Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Brendan Earley - Back of Beyond

An edited version of this piece appeared in the Sunday Times culture magazine on 27 August 2017

Brendan Earley operates in the rarified world of art fairs (Art Basel Hong Kong, NADA Miami) with occasional appearances in Irish museums and at Mother’s Tankstation - the mothership for his international ventures. Given the avant-garde nature of much of the work you encounter in this milieu you could be forgiven for wondering if this exhibition is a post-modern exercise in thwarting conventional expectations. The Douglas Hyde web site tells us the show runs from 28 July to 30 September and that it can be viewed in Gallery 2 and the Freeman Library. Visiting it on 21 August I was informed that the Freeman Library was closed until 4 September. Also, the exhibition is promoted with a photograph of Earley’s entitled Back of Beyond which doesn’t feature in the eponymous show. Apart from River Return that lurked unseen in the locked library, the show consists of four minimal drawings on paper of Sixties musicians in sylvan settings and a larger installation using ink on silk. The latter featured Gay and Terry Woods posed appositely amongst the trees beneath a purple parasol. Strangely strange.

Douglas Hyde Gallery
John P. O'Sullivan