Exhibition of Paintings at St. Stephen's Green

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  • Irish Review (Dublin)

    Exhibition of Paintings at St. Stephen's GreenAuthor(s): Thomas BodkinSource: The Irish Review (Dublin), Vol. 1, No. 9 (Nov., 1911), pp. 452-453Published by: Irish Review (Dublin)Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30062772 .Accessed: 10/06/2014 05:12

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  • Exhibition of Paintings at St.

    Stephen's Green

    I T is with complete realisation of the offensive nature of the words

    " amateurish " and " insincere " that I deliberately apply them to the vast majority of the paintings shown from the 23rd to the 3oth of

    October at the Branch of the Five Provinces, 7 Stephen's Green. The

    long line of flat oil paintings, feeble watercolours and futile pastels fill a critic, anxious to honestly praise, with deep disappointment. At the risk of irritating the exhibitors I must state my belief that most of them would do wisely to abandon the pursuit of art entirely, and that the rest, as a rule, stand in much need of technical study and discipline.

    Mr. Jack Morrow is a notable exception. He shows a scholarly little painting entitled " Rush, Co. Dublin," which displays a rare

    sincerity and ability. He has taken a quiet stretch of sand, a line of low coast, a corner of sad-coloured sea and a broad space of clouded

    sky; with these he has wrought a really charming little harmony. From the unassuming quality of the whole I am tempted to imagine that its author would be one of the first to agree with me that it is not a master-

    piece. But it is decisively the best picture in the show; and we want in Ireland as many more of its kind as we can get. Mr. William MacBride is responsible for thirteen works. Their quality stimulates latent superstition. "A Sketch Composition" is a nasty daub. Pleasant little paintings like " Beeches," " The Twelve Pins," and the Sketch (No. 65) remind us of the promise displayed by this artist at the Oireachtas Exhibition-a promise in no way redeemed by his

    products at this show. Pastel is the mode of expression chosen by Miss Lily Williams. " Irish Costume " (No. 24) is not flattering to the sitter. The little study of trees (No. 29) belongs to quite another

    category, and is characterised by very genuine observation and good feeling.

    A coincidence is found in Nos. 31 and 35, by Miss Josephine Webb and Mr. Campbell, respectively, both pictures being representations of an old garden gate. Mr. Campbell's is far and away the most successful.


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    There is depth and mystery about his grim portal and a bold handling of shadow. This little sketch makes me wonder is this the Mr. Campbell who produced such pleasant pen work a year or two ago. If it be so, he surely ought to abandon such inanities as " The Bridge " and the " Lake Edge " and return to a branch of art wherein he really excelled. The " Lake Edge " is only prevented by Miss Latimer's " Sketch in a Wood " from being the very worst thing I have ever seen exhibited.

    In a city dowered with a fine National Gallery, with a Gallery of Modern Art second to none in the three Kingdoms, with a wealth of artistic feeling and tradition, with good teachers of Art and with a situation of unrivalled beauty, it is painful and inexplicable to find so many painters with so little seriousness.



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    Article Contentsp. 452p. 453

    Issue Table of ContentsThe Irish Review (Dublin), Vol. 1, No. 9 (Nov., 1911), pp. 417-468Front MatterArt Plate: Sheep-ShearingPoliticsFleshpots and Freedom [pp. 417-421]

    HistoryGael and Norman in Irish History [pp. 422-429]

    Children of the King [p. 430-430]PoetryAn Bunan Buidhe [p. 431-431]

    StoriesThe Freeholder [pp. 432-434]

    PoetryA Dreamer [p. 435-435]

    Gaelic LiteratureSliot Duanaire Gaeilde / Specimens from an Irish Anthology [pp. 436-439]

    StoriesThe Artist [pp. 440-448]

    Music & ArtThe Gaelic League and Irish Music [pp. 449-451]

    Exhibition of Paintings at St. Stephen's Green [pp. 452-453]StoriesMary: A Story [pp. 454-465]

    New BooksReview: Misapplied History [pp. 466-467]Review: Misinformed History [pp. 467-468]

    Back Matter