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    ZURICH PORTRAIT PRIZE AT NATIONAL GALLERY OF IRELAND

    Wednesday, April 8th, 2020

    The National Gallery of Ireland has announced that entries are now being accepted for the Zurich Portrait Prize and the Zurich Young Portrait Prize. Submissions are invited from across the island of Ireland, and from Irish artists living abroad. The Zurich Young Portrait Prize, now in its second year, is open to young people aged 18 and under and the closing date for entries is July 1.

    The winner will receive a cash prize of €15,000 and commissioned to create a work for the Collection, for which they will be awarded a further €5,000. Two additional awards of €1,500 will be given to highly commended works. Judges are artist Rita Duffy; Dr Philip Cottrell, lecturer and assistant professor at the School of Art History and Cultural Policy, UCD; Aoife Ruane, Director of Highlanes Gallery.

    There are four age categories in the Young Portrait Prize and an overall winner will be chosen from a shortlist of 20 works. Winners will receive a bespoke art box and a cash prize. Judges are Head of Education at The Hunt Museum Maria Cagney; artist Colin Davidson; and illustrator, author and comedian Aoife Dooley.

    Sean Rainbird, Director of the National Gallery of Ireland, said, “In these extraordinary times, we hope to bring joy to those staying at home with art. Today we open the Zurich Portrait Prize and Zurich Young Portrait Prize, offering artists of all ages an opportunity to connect with their own creativity and with the Gallery. It’s wonderful to have the support of Zurich for the coming years: we are confident that culture will remain central to people’s lives, even in challenging times.”

    The Gallery is closed until April 19, but is finding ways for people to engage with their national collection during this time. Follow the Gallery’s TwitterInstagram and Facebook pages as it moves online including with creative activities for children and families to try at home. A ‘Picture of the Day’ is being shared, as well as weekly sessions on Mindfulness and Art. The Gallery can be explored from home, with a series of Virtual Tours – including the iconic Grand Gallery and Shaw Room.

    AFFORDABLE ART BY JEFF KOONS AT IRISH SALE

    Monday, April 6th, 2020

    Jeff Koons is one of the world’s most expensive living artists. His work deals with popular culture. Led by Rabbit which made $91.1 million in New York last May his balloon animals in stainless steel with mirror image surfaces have sold for vast sums. Three limited edition works by Koons feature at Morgan O’Driscoll’s Irish and International online auction on April 14. The sale was originally scheduled to take place at the RDS in Dublin later this month, after viewings in London and New York, but was brought forward and moved online only.

    Among the 159 lots are Koons’ Balloon Rabbit (Red), Balloon Monkey (Blue) and Balloon Swan (Yellow). All date to 2017. They are all from numbered editions of 999 in porcelain painted with chrome and published by Bernaudaud, Limoges, France with signature, title and date on the underside. Each one is estimated at 15,000-20,000.

    JEFF KOONS (B.1955) Balloon Rabbit (Red) (2017)

    DE VERES SEEK TO HELP THE CHARITY SECTOR

    Monday, April 6th, 2020

    The Dublin auctioneering firm de Veres, which postponed a planned Irish art sale and opened the catalogue to offers instead, plans to run a large charity auction in June. They are looking for donations of art and sculpture and anything of quality that could be sold at auction. Bidding will all take place online it will be assembled remotely. Private collectors, artists, galleries and corporate donors are the target. As a result of the lockdown many charities are facing a major shortfall. de Veres ran successful charity sales after the Omagh bombings, the tsunami tragedy and Haiti.

    Opening the catalogue of their proposed sale to offers resulted in a huge influx of enquiries and bids. The auction brought in more than 100,000. There were numerous bidders and vendors coujld decide whether or not to accept the final bid. Sixty five lots were sold.

    THE MADONNA IN PRAYER AT SOTHEBY’S

    Saturday, April 4th, 2020

    Among the works available for private sale at Sotheby’s right now is this one by Giovanni Battista Salvi, called Sassoferrato (1609-1685). The Madonna in Prayer seems an appropriate offering for the time the whole world is now going through. Despite being an accomplished portraitist, Sassoferrato specialized in easel paintings of a devotional nature, usually representing the Madonna alone or with the Christ Child, of which the present composition is an outstanding example. He was primarily employed by his patrons to provide images for personal spiritual contemplation, and the Counter Reformation’s increased emphasis on veneration of the Virgin and the Marian cult meant Sassoferrato’s intense and moving depictions of the Madonna were much in demand.  The asking price for this work is £275,000.

    DEATH OF JANET MULLARNEY

    Friday, April 3rd, 2020

    Taylor Galleries announced the death today of long-term gallery artist Janet Mullarney RHA. She died at her home in Italy early this morning following a long illness. Acclaimed as one of the foremost sculptors of her generation, Janet was born in Dublin in 1952 and left for Italy as a young woman, studying at the Accademia di Belle Arti (1970-74) and Scuola Professionale di Intaglio (1982-83) in Florence. She divided her time between Ireland and rural Tuscany for the rest of her life.

    Taylor in a statement said Mullarney’s practice was defined by a material bravura that saw her combine bronze, foam, glass, rubber, papier maché, textiles, terracotta, plaster, wax, to form idiosyncratic figurative works that interrogate the human condition. Simultaneously playful, purposeful, experimental and elusive, her sculptures and their meanings, like Janet herself, defy easy categorisation. Instead, they represent a singular artistic vision, the distillation of a life’s work.

    Janet Mullarney exhibited her work extensively in Ireland and abroad, and she has been represented by Taylor Galleries since the 1990s. A member of Aosdána and the Royal Hibernian Academy, in addition to numerous grants and funding awards she received a Pollock Krasner Award (1998), the Irish-American Institute’s O’Malley Art Award (2005), RHA Sculpture Award (2008) and RUA Perpetual Sculpture Award (2009). A major exhibition of new work, My Mind’s i, travelled to several Irish venues in 2015-16, and a retrospective survey show, Then and Now: Janet Mullarney, was presented at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in 2019. A catalogue raisonné of her work edited by Mary Ryder and Catherine Marshall was published by Irish Academic Press last year.

    Janet Mullarney RHA (1952-2020)

    TIMED ONLINE ONLY SALE AT HEGARTY’S, BANDON

    Friday, April 3rd, 2020

    This pair of Italian silver plated pheasants is the first lot in Hegarty’s timed online only auction which runs on easyliveauction.com until 8 pm on Sunday April 5.  There are 80 lots of art, antiques furniture, collectibles and jewellery at reasonable estimates. The timed sale at Easy Live auctions will be operated through a bidding page as distinct from a live online sale. Bidders need to register in advance. The Bandon auctioneers say that lots won’t be dispatched until after current restrictions around movement have been lifted. The table decoration pheasants are estimated at just €40-80.

    UPDATE: THEY SOLD FOR €195 AT HAMMER IN AN AUCTION THAT WAS AN OVERALL SUCCESS.

    NATURAL BEAUTY OF WEST OF IRELAND AT ART AUCTION

    Friday, April 3rd, 2020

    Creating images of Ireland that are both memorable and iconic, Paul Henry’s depictions of landscapes have served for generations to remind people of the natural beauty of the West of Ireland, art historian and curator Peter Murray writes in the catalogue note to Mountain Landscape with lake and road. It comes up at Morgan O’Driscoll’s Irish and International online art auction on April 14. The auction would normally take place at the RDS in Dublin with viewings in both London and New York. It has gone online instead at a time of pandemic.

    Henry…. “delighted in capturing the colours and textures of distant mountains, turf ricks, quiet lakes and winding roads; elements of landscape that are everyday sights in rural Galway, Mayo, Donegal and Kerry” Murray writes. “Henry wove these into deceptively simple works of art that combine a sense of abstraction and painterly skill, qualities that brought him fame as one of Ireland’s leading artists of the twentieth century. Irrespective of whether their ancestry was Irish, collectors in America were often drawn to Henry’s work. This small painting was evidently exhibited in New York, probably in the 1940’s. Although now re-framed, the original light frame bore on the back a stamp, ‘Gramercy Book Shop Inc., 122 East 19th Street’. Founded in 1940 by Robert and Lorraine Wilbur, this well-known bookshop, specialising in European writers and also publishing prints by artists, later moved to Union Square.” This small work is estimated at €15,000-25,000.

    PAUL HENRY (1876-1958) Mountain Landscape with Lake and Roa

    ONE WAY THINGS USED TO BE IN IRELAND

    Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

    In these times of uncertainty there is an inclination to look back through rosy tinted spectacles. A stark reminder of darker days past is contained in a lot at Sotheby’s. Unapproved Road, NR. 2 by Willie Doherty is among the lots at Sotheby’s contemporary art online auction which runs until April 8. Executed in 1995 it is Number 1 from an edition of 3. Exhibited at the Kunsthalle Bern in 1996 it was acquired by the present owner from Peter Kilchmann Galerie, Zurich. It is estimated at £1,000-1,500.

    WILLIE DOHERTY | UNAPPROVED ROAD, NR. 2

    RARE IRISH MUSIC POSTERS AT ONLINE SALE

    Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

    A collection of Irish Music posters from the personal library of Lyric FM DJ Lorcan Murray is to be included in Aidan Foley’s two day live internet sale from Sixmilebridge, Co. Clare on April 13 and 14. They will come up on day one of the sale along with a large collection of rare vinyl records, musical instruments and collectible musical ephemera.

    The sale on April 14 will feature 40 lots of rugs including Persian handwoven carpets and runners, 60 lots of Irish art from artists including Arthur Maderson, Markey Robinson, John Butler Yeats and Annie Robinson, 100 lots of antique furniture and collectibles and 50 lots of jewellery and silver. Around 300 lots will come under the hammer on each day. The catalogue is under preparation and online bidding will be through Easy Live Auctions.

    HOCKNEY CARRIES ON IN LOCKDOWN IN NORMANDY

    Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

    THE exhibition I most enjoyed last year – when you could still travel – was Hockney Van Gogh at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. This video with David Hockney on Van Gogh was part of a show which demonstrated how the two are allied artistically.

    Now on lockdown in Normandy David Hockney is in his garden most days, drawing spring awakening. He has shared current images with the BBC including this one, which shows connection with Van Gogh.

    David Hockney believes that we have lost touch with nature, “rather foolishly”.
    Van Gogh’s Almost Blossom at the Van Gogh Museum

    And here is Hockney on Van Gogh and The Joy of Nature. You will have to click on the link it contains to watch in on You Tube. Enjoy.