Nathalie Du Pasquier
Daniel Rios Rodriguez
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about the artists
b. 1959, Derry, Northern Ireland.
Willie Doherty has been a pioneering figure in contemporary art film and photography for four decades. Exploring the relationship between landscape and memory, Doherty responds to mysterious isolated settings that conceal a troubled past. Though his primary geographic reference is Northern Ireland, and especially his native Derry – a city divided along sectarian lines during the ‘Troubles’, Doherty has trained his lens on sites of contested history elsewhere in the world, including Granada, Pennsylvania and the US/Mexico border. Studying these terrains in forensic detail, Doherty’s video and photo works reveal the impossibility of objectivity and historical truth, often using diptychs to set contradictory points of view against each other. His videos unfold slowly, sometimes combining material evidence with haunting fictional monologues that speak of shame, deception, brutality and its aftermath, as if leaking the stories contained within the landscape. Assessing how these sites appear to us now, Doherty uses powerful language and disorientating imagery to reflect on how we approach histories of trauma.
Nathalie Du Pasquier
b. 1957, Bordeaux, France.
Influenced by the language of classicism and informed by the history of Italian art, Du Pasquier’s paintings splice together simplified still life compositions, architectural plans, industrial drawings, and playful fragments of text with boldly simplified blocks of colour. New objects constantly enrich Du Pasquier’s imaginary and symbolic world and she follows particular, poetic paths to construct and compose forms, sculpt space, and render representation anew – as well as using her own archive as raw material to be reshaped. Exploring the links between objects, geometry, representation of space and psychic life, Du Pasquier’s paintings often expand into clustered arrangements or onto the surrounding walls, taking a fluid and porous approach to traditional distinctions between ‘fine’ and ‘decorative’ arts.
Born in Bordeaux, France, Nathalie Du Pasquier first discovered pattern and texture in West Africa in the 1970s, and has lived in Milan since 1979. A founding member of the Memphis design group, she designed textiles, carpets, plastic laminates, furniture and objects before dedicating herself to painting in 1987. Her work has been exhibited at MACRO, Rome; MRAC, Sérignan; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Camden Arts Centre, London; Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh; ICA, Philadelphia; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna and, most recently, Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye in France.
b. 1979, Dublin, Ireland.
Working primarily with sculpture and occasionally painting, Aleana Egan engenders psychological states and memories through enigmatic arrangements of objects and forms. Her sculptural works appear restrained yet laden with subtle references to the built environment using materials such as plaster, cardboard, matte paint and various fabrics. A meandering, sensuous line and sense of fluidity is carried from her sculptures into her painting, giving form to a sense of flux, openness and mutability. Egan’s practice is shaped by her deep engagement with works of literature and cinema: never opting for direct representation, she uses this source material as an entryway, absorbing the moods and tones it evokes. Her forms and shapes act as traces or shifting responses, tentative articulations of remembered places or everyday moments.
Aleana Egan has exhibited at Sculpture Centre, New York; Kunsthalle Basel; Kunsthalle zu Kiel; Landesmuseum Münster; The Drawing Room and Jerwood Space, London; Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge; Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh; Leeds Art Gallery; the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Temple Bar Gallery and IMMA, Dublin. She has also participated in the Berlin Biennale. In recent years, she has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Void Derry, Northern Ireland (2022); Künstlerhaus Bremen (2021); NICC Vitrine Brussels (2020) and Farbvision, Berlin (2019). Recent group exhibitions include The Classical Museum, University College Dublin (2021); Cample Line, Scotland; Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Dublin; Scoil Lorcáin, Seapoint (all 2019); Drawing Room, London (2019, 2017) and Project Space Tilburg (2017).
b. 1962, Newtownards, Northern Ireland.
Mark Francis makes powerful, optically intense paintings that are driven by the revelatory insights of contemporary science. Filled with a sense of movement and vibrational energy, his paintings combine electric colour contrasts with dynamic patterns and precise brushwork. Fields of colour are shot through with orbs or pulsating linear forms that dissolve or disintegrate, mimicking streams of light, sonic vibrations, or graphs of seismic patterns. Francis’s longstanding fascination and engagement with science provides rich territory for his painting, from the vast cosmic terrains of astronomy, to the minute and molecular concerns of mycology. Making striking imagery out of what is normally invisible, he explores the visual worlds made accessible by electron microscopes, or sonic data gathered from outer space. But while the feats of manmade technology inform Francis’s work, the thing of wonder remains the unknowable quantities beyond their reach. This is what Francis uses his imaginative power and painterly skills to conjure – sparking a tension between order and chaos, knowledge and mystery that is at the heart of his work.
b. 1962, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Callum Innes creates abstract paintings that carry a powerful tension between control and fluidity. Dissolution is central to his practice: layers of deep pigments are brushed over with turpentine, breaking down sections of paint and leaving watery, trace elements, before being painted over again. Repeating this process of painting, dissolving and repainting multiple times, Innes builds depth and a sense of history: oblique panels of dense pigments become embedded and fortified, while tiny trickles or rivulets of liquified paint point to their underlying fragility.
b.1960, Cardiff, Wales.
Merlin James considers the history and legacy of painting from an unconventional viewpoint. As commented by Artforum’s Sherman Sam, his work “has sought to rigorously problematise the experience of painting while simultaneously deepening its formal language”. Generally small in scale, his works depict diverse subject matter including vernacular architecture, riverside views, post-industrial landscapes, empty interiors, mysterious figures and scenes of sexual intimacy. His works refine and renew many of painting’s most time-honoured concerns – genre and narrative, pictorial space and expressive gesture, the emotive resonance of colour and texture.
b. 1959, Canada.
Described by critic Isobel Haribson as “epic, enigmatic and evocative”, Elizabeth Magill’s highly idiosyncratic paintings present subjective and psychological takes on the landscape genre. Rich with kaleidoscopic patterning and fragmented forms, these vistas are embedded in place – usually rural settings on the edges of settlements – but transported through the artist’s imagination, memories, photographs or moods to be presented as something other: lush, visionary recollections of hills, lakes, hedges and skies glowing with ambient light. The term ‘inscape’ has been used to describe Magill’s practice: landscapes not based on direct observation, but imbued with a sense of interiority and reflection. Though they have a cinematic beauty, her paintings can also be eerie or unsettling: trees or telephone wires conceal the view; birds are silhouetted in the dark; rare human figures feel distant, phantasmal; colours feel subdued, or occasionally toxic. Magill’s complex and densely layered paintings are produced using various techniques, at times incorporating stencilling, screenprinting and collage, as well as the pouring, blending, dripping, splashing and scraping away of paint. Film and photography are also central to her research, shaping the way the artist looks at landscape, and infusing her approach to light, tone and atmosphere.
b. 1974, Dublin, Ireland.
Isabel Nolan has an expansive practice that incorporates sculptures, paintings, textile works, photographs, writing and works on paper. Her subject matter is similarly comprehensive, taking in cosmological phenomena, religious reliquaries, Greco-Roman sculptures and literary/historical figures, examining the behaviour of humans and animals alike. These diverse artistic investigations are driven by intensive research, but the end result is always deeply personal and subjective. Exploring the “intimacy of materiality”, Nolan’s work ranges from the architectural – steel sculptures that frame or obstruct our path – to small handmade objects in clay, hand-tufted wool rugs illuminated with striking cosmic imagery, to drawings and paintings using humble gouache or colouring pencils. In concert, they feel equally enchanted by and afraid of the world around us, expressing humanity’s fear of mortality and deep need for connection as well as its startling achievements in art and thought. Driven by “the calamity, the weirdness, horror, brevity and wonder of existing alongside billions of other preoccupied humans”, her works give generous form to fundamental questions about the ways the chaos of the world is made beautiful or given meaning through human activity.
Daniel Rios Rodriguez
b. 1978, Killeen, Texas, USA.
Guided by meditations on dreams, Daniel Rios Rodriguez’s exuberant semi-figurative paintings combine images of nature with fantastical visions that reflect upon the artist’s identity and personal experience. His coarse layers of impasto paint embellish wood panels in offbeat shapes – tilting rectangles, or solar, starburst forms with jagged edges. These constructions often bear impromptu frames, built from frayed strips of rope, nails or copper wire, introducing a collaged, sculptural element to the work. Rios Rodriguez introduces us to a rich world of imagery from his inherited and personal cultural identity as a Mexican-American. His paintings present an unconventional treatment of time-honoured subjects, created with a fascinating array of non-traditional materials that speak to the particular locality of his Texan environment and yet resonate far and wide.
b. 1986, Dublin, Ireland.
Marcel Vidal makes paintings and sculptures. Quietly disarming and unsettling us with an ominous beauty, Vidal’s paintings are marked by their controlled brushwork, layering oil on linen with delicacy and precision. They are refined and restrained, incarnating brightly lit fragments of photographs or digital images: unidentified figures caught by flashbulbs hold their arms in defensive barriers; glossy foliage catches the light before retreating into darkness; distinguished hands are frozen mid-clap. Vidal’s minimal compositions are severely cropped to reveal only a sliver of their subject, using ambiguity to frustrate interpretation, all while inviting our curiosity.
b. 1969, Hunan, China.
Zhou Li creates paintings, sculptures, installations and public art using mixed media, including oil paint, washes of ink, charcoal and cotton cloth. Her lyrical abstract paintings capture her acute sensory observations of the world: lightness and shadow, solidity and dissolution, the sense of being. Building upon the history of European painting and the central tenets of traditional Chinese art, Zhou Li harnesses both traditions to develop a distinct painterly language. Her paintings looks towards nature as a starting point, particularly the mountainous terrains of Southern China, but are imbued with a sense of much more: every brush stroke on the canvas is driven by her persistent query and pursuit of being.
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