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    Francis Bacon,Untitled (Seated Figure on a Dappled Carpet), c.1966, oil on canvas, 198 x 147 cm, Reg no. 1973, © The Estate of Francis Bacon and DACS, Collection Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane.

    AN opportunity to see the work of Francis Bacon alongside the diverse practices of 20 contemporary Irish artists has arisen at BOZAR in Brussels.  Changing States is part of the cultural programme marking Ireland’s Presidency of the European Union. It presents post-2000 work in painting, sculpture, installation, photography, video-art and new media. Among featured artists are Orla Barry, Gerard Byrne, Nina Canell, Dorothy Cross, Willie Doherty, Fergus Feehily, John Gerrard, Patrick Graham, Katie Holten, Brian Maguire, Alice Maher, Martin & Hobbs, Niamh McCann, William McKeown, Richard Mosse, Gavin Murphy, Alan Phelan, Garrett Phelan, Eva Rothschild and Paul Seawright.

    The show is presented alongside an exhibition of materials and unfinished paintings from the studio of Francis Bacon (in 1998 Francis Bacon’s studio in London was presented by John Edwards to Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane).  This website has long believed that Irish contemporary art is insufficiently recognised.  In part this stems from the fact that Ireland is such a small country. This is not the only reason. The promotional effort Ireland makes on behalf of its best contemporary artists is not enough. Those Irish artists with international recognition tend to have earned it with little state support and mostly by leaving the country. We need more shows along the lines of this exhibition in Brussels, which runs until May 19.

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