March 09, 2007

Sligo's Secret Theory of Drawing

I've made the pilgrimage to The Model Arts and Niland Gallery, Sligo in Ireland to see The Secret Theory of Drawing
The gallery has a great feel and very conducive spaces - one of those places where you think "what would I do here?" rather than as I often think "I'm glad I don't have to do anything here". Coaimhin, who I first met at my Edinburgh show at Sleeper, has put together a thoughtful show, circling, I think, around the act and the space of drawing. I was particularly impressed with Alan Johnston's wall drawing - I've seen a lot of Alan's drawing in the last 12 months and this one I found very refreshing, somehow free and relaxed, and relating beautifully to the architectural space. The other high point for me was Patrick Ireland's Portrait of Marcel Duchamp. Bojan Ĺ arcevic’s wall-bound ‘drawings’ were also very striking. The show is much better than the "Draw" show at MIMA which I visited last month. The new gallery itself is an architectural disappointment, spaces that are both unimaginative and incoherent at the same time, material finishes that are similarly irrational. That drawing show clearly suffered from the New Labour infection of cultural practice, a curatorial concept that seemed contaminated with a didactic accessibility imperative. You could almost taste the school worksheet that went with the selection of artworks.

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