‘On a series of apparently tiresome, flat sittings seeming to lead nowhere – one day, something happens, the touches seem to“take”, the deaf canvas listens, your words flow and you have done something.’
One Day, Something Happens explores a kind of everyday theatricality. The artists in this exhibition approach figuration in very different ways and the people they depict are both imaginary and real characters. Jennifer Higgie’s fascinating selection of works from the Arts Council Collection* – as well as from the Drogheda Municipal Art Collection here at Highlanes Gallery – teases out common themes across the decades: work,introspection and individuality, joy and loneliness.
The exhibition title is a quotation from the artist Walter Sickert,whose beautiful study of a woman from 1906, her forehead patterned like a diamond, is the earliest work on view. Other paintings include the light-filled brilliance of Lucian Freud’s Girl in a Green Dress from 1954, exuberant representations of the body in the 1960s and ‘70s from artists as diverse as Peter Blake, Alasdair Gray and David Hockney, and contemporary works by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Paula Rego and Rose Wylie. Artists such as Enrico David and Renee So explore painting’s further reaches through tapestry, silkscreen and sculpture,placing the body centre stage – sometimes literally.
The Arts Council Collection* is the largest loan collection of modern and contemporary British art and includes fine examples of work by many of the nation’s leading artists. It is the most widely circulated of all of Britain’s national collections and can be seen in museums and galleries across the UK and abroad as well as through loans to schools, universities, hospitals and charitable associations. The Arts Council Collection was founded in 1946 and is managed by the Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre in London on behalf of Arts Council England and is based at the Hayward Gallery and at Longside, Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
The exhibition is accompanied by a full-colour publication that includes an essay by Jennifer Higgie and is available in the Gallery Reception for €23.00, with a selection of exhibition postcards for €1 each.
Saturday 17 October at 12noon: Artists’Talk with Michael Fullerton, Georgia Hayes and Barbara Walker led by Ann Jones,Curator of the Arts Council Collection
Friday 20 November at 7.30pm: Jennifer Higgie curator led tour of exhibition
Saturday 21 November at 12noon: Artists’Talk with Steve Claydon, Ryan Mosley and Phoebe Unwin led by Jennifer Higgie,curator of the exhibition
Wednesday 30 December at 1.00pm: Artist’s Response: Diana Copperwhite discusses her thoughts on the exhibition
Sunday 7 February, 12.00-5.00pm, additional opening for final day of the exhibition.