November 30, 2012

Eithne Jordan at Rubicon Gallery and at the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, Ireland

Eithne Jordan, En Route, Works on Paper
Rubicon Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
Through 8 December 2012

Eithne Jordan, Street
Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, Ireland
Through 21 December 2012

Just over twenty new gouache on paper paintings by irish artist Eithne Jordan is on view at Rubicon Gallery in Dublin in an exhibition entitled En Route ('On the road' in french). The paintings are uniformly encased in carefully constructed lucite/acrylic boxes, like small TV screens on pause or a glimpsed view through a car window. Individual paintings have subtle gradations of tone and hue, in this they are evocative of Giorgio Morandi’s reduced and deliberate still-life works, yet we have to assume that Jordan had much less control over her curiously quiet city compositions. The flatness of form and distance inferred in her work are suggestive of Alex Katz’ contradictory bold planes of colour and distinctive painted forms. Eithne Jordan’s compositional balance and measured brush strokes produces considered, familiar but unspecific, urban environments.

Eithne JordanCar Park III, 2011
Gouache on Paper, 18 x 24 cm
© Eithne Jordan. Courtesy Rubicon Gallery, Dublin

Eithne Jordan starts outdoors in her direct environs, taking countless photographs often while commuting to or from the studio and always advancing slowly on foot or bicycle. She deliberately takes incidental, unrefined, arbitrary photos - their imperfections are a valuable attribute in her work – a device she uses as a method to create a distance between what is real and how it can be manipulated and edited. The few photographs she selects as source material for paintings offer a roughness and a fragment of reality that Eithne Jordan enhances in her gouaches, as she adapts elements of the configured scenes to suit her own purposes. The detailed gouache paintings are intimate in scale and draw the viewer in, introducing a human perspective, as her works feature no figures, and are largely devoid of human presence with the occasional exception of passing traffic.    

In her major Royal Hibernian Academy -RHA- exhibition, Street [November 15 - December 21, 2012], the artist Eithne Jordan shows large-scale paintings on linen and canvas. These paintings are developed, without exception, from gouache predecessors, creating a further buffer in her re-drawn representations of reality. In replicating scenes she has produced on a small-scale, Jordan takes on new technical and compositional challenges, many details are frequently and deliberately omitted in the transition from small to larger-scale works and areas which are flat planes on a small scale become vast abstract blocks of colour. En Route, at Rubicon Gallery, features those very specific gouache images that Eithne Jordan chose to paint in oil for her Royal Hibernian Academy exhibition and, since these two exhibitions run concurrently for a time, viewers have an opportunity to see part of this artist’s working process.

A catalogue was published by the Royal Hibernian Academy for the exhibition Eithne Jordan: Street with foreword by the curator Patrick T. Murphy and essays by James Merrigan and Colm Tóibín

Eithne Jordan, Street 
RHA Exhibition Catalogue, 2012
Courtesy of the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin

EITHNE JORDAN was born in Dublin and lives and works in Dublin and the South of France. She studied in the Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology and then at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin. Solo exhibitions have included, Small Worlds at the Mac, Belfast and the RHA, Dublin, Street Stills, Assab One, Milan, Night in the City, Rubicon Gallery, Dublin, Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, Fenderesky Gallery, Belfast, The DOCK, Carrick-on-Shannon and Galway Arts Centre, Galway.

Rubicon Gallery, Dublin 2, Ireland

Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, Ireland