Martin Mooney

About the Artists:

When Martin Mooney left the University of Ulster in 1979 and took up his B.A. Honours Course at Brighton Polytechnic College of Art and Design, did he imagine he would be in the forefront of Irish Painters in the 21st century, spanning a period of nearly four decades.

By 1983, interest in Martin’s work had increased significantly and he then commenced his Masters at the Slade School of Fine Art in London. When award winning art critic of the year from the Evening Standard, Brian Sewell, began to appreciate and eulogize Martin’s very distinctive response to contemporary art trends (or even non trends), it simply mirrored what Martin’s tutors and professors at Slade had also found. It was “a revolt against the bucket and slosh brigade, against the kind of artist where painting is entirely abstract but entirely accidental.

It is almost like a new form of neo-classicism”. Brian Sewell Further recognition came with the Richard Ford Award from the Royal Academy in 1985 and the George Campbell Memorial Grant in 1987, followed by the Adams Salesroom Artist of the Future Award in the RHA in 1992.

Equally important however is that Martin’s recognition is also borne out in the real world of art gallery sales and auction room results. Between the years of 1988 and 2011, Martin held many solo exhibitions, in London and Dublin, with Offer Waterman at Waterman Fine Art, The Portland Gallery, London and The Solomon Gallery, Dublin.

Also, in 2007, in an unprecedented sale in James Adam’s Auction Rooms in Dublin Martin sold 73 of the 75 pieces available on the night, even before the show opened.

Martin’s landscapes are informed by his recent absorption in plein air composition which very finely augments the sense of atmosphere and presence in his new work. The billowing cloud formations and insertions of unexpected colour epitomize Martin’s new relationship with colour and form. From his contemplative outpost in rural Donegal, Martin has set out to reinterpret the Irish landscape for a new generation, at the same time, retaining his relationship with form whilst exploring atmosphere and mood with a new sense of fluidity and freedom. Likewise, in his Still Life paintings we continue to get Martin’s mastery of exactitude, his absence of figures, his absolute stillness.

But the reverence is replaced by the playfulness and joyousness of a man in the prime of his expression. That confidence can only come from an artist at ease with his powers, and for me the Still Life represent a wonderful addition to Martin’s continually evolving oeuvre.

Biography:

1960 Born Belfast, Northern Ireland.

1979-80 University of Ulster, Faculty of Art and

Design.

1980-83 Brighton Polytechnic College of Art and

Design; BA Honours Fine Art.

1983-85 University College London, The Slade

School of Fine Art (Post Graduate).

 

Awards include:

1983 Emily Lucy Boyce Travel Scholarship,

Brighton Faculty of Art

1985 Richard Ford Award, The Royal Academy,

London

1987 George Campbell Memorial Grant, Arts

Council of Ireland, Arts of Northern Ireland

and the Spanish Cultural Institute, Dublin

1992 Adams Salesrooms Choice of Artist for

Future Appreciation Award, Royal

Hibernian Academy, Dublin

1997 Completed ten large paintings for the

Merrion Hotel, Dublin

2001 Appointed official artist for HRH The Prince

of Wales Royal Tour of the Baltic States

2003 Appointed official artist for HRH The Prince

of Wales Royal Tour of Russia

2017 Completed commission of 12 paintings for

house in Merrion Square.

2018 Loan exhibition Hillsborough Castle

Northern Ireland

 

Works in private collections in Australia, Canada,

Denmark, France, Greece, Guernsey, Hong Kong,

Ireland, Morocco, Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa,

Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, USA.

Résumé:

Solo Exhibitions Include:

  • 1988 Solomon Gallery, London
  • 1988 On the Wall Gallery, Belfast
  • 1990 Solomon Gallery, Dublin
  • 1991 Minerva Galleria D’Art, Barcelona
  • 1992 Solomon Gallery, Dublin
  • 1993 Waterman Fine Art, London
  • 1994 Solomon Gallery, Dublin
  • 1994 Mitchell Gallery, Toronto
  • 1995 Waterman Fine Art, London
  • 1996 Solomon Gallery, Dublin
  • 1997 Waterman Fine Art, London
  • 1998 Solomon Gallery, Dublin
  • 1999 Waterman Fine Art, London
  • 2000 Solomon Gallery, Dublin
  • 2002 Solomon Gallery, Dublin
  • 2003 Portland Gallery, Art London
  • 2004 Portland Gallery, London
  • 2005 Portland Gallery, International Art & Design Fair,
  • New York
  • 2005 AVA Gallery, Clandeboye
  • 2006 Portland Gallery, London
  • 2007 James Adams, Dublin
  • 2008 Portland Gallery, London
  • 2010 Ava Gallery, Clandeboye, Northern Ireland
  • 2011 Portland Gallery, London
  • 2015 Glenarm Castle, Glenarm, County Antrim
  • 2019 The Sol Gallery, Dublin

 

 

Private Collections Include:

 

  • HRH The Prince of Wales
  • Sir Anthony and Lady Chryss O’Reilly
  • The Rt Hon Christopher Patten
  • Dr Michael Smurfit
  • Mrs Norma Smurfit
  • Mr Dermot Desmond
  • Sir Gerry and Lady Robinson
  • Viscount and Viscountess Dunluce
  • Enya

 

 

Corporate Collections Include:

 

  • AIB Bank
  • Arthur Cox & Co Solrs
  • Arts Council Collection, Northern Ireland
  • British Government Art Collection
  • Citibank NA, Ireland
  • Deacon Barclays, de Zoete, Wedd, Toronto
  • Delta Airlines
  • Doyle Hotel Group
  • Durban Museum, South Africa
  • Elan Corporation Ltd
  • Galgorm Castle Hotel
  • Glaxo plc, UK
  • Goodbody Stockbrokers, Dublin
  • Harvard University, USA
  • Merrion Hotel, Dublin
  • International Investment & Underwriting Ltd
  • Irish Intercontinental Bank
  • Mrs Norma Smurfit
  • Jefferson Smurfit Group plc
  • Kildare Hotel & Country Club, Ireland
  • Marlfield House Hotel
  • Paul Mellon Collection, USA
  • RTZ Plc, UK
  • The Westbury Hotel Dublin
  • Ulster Bank Group
  • Ulster Museum Belfast
  • Waterford Wedgwood plc
  • WH Smith, London
  • Yale Center for British Art, USA