Waterhouse & Dodd are pleased to exhibit new works by the acclaimed Irish artist Michael Canning in May. Michael’s previous 4 exhibitions with Waterhouse & Dodd (in 2007, 2008, 2010 & 2012) have been sell-out successes. This 5th exhibition will see him revisit the themes and motifs that have made him one of the most collected artists in Ireland and Britain over the last few years.
The landscape elements of the paintings, which are often worked on over a period of years, relate to the artist's home in the West of Ireland. These landscapes are not topographically accurate, instead they are more of an evocation of a remembered place. The fauna is conversely painted quickly, often in a single sitting, and from life. Michael's studio is strewn with drying flowers and weeds. The species of fauna is not particularly important to the meaning of the painting, although many of the plants represented have medicinal or herbal properties and they are invariably wild - sourced from local hedgerows and pastures. The contrived compositions - the plants are rooted to a black base rather than in a natural setting - relate to old mater compositions where flowers are displayed on a window sill overlooking an idealised landscape.
Although the compositions and subject matter relate to earlier periods in art history, the meaning of the paintings is rooted in more contemporary concerns. Michael is interested in philosophical questions regarding the nature of painting and representation, and subverting the concept of the painting as a window onto the natural world.
With Michael's recent move to a larger studio and Waterhouse & Dodd's relocation to Albemarle Street, this new exhibition will contain several much larger canvases which show a development from the previous smaller scale works.