THE ARTIST Niall McCormack at his studio in Westport.
Niall McCormack exhibition opens at The Linenhall
‘The Incidence of Light’, an exhibition of recent paintings and sculptures by Westport-based visual artist Niall McCormack, opens at The Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar on Friday, May 6 at 7.30pm. His seventh solo exhibition, it will be officially opened by Michael O’Dea of the RHA.
McCormack’s artistic vision encompasses a form of architectural surrealism in which the visual currency of buildings – walls, windows, passages and spaces – is used as a vehicle to explore the emotional effects of light, colour and composition.
Much of McCormack’s recent work deals with a common object: the modern house in the Irish landscape. Yet through this familiar subject, the artist touches on many aspects of modern life – the consequences of isolationism both externally and internally imposed; faceless institutional unaccountability; and the cultural fallout of an unrestrained market-driven economy. Meticulously rendered, the paintings of buildings enter the realm of the surreal.
Commenting on McCormack’s work, fellow artist Ian Wieczorek explains their haunting resonance: “The faceless uniformity of Niall’s houses creates a sense of disquiet and foreboding, of soullessness. It speaks of isolation and the contradictions of living together but being apart – a house not as the clichéd home but rather as an instrument of separation, of incarceration, even.”
This haunting sense of isolation and soullessness is deepened by the fact that McCormack’s houses are located within an amorphous landscape of contours and horizons devoid of any natural features that would impart a sense of authentic, gritty reality. Interiors are similarly stark.
Originally from Castlebar, McCormack has been exhibiting since the early 1980s in shows in England, Italy, Sweden, Washington and around Ireland. Recent group shows include the Royal Ulster Academy Annual Exhibition, Boyle Arts Festival (invited 2009-10) and the RHA Annual Exhibition (2007-2011 inclusive). He is also included in the Dictionary of Living Irish Artists.
The Incidence of Light’, an exhibition of recent work by Niall McCormack, will run at The Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar, from Friday, May 6 until Saturday, May 28.
DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE ‘Aerial View’ (oil on linen), by Niall McCormack.