In the picture
The Big Hitters
The recent renovation of the National Art Gallery of Ireland has left it utterly pristine. And inside, the heavyweight roll call of centuries of art remains as impressive as ever. Picasso, Monet, Carravagio and Titian are all represented, while Vermeer’s Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid and Velázquez’s Kitchen Maid with Supper at Emmaus could both argue to be the collection’s Mona Lisa.
Even though he spent the majority of his life in London, it’s here in Dublin’s Hugh Lane Gallery that Francis Bacon’s chaotic art studio has been painstakingly reassembled. Everything from the piles of sketch books and dried up tubes of paint, to the actual dust (scraped up and scattered) is as he left it.
Modelled on Les Invalides in Paris, the Irish Museum of Modern Art sits in a seventeenth-century hospital for veterans, with meticulously manicured gardens. That in itself is worth the 30-minute trip out of the city centre. Inside is just as good: a permanent collection of 3,500 works by Irish and international artists, both emerging and established, is shown in a rotating programme. A five-year loan of 50 exquisite Lucian Freud paintings and drawings can be seen until 2021.
An eclectic outdoor gallery of youth culture, the city centre is emblazoned with large-scale murals that are sometimes political, sometimes humorous and always culturally relevant. Armed with spray cans, artists like Maser – who has even left his mark of genius on the facades of Kildare Village – have brought a bright burst of colour to the capital’s public spaces – and given visiting Instagrammers good reason to embark on a major tagging spree.
Art Meets Science
In a corner of the grounds of Trinity College, the Science Gallery provides space for interactive exhibitions that challenge the world around us. Last summer’s blockbuster ‘Perfection’ questioned the human quest for flawlessness via performance art and a biometric mirror.
Plus, don’t miss an array of art installations at Kildare Village, a member of The Bicester Village Shopping Collection, less than an hour from Dublin.