‘Now Came Still Evening On’* John Coyle and Gary Coyle
Father and son, John and Gary Coyle, come from similar but very different traditions. In this exhibition the works of the two artists are drawn together through themes of situation, familiarity, and immersion in art. The title of this exhibition comes from John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost. The poem which was deeply critical of the political climate at the time, was written in relative old age when the poets eyesight had declined. The poem was conservative in structure and language but deceptively rebellious in its references. Milton was a quiet radical of his time.
John Coyle is a fine painter, with the skill and sensitivity that comes from a lifetime in the tradition. Now in his 80’s he creates works that are luminous in atmosphere and emotion; he makes works which push painting into the realms beyond subject. They seem to hold both familiarity and structure with distance and abstraction. His focus is on the things that are in front of us all, he paints urban scenes, snapshots, views from his studio, informal portraits, and still-lifes rendering the everyday things of life. And, as with anything which reads as complete and effortless, there is a deception to the easiness and skill behind the works. They have energy, depth and simplicity that come from the regular practice and the hand of a master painter. With time they reveal a rigour in their form, structure and use of colour. These paintings are works to spend time with, to be read and re-read, as epic poems of the ordinary.
John Coyle most recent solo exhibition was with The Kevin Kavanagh Gallery. He has frequently shown in group exhibitions, and particularly at the Royal Irish Academy. He was elected as an Associate Member of the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1979 and a full Member in 1982. He was educated at the National College of Art & Design in Dublin and the Glasgow School of Art. He also studied in Paris, Florence and Madrid. He was head of the Art Department of Blackrock College in Dublin and has lectured in the National College of Art & Design and Dun Laoghaire School of Art.
Building on his approach to his last solo exhibition Into The Woods at the RHA in 2015. Gary Coyle will create, in The Docks largest gallery, a spectacular immersive environment of multi-layered drawings. For this exhibition he has made numerous new works which will be hung in the salon style and are made in respect to classical references, part homage to kitsch, part nod to the Baroque. The works join the art historical with contemporary cultural references. Framing and the function of the frame and the nature of the gallery its self is questioned within the world of imagery he creates. His large scale charcoal drawings explore a variety of subject matter & themes. Including the high-gothic, they make reference to the appropriation of imagery from the internet. Memes, such as cats, are portrayed by him as noble, uncanny and sinister. Many of the works incorporate elaborate and ornate hand drawn frames though given a contemporary reworking in charcoal. The layers of so much imagery are at once both over whelming, and obscuring much like our bombarded and overloaded experiences in current media culture. These charcoal drawings are hung over a massive installation of a digital drawing of The Dark Wood, which was remixed and edited by David Smith of Atelier. One of the seven woods at Coole park, near Gort Co Galway., arguably the centre of The Irish Literary revival. It was into these woods that Yeats took Lady Gregory to look for faeries & other magical creatures. Coyle views the digital forest as a magical, liminal space, a threshold between the real world and the world of ritual and transition, where anything is possible. He has created with this environment, an experience in which the view is a performer with an intensely layered environment and where establishing a view-point is uncertain, tricky and compelling.
Gary Coyle trained as sculptor at the National College of Art and Design and the Royal College of Art London. he was elected a member of the RHA in 2007 & Aosdana in 2009. His work embraces various media, including Drawing, Photography, & Spoken word/ Performance. He has exhibited widely in Ireland & internationally.
Saturday 29th of October
A performance of The Black Cat by Edgar Allen Poe by actor Patrick Curley.
Gothic songs, Dutch dramatic soprano Ilse Lubbers performing with Derek Mahady
Followed by A Dead Artists Disco
*Now came still evening on; and twilight gray
Had in her sober livery all things clad:
Silence accompanied; for beast and bird,
They to their grassy couch, these to their nests,
Were slunk, all but the wakeful nightingale.
John Milton, Paradise Lost (1667; 1674), Book IV, line 598.