning's concerns are scientific. His wild flowers, set like sculptures against an evening sky, evince a mood and display an artistry beyond the merely botanical. There's a profound poignancy at their heart - a sense of beauty and of its transitory nature. Night is approaching over the darkening flatlands of County Limerick, birds wheel above, restlessly. These works when contemplated give us pause from the rattle and hum of our pragmatic, preposterous world. In the inner gallery a group show contains fine pieces by Hughie O'Donoghue, Stephen Lawlor, Donal Teskey, and Bill Crozier amongst others.

Catherine Hammond Gallery


Mon-Sun 11am-6pm

tel: 027 63812