PADRAIG MAC MIADHACHAIN A Life of Painting  (1929 – 2017)

PRESS RELEASE

New One-Person Exhibition:
11 June – 2 July 2018, Belgrave St Ives
Private View: 9 June 6 – 8pm

Based in Swanage, Dorset from the early 1950s and working from studios in various parts of the world, Pádraig Mac Miadhacháin established a full time career painting for a living and living to paint.

Looking at places through the lens of colour is core to Pádraig Mac Miadhacháin’s work, and so we can understand why he over-wintered in places like the Balearic Islands (1950s), the Canary Islands (1960s and 1970s) and St Ives (1990s onwards), and how this fits with his earliest memories of his sea-side holidays on the east coast of Ireland. However, he always returned home to his adopted Swanage, where he continued to paint, swim, walk and ‘mooch along the beach’ (his words). This retrospective exhibition is the first attempt to view Mac Miadhacháin’s oeuvre in a chronological order. It is interesting to see not only the evolution of a personal visual language but also the artist’s ability to move from abstract to figurative and back again, from tonal painting to high chroma, minimalist to narrative, dependent on the subject, and artistic intent. The experiences of travel and the discovery of alternative cultures fed directly into his work and several paintings in this exhibition illustrate these various cultural references.

MacMiadhachain_FishingPort_c1980_HiResFishing Port c1986 Oil on canvas; 50.5 x 61 cms

Pádraig Mac Miadhacháin was born in 1929 in Downpatrick, County Down, and trained at Belfast College of Art and the National College of Art in Dublin where he focused on portraiture before beginning his exhibiting career in 1951. Studying at Belfast and Dublin was a good solid training in technique and one that was to prove of huge underlying significance when his interest in much more contemporary art began to grow in the early 60s, following the winning of a Polish Government Scholarship to Krakow in 1960 and the resulting friendship with the landscape painter Piotr Potworowski, an artist with close links to the St Ives School. Further influence is suggested by Nicholas Usherwood in the catalogue essay to the new exhibition, where he points to “…an experimental shift of direction almost certainly confirmed by the shows he had alongside such distinguished Irish contemporary painters as Louis LeBrocquy, Camille Souter and Gerard Dillon in the Irish Exhibitions of Living Art at around the same time”.

Later in his career, the artists of the St Ives School were important influences; most notably, fellow Northern Irishman William Scott, Roger Hilton, Alfred Wallis and Ben Nicholson. Mac Miadhacháin was able to develop his own personal style without, at the same time, getting swamped by the tendency to abstraction at large.

MacMiadhachain_TheHarbour_2002_HiResThe Harbour 2002 Oil on linen; 61 x 61 cm

MacMiadhachain_TheGatesOfLove_Asila_Morocco_c1992_Belgrave_St_IvesThe Gates Of Love Asila Morocco c1992 by Pádraig Mac Miadhacháin. Showing at Belgrave St Ives, 11th June to 2nd July 2018.

Mac Miadhacháin travelled widely throughout North and South America, Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and the Republic of Ireland. A long exhibiting career included 17 solo shows in London and exhibitions in Madrid, Dublin, Belfast, Las Palmas, Krakow, Los Angeles, Seattle and Vancouver. He held a retrospective exhibition at the Molesworth Gallery, Dublin, in 1999, and in 2000 was one of three artists included in Fedden’s Choice at Lena Boyle Fine Art – an exhibition of the work of Mary Fedden’s favourite artists. The National Self Portrait Collection of Ireland and the Arts Council of Ireland hold examples of his work, which can also be found in private collections all around the world.

A fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by Nicholas Usherwood is available.
Twitter, Instagram, Facebook @belgravestives #alifeofpainting

MacMiadhachain_TheyLeftTheirShadows_2008_HiRes
They Left Their Shadows 2008 Oil on board; 20 x 25 cm

Macmiadhachain_Portrait_Samantha_Cook_Grain_PrintPortrait of Pádraig Mac Miadhacháin by Samantha Cook

For further information and images, please contact Richard Blackborow:

Belgrave St Ives, 22 Fore Street, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 1HE

richard@belgravestives.co.uk

tel. 01736 794888

REVERBERATIONS – Modern Art in St Ives: 9 – 26 Feb 2018

9 – 26 February 2018

The current exhibition at Tate St Ives, ‘Modern Art and St Ives’, features most of the major names of post-War St Ives Art and places their work in the context of European and US Modernism of the period.

Our new exhibition presents 16 works by artists included in the Tate exhibition and brings them together both in the gallery and in a PDF-only catalogue displaying the works in a gallery context.

Includes works by: Kenneth Armitage, W.Barns-Graham, Trevor Bell, Sandra Blow, Alan Davie, Paul Feiler, Terry Frost, Patrick Hayman, Barbara Hepworth, Patrick Heron, Roger Hilton, Ben Nicholson, Kate Nicholson, Victor Pasmore and John Wells.

VIEW WEBSITE | VIEW CATALOGUE

Sven Berlin – Polymath

PRESS RELEASE
New One-Person Exhibition:
9–30 Oct 2017, Belgrave St Ives
Private View Sat 7 Oct 6 – 8pm

A major name in St Ives post-War art, Sven Berlin entered the canon of history through the critically acclaimed Tate exhibition ‘The Dark Monarch: Magic and Modernity in British Art’ in which Modernism was repositioned.

Berlin quickly made his mark as a romantic and unorthodox figure within the creative milieu that was the St Ives art scene of the 1940s and 1950s and the name of the Tate exhibition took its title from his infamous book ‘The Dark Monarch’. The book is a colourful portrayal of several identifiable characters in the town and it led to libel actions that almost ruined him financially.

Sven_Berlin Belgrave_St_Ives Polymath Modern_Art Modernism The_Dark_MonarchBerlin carving outside the tower (his St Ives studio) in 1947

To note, he arrived in Cornwall before Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth, and was a founder member of the Crypt Group (1946), which was the basis for the consolidation of the post-War school of British Modernism that St Ives became famous for. He was an adagio dancer before becoming a visual artist, and his powerful flamboyant personality clashed with several of the other artists centred around St Ives. In 1953 he left Cornwall in a horse and cart (people alive today still recount the story of him tearing away at a clatter and with speed) to live amongst the gypsy community of the New Forest finally settling in Dorset, where he died in 1999.

Berlin’s tremendous artistic output, traversed a wide range of media: sculpture, painting, drawing, printmaking, autobiography, novel writing and poetry. The graphic strength of Berlin’s two-dimensional work underpinned every element of his creative work, particularly the three-dimensional draughtsmanship to be found in his stone carving. It is a fact that all great sculptors are consummate drawers (see for example Elizabeth Frink, Frank Dobson, Gaudier Brzeska et al). In addition to this draftsmanship evident in the drawings and sculpture, the innate flamboyance of Berlin’s character was given full and vibrant expression in a series of beautifully rich still life works, natural history paintings and self-portraits, which can also be seen in the exhibition.

Berlin’s strength of character, which enabled him to reach the heights of artistic excellence while enduring grinding poverty, was matched by an immense physical strength enabling him to carve granite. Above all his life was characterised by an indomitable polymathic spirit. Belgrave St Ives represents the Estate of Sven Berlin and is pleased to continue the exhibition programme of this artist’s work that began in 1989 with Belgrave Gallery, London. A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies ‘Polymath’.

Modernism Romanticism Modern_Art St_Ives Sven_BerlinSven Berlin ‘Amanita Phalloides, New Forest’ 1954, oil on board; 34 x 52.5cm.

Berlin_PreyingMantis_Belgrave_St_IvesSven Berlin ‘Praying Mantis’, pen, ink and wash; 38.5 x 29 cm.

Berlin_OFC_Ancient_Mariner_Belgrave_St_Ives
Sven Berlin ‘OFC: Ancient Mariner’ 1995, marble; 6.25 cm (H).

NOTES TO EDITORS

For further information and images, please contact Richard Blackborow:
Belgrave St Ives, 22 Fore Street, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 1HE
richard@belgravestives.co.uk    tel. 01736 794888

#Polymath #SvenBerlin

ENDS

Installation: St Ives Exhibition 2017 & Debbie Urquhart ‘Recent St Ives Paintings’

 

Our two new exhibitions are now open after a Private View on Saturday night (1/4/17). The town has been busy with the re-opening of the ‘old’ part of Tate St Ives, and many visitors have been enjoying our new shows. Please click on an image above to enter a slideshow of the gallery installation. You can also view individual works in the exhibitions by visiting the gallery website using the following links:

ST IVES EXHIBITION 2017 | DEBBIE URQUHART ‘Recent St Ives Paintings’

Michael Snow Retrospective & St Ives Exhibition 2014 – Installation