recent paintings by Richard Gorman.
In a recent series of paintings, Richard Gorman presents an exploratory new take on the “emotional geometry” for which he has become celebrated in the past two decades. Approached with a lightness of touch, the works carry a renewed sense of movement and immediacy: angular, interlocking blocks of colour seem to spiral outwards, while radial shapes pirouette on their axis.
As Gorman’s understanding and mastery of colour has deepened, he has begun to use it not only as a harmonic device, but as an active and animating element in his paintings: flat blocks of colour step to an offbeat rhythm, laid down in a jazz cool palette. Giving a nod to the gestural, expressionist works with which Gorman began his career in the 1980s, this recent body of work takes on a more liberated, looser and freer painterly approach, all while demonstrating the intuitive balancing of colour, form and line that his work is prized for.
This has echoes with the way fiction can be written. You begin with a very precise scene, or set of memories, and slowly, in the act of writing, you begin to scrape them away, until their very opposite may emerge. Or what comes is merely the emotion and nothing of the precise configurations with which you began. The few stray details which you leave in may seem casual to the reader, but they can have immense energy and power for the writer; they have been the route towards everything else.
Colm Toíbín from 'Richard Gorman', 2006
When we look at his paintings, we feel a deep sense of bounty. It has been achieved in a totally
original way, and the confluence of courage and lightness exhilarates us.
Nicholas Fox Weber, Josef and Anni Albers Foundation
from 'KAN - Richard Gorman' 2015
work on on handmade echizen kozo washi paper
Richard Gorman RHA
b. 1946, Dublin, Ireland
A gifted colourist, Richard Gorman is best known for his paintings and works on paper exploring the dynamic interplay between geometric forms. The artist’s work has been greatly influenced by his frequent and extended trips to Japan – for over 25 years, he has visited the family-run Iwano paper factory in Echizen to produce his handmade kozo washi paper. Produced on both a monumental and intimate scale, these paper works offer a delicacy and fragility in counterpoint to his more robust oils on canvas. Both strands of Gorman’s practice draw their power from the compositional tension between increasingly prominent and boldly simplified blocks of colour, often with a subtly playful or humorous undertone.
Solo exhibitions include: dalkey, Kerlin Gallery (2020); Kerlin Gallery, Dublin; Keijo, Chigasaki Museum, Japan (2019); CASA, Castletown House, Co Kildare (2016); KIN, The MAC, Belfast (2014); Richard Gorman, Painting and Prints, Mitaka City Gallery of Art & Ashikaga City Museum of Art Japan (Both 2010); Shuffle, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin (2009); Oeuvres nouvelles, Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris (2007); Paintings and Paper Works, Koriyama City Museum of Art Koriyama, Japan (2002); Big Blue, Mural Koriyama City Museum of Art Fukushima, Japan (2002); Nine Paintings, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin and Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, (2001); Made in Japan, Limerick City Art Gallery, Limerick, Ireland (2000) and Mitami City Gallery of Art and Mitaka City Art Foundation, Japan (1999).
Gorman’s work is represented in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Koriyama City Museum of Art, Japan; Centre of Contemporary Graphic Art, Fukishima, Japan; New York Public Library; Limerick City Gallery and The Ulster Museum, Belfast and in private and corporate collections worldwide.
Behind a simple and apparently austere facade hides an astute being with a mischievous eye. Richard has, above all else, geometrical compasses built into his brain.
Pierre-Alexis Dumas, artistic director of Hermès
In 2015 Richard Gorman and the historic French luxury, Hermès joined forces to collaborate on a carré scarf. The original carré started out as a project of Robert Dumas in 1937. Since then the company has evolved the iconic scarf in collaboration with many distinguished artists.