Mark Swords, Paul Doran, Mary Ramsden, Mark Joyce, Diana Copperwhite, Vicky Wright, Daniel Pitin, Eithne Jordan, Andreas Golder, Damien Flood, Peter Burns, Kevin Mooney Making Familiar

  • 10 August — 29 September 2012
  • Curated by Robert Armstrong and James Merrigan

Exhibition Events

Closing reception:
Thursday 20 September, 6pm - 8pm

Further Information

Making Familiar is an exhibition that spotlights the work of two painters each week.

Over the course of six weeks, twelve artists in total will be paired together, both to exhibit and to discuss their work in the setting of the gallery. The exhibition grows each week, starting with two artists, and ending with twelve artists’ work displayed on a salon wall in the gallery.

The exhibition was conceived via the biographically intimate essay ‘Soul-Beating’, by the American artist David Reed, who had the strange aspiration to be a “bedroom painter.” In his essay, Reed briefly describes escaping “the Studio School to go to the old Academy of Music, a huge ruin of a movie theater on Fourteenth Street [New York], to see one of Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns, For a Few Dollars More,” with his idol, the iconic American painter, Philip Guston.

A pivotal aspect of the exhibition is the weekly artist conversation, framed by a conversation area that will be marked out in the gallery by domestic paraphernalia: couches, television etc. The weekly conversations between the paired artists will be open to the public, and will take place each Tuesday during the exhibition. These conversations will also be recorded and screened in the gallery .

Making Familiar is a play on the phrase ‘to make strange’ – to not talk due to being uncomfortable. The title of the show also refers to the everyday activities of the artist that don’t include the act of painting: Anselm Kiefer’s admitted once that he is at his most creative when washing dishes.

As curators, Robert Armstrong and James Merrigan will guide the discussion along, questioning, observing and familiarising themselves, and the audience, with the artists’ thoughts on painting, or washing dishes.

The artist conversations are grounded in the suggested informality of the David Reed and Philip Guston trip to the cinema. What was said between the two artists? Was painting even discussed?

This is an 'active' exhibition that addresses painting at the site of the familiar, offering a chance to experience peer painting practices side-by-side, and revelations on the processes and 'lived' stories that define their working methods.

[1] David Reed, 'Soul-Beating', Art Journal

Curators' Biographies

Robert Armstrong

Robert Armstrong is an artist whose work explores the potentialities of contemporary painting through a forensic examination of incidental or familiar elements of technical painting. A dialogue with painting languages old and new is at the centre of his practice. He has exhibited widely in Ireland and abroad.

He is Head of Painting at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD), Dublin where he also, runs the blog painttube. He is a Founder Member of Temple Bar Gallery + Studios

James Merrigan

James Merrigan is an artist and art critic. As an artist, he has exhibited at thisisnotashop Dublin,Temple Bar Gallery + Studios Dublin, The Royal Hibernian Academy Dublin, Roscommon Arts Centre, Mermaid Arts Centre Bray, Queen Street Gallery & Studios Belfast, 126 Gallery Galway and has a future solo show at the Lab Dublin. As an art critic, Merrigan has written for Circa Magazine, Visual Artists Newsletter (VAN), a-n magazine, and is a regular contributer to Aesthetica Magazine. He is the founding editor of +BILLION- journal and co-founding editor of Fugitive Papers. Recent Awards include the 2010/11 Irish Residential Studios Award, the VAI Writer Award 2011, and the Arts Council Project Award 2011. A publication of his writings entitled ‘LACKING AUTHOR(ITY): Subjective Texts for Art’ was published in May 2012.

Artists' Biographies

Mark Swords

Mark Swords was born in Dublin in 1978. He graduated with an MA from the National College of Art and Design in 2003. He has had two solo shows in Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin. Most recently he was invited to show in “Painting Now” at Ron Mandos Gallery, Amsterdam, 2012 and “Mosaic”, a solo exhibition in Wexford Arts Centre, 2012. Swords was awarded the AIB Art Prize In 2010. He is represented by Kevin Kavanagh Gallery.

Paul Doran

Paul Doran was awarded the AIB art prize in 2005. Exhibitions include: a solo exhibition at Sunday L.E.S, NY, a solo exhibition at The Butler Gallery, Kilkenny, Jerwood Contemporary painters 2009 and 'Size Matters XS' recent small scale painting, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, New York. Doran is represented by Green On Red Gallery, Dublin.

Mark Joyce

Mark Joyce was born in Dublin Ireland in 1966. He studied painting at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin and the Royal College of Art, London. He has exhibited in most of the major selected survey exhibitions in Ireland and the UK and has had solo exhibitions in Ireland, UK and the USA. His work is in collections of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, and the Arts Council of Ireland. He is represented by Green on Red gallery, Dublin.

Mary Ramsden

Born in Yorkshire in 1984, Mary Ramsden lives and works in London. A final year graduate student at the Royal Academy of Arts she received a BA in Fine Art from Edinburgh College of Art. Forthcoming exhibitions includes Marcelle Joseph Projects (2012). Past exhibitions included group show, Pilar Corrias Gallery (2011); 'Purity is a Myth', Pilar Corrias Gallery, London (2010); The Moving Gallery, Newcastle (2010); Five Hundred Dollars (2009); New Contemporaries, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh (2009).

Vicky Wright

Vicky Wright was born in Bolton, UK, and lives and works in London. Wright graduated with a Masters in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, London in 2008. Previous solo exhibitions include 'The Informants', Josh Lilley Gallery, London, 2010 and 'COMMA 14', Bloomberg SPACE, London, 2009. Recent group exhibitions include 'Paintings', Max Wigram Gallery, London, 2012, 'Hallogallo', Sir John Cass Gallery, London, 2012, 'Among Flesh', Alison Jacques Gallery, London, 2011, John Moores Painting Prize, Liverpool, 2008 and Jerwood Painting Prize, London, 2007.

Diana Copperwhite

Diana Copperwhite was born in Ireland in 1969. She studied Fine Art Painting at Limerick School of Art and Design and The National College of Art and Design, Dublin. She completed an MFA at Winchester School of Art, Barcelona in 2000.In 2007 she was winner of the AIB Art Prize and in 2008 she was a finalist in the Guasch Coranty Fundacio Painting Prize, Centre Cultural Metropolita Tecia Sala, Barcelona. In 2008 she completed a Project Residency at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios and was also elected ARHA by the Royal Hibernian Academy , Dublin. Recent shows include 'The Fold' at Visual Centre for Contemporary Art (Carlow), 'Graphic Studio: 50 Years in Dublin' at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (Dublin) in 2011; 'Collecting the New: Recent Acquisitions to the IMMA Collection' at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (Dublin) in 2010. Forthcoming shows include a three person show with Michael Kalmbach and Hiraki Sawa at Solstice Art Centre (Navan) curated by Jacqui McIntosh in 2012.

Daniel Pitin

Daniel Pitin was born in 1977, in Prague, CR. Lives and works in Prague. He attended the Academy of Fine Arts, Prague from 1994—2001. he has exhibited at numerous solo and group exhibitions including presentations at Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles, hunt kastner, Prague, Charim Ungar Contemporary (CUC), Berlin,National Gallery at the Veletržní Palace, Prague, Academy of Fine Arts gallery, Prague, 2009 Prague Biennale4, curated by Helena Kontova, Karlin Hall.

Eithne Jordan

Eithne Jordan was born in Dublin in 1954. She studied at Dun Laoghaire School of Art from 1972-76, and has lived for periods of time in London and Berlin (where she went initially on a DAAD scholarship). She currently divides her time between Ireland and France. She has exhibited widely in Europe, and her work is in major public and private collections in Ireland, Europe and the U.S. She is a member of Aosdana.

Andreas Golder

Andreas Golder was born in 1979 in Ekaterinenburg, Russia. Selected recent Exhibitions include 'Da steckt ganz viel dahinter', Arndt & Partner, Berlin (solo show), 'Surgite mortui venite ad Judicium', White Cube, London (solo show), 'Edition Copenhagen - Retrospective 1959 - 2009', Den frie udstilling, Copenhagen, Denmark (group show), 'It has my name on it', Arken Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark (solo show), 'satt # 2, powered by emotion', Klara Wallner Galerie, Berlin, Germany (solo show), 'MAD LOVE' – Young Art from Danish Private Collections, Arken Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark, and Liverpool Biennale, Liverpool, United Kingdom 2004.

Damien Flood

Damien Flood graduated from the MA in Fine Art, NCAD in 2008. He immediately was selected to exhibit in the John Moores contemporary painting exhibition in Liverpool followed by the Saatchi Space in London during Frieze ’08. Since then he has been in numerous other group exhibitions including 'Three' at Theodore: Art New York, 'Futures 10' at RHA, 'Unbuilding' at the Mermaid Arts Centre, 'Anopseudonymous' in Five Hundred Dollars Gallery, London, plus he was also shortlisted again for the John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize 2010, along with the Focus Abengoa Painting Prize in Seville, 2011. He is represented by Green on Red Gallery, Dublin.

Peter Burns

Peter Burns was born in Dublin in 1979. He studied Fine Art at the National College of Art in Dublin graduating with an MFA in painting in 2009 and a BA in Sculpture in 2001. Recent exhibitions include: 'None Went Mad, None Ran Away', Rubicon Gallery, Dublin, 2012, 'The Living Skull', Fenderesky Gallery, Belfast, 2012, 'Last', Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin 2012 and a solo exhibition of new sculptures and paintings at the Fenderesky Gallery, Belfast, 2011. He lives and works in Dublin.

Kevin Mooney

Kevin Mooney graduated with an MFA from the National College of Art and Design in 2012. Exhibitions include 'Video Killed the Radio Star' at the RHA, Claremorris Open, 'Ritual Flux 51' at Birr Arts Festival, and solo exhibitions at Queen Street Gallery and Studios Belfast, Nag gallery Dublin, and Mermaid Arts Centre Wicklow.