Launch exhibition (October 18th - 20th 2018, 63 Merrion Square)
David Beattie (IRL), Neil Carroll (IRL), Paul Hallahan (IRL), Emma Hayes (IRL), Barbara Knezevic (AUS/IRL), Alicia Reyes McNamara (USA), Sarah O’Brien (IRL), Liliane Puthod (FR), Sven Sandberg (USA), Lee Welch (USA/IRL)
Berlin Opticians Gallery will present and promote its stable of artists’ works with a scheduled programme of exhibitions available through online documentation. This six-weekly rotation of online exhibitions will be punctuated with separate off-site physical exhibitions and projects in various unique spaces around Ireland and internationally.
Berlin Opticians Gallery was formed with the artists as the first priority. Mindful of the recurring closures of mid-tier galleries globally, and in response to a significant new trend, Berlin Opticians has decided to launch and operate without a physical gallery space. By doing so, the gallery will be free to focus on nurturing the careers of individual artists in an ever-changing art market and ecosystem.
The inaugural group exhibition Thursday 17 - Saturday 20 October. 63 Merrion Square, Dublin 2.
David Beattie lives and works in Dublin, Ireland. Playfully welcoming new connections between foreign ‘things’, Beattie encourages a sense of curiosity and exploration in the act of displacing quotidian objects. Assembled from a variety of everyday materials the work attempts to provide a framework for assessing our daily surroundings. The interactions between object, space and viewer create a dialogue or wider system in which all elements have a role to play. This process of engagement can be seen as a search for a tangible present through the intermediary moments where physics, philosophy, technology and nature collide. Beattie has received a number of Arts Council bursaries, most recently 2015 and was awarded the Harpo Foundation Award in 2010. His work is in a number of public and private collections and most recently was a recipient of the Hennessy Art Fund for IMMA collection, 2016. Recent solo exhibitions include CCA Derry-Londonderry (2017), Beattie has been included in numerous group exhibitions including TULCA Art Festival , Galway (2017), As Above, so below, Irish Museum of Modern Art (2017), In the Line of Beauty, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2013).
Neil Carroll is an artist based in Dublin and a recent recepient of IMMA 1000 residency at the Irish Museum of Modern Art. His work takes form of ‘spatial constructions’ made from fragments, which can be combined to form larger fragmented elements of a non-determined whole. These formations could remain small or be integrated into larger elements that become big enough to pass through and walk around. These elements, shaped like parts of built temporary structures and environments, often function as immersive, walk-in, ‘built-paintings’ that straddle the spaces of painting, sculpture and installation. Having graduated with distinsction from rom the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford University, Carroll was selected to take part in the prestigious Bloomberg New Contemporaries exhibition in the UK in 2017. He was the recipient of a fellowship to the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, USA (2015) and of numerous awards including the Hennessey-Craig scholarship for painting (RHA 2012), as well as artist's bursaries and travel grants from the Arts Council of Ireland.
Paul Hallahan is a Dublin-based artist. Working with water-based paintings, installation and video, he uses pattern, repetition and chance to look at themes that explore perception and interaction with environment both on micro and macro scale. Varying in size: from very small sculptures to large-scale paintings, Hallahan’s work opens ups questions of how we see the basics. The primal mind is of huge interest to him as well as the way in which we read and interact with art both now and in the past. From 2009 – 2012 he set up and ran Soma Contemporary In Waterford City, bringing an array of high profile Irish and international artists and their work to the city. In 2018 he won the prestigious Golden Fleece Award and has an upcoming solo exhibition in the Royal Hibernian Academy in November 2018. He has exhibited widely both in Ireland and internationally and his work is in national and private collections.
Emma Hayes has recently finished her three-year degree in Fine Art, Painting in the National College of Art and Design. Her work is largely informed by her immediate surroundings, internalised experiences and memories but the act of painting is as important to her as the subject matter. Hayes use gestural marks, confident brushstrokes, minimal strokes, layering and overlapping shapes, opacities and translucencies to achieve a balance of colour and to create an emotional experience. She builds up layers gradually and carefully considers the way she makes a mark. This gives her paintings a determined lightness of touch. Hayes was long-listed for the RDS Graduate Award in 2018 and selected for the … exhibition. Her work has been included in the OPW collection.
Barbara Knezevic lives and works in Dublin, Ireland. Her work is primarily object-based, finding form as complex stagings and formations of objects that are occasionally foregrounded by photographic works and moving images. Her practice concerns itself with the volatile material and interpretive relationships involved in art-making, the language and nature of materials, the codes of display and exhibition, and the ways in which artworks are represented, archived, stored, traded and discussed. Her artworks and formations describe the peculiar human relationship to the things around us that is often typified by our relationship to the art-object; our treatment of matter or ‘things’ as agents, commodities, tools, proxies, artefacts, aloof matter and models for representation. Recent exhibitions include The Irish Museum of Modern Art Hennessy Art Fund, The Last Thing on Earth, a solo exhibition at the MAC, Belfast (2016), Exquisite tempo sector a solo exhibition at Temple Bar Gallery and Studios (2017), City Agents, curated by Jussi Koitela, at EKKM, Estonia (2016), With Leftover Agencies, Gallery Augusta, Helsinki (2016); Duality of Form, Solstice Arts Centre (2016).
Sarah O’Brien lives and works in Cork, Ireland. Her painting practice amasses materials from her immediate environment and life as a mother and painter. In recent months, sticker books, felt-tipped marker drawings and dense scribble actions have influenced her paintings. Home-ware such as curtains, rugs, and baby’s cot blankets are occasionally used as the base of her painting assemblages. These quotidian, domestic and personal fabrics are represented with a punk sensibility, a kind of brutal deconstruction and disregard for their utility, which allows the artist to be truly at one with her status as artist mother. The work reflects her environment, whilst using the practice and context of painting to transcend the repetition and banality of everyday chores and commitments. Recent selected shows include: STREAM PROJECT, Limerick 2018, Hotron Art Prize 2017, Carlow Arts and UNFOLD, Uilinn, Skibbereen, Ireland, 2017.
Liliane Puthod, born in France, she is currently based in Dublin, Ireland. Subverting the frontiers between multiple and singular objects, Puthod’s work leads to surprising connections between commodities, systems of production and fabricated elements. She actively appropriates merchandise in relation to physical locations and individuals, along with constructed narratives from distinct economies, often resulting in paradoxical situations. Through sculpture, digital media and texts, she explores the way forms can problematise the materials, from which they are made. Puthod graduated from a Master of Fine Arts from Geneva University of Art and Design (HEAD) and has exhibited extensively in Europe. Recent projects and exhibitions include: The _____ Showroom of Lilian Cashman, Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray, Ireland, Symbol Symbol Symbol, Eight Gallery, Dublin, Ireland, Mejlby, publication funded by Geneva’s Art Council; Situs, a permanent installation at Geneva Champel Centre and The Existence of Flamethrowers in your Street, curated by Catalyst Arts at 126, Galway, Ireland.
Alicia Reyes McNamara is of Mexican decent, born in Chicago and based in London. Her work deals with issues of displacement, particularly within a double diaspora. She is interested in the changing identity of the Latinx diaspora and how authenticity is being negotiated. She completed her MFA at University of Oxford Ruskin School of Art in 2016. Her work has been included in Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2016 exhibition at the Bluecoat in Liverpool and later at London’s Institute of Contemporary Art. She was awarded the South London Gallery Graduate Residency 2016-17 and her exhibition ‘Nowhere Else’ was exhibited there in Spring 2017. She was recently awarded the 2017 Peer Forum opportunity at Camden Arts Centre. She has also been invited to be a part of 2018 Communal Knowledge at The Showroom. She has recently completed residency at Kiosko Galeria in Bolivia through Gasworks and Triangle Network.
Sven Sandberg makes paintings that come out of the connections and overlaps between art history, films, and literature. He thinks of these collections of source material as a compost out of which the paintings grow, like mushrooms sprouting from the forest floor. The paintings themselves usually take the form of portraits or figures in interiors and landscapes, but Sandberg considers them to be in the tradition of genre portraits, portraying types of people in particular situations rather than specific individuals. Sandberg received his MFA from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin in 2016. He has participated in group shows in the United States and Ireland, including the 2016 RDS Visual Art Awards exhibition, where he was joint recipient of the R.C. Lewis-Crosby Award. Sandberg is this year’s recipient of the Art Council’s Next Generation Bursary. His paintings are in public and private collections in the United States and Ireland. Born in California, Sandberg currently lives in the west of Ireland.
Lee Welch recently began making figurative paintings that aim to explore and negotiate the relationship between artist, subject and viewer. Notions of sensuality and self-disclosure are also parceled up in this work. These paintings are nonetheless deeply questioning images about ever-shifting human connections and the endless intricacies of looking. Welch received his MFA at the Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam. He was recently awarded a residency at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. His work has been featured in numerous institutions including Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan; Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane; CCA, Derry; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León (MUSAC), León, Spain. His paintings are in public and private collections. Born in Kentucky, Welch currently lives in Dublin.
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