Earth, Rock, Water, Sky: Connemara Paintings

Joseph Byrne

September 10-October 15, 2016

Earth, Rock, Water, Sky: Connemara Paintings

Opening Reception: Saturday, September 10, 2-5 p.m.

Byrne’s newest series of paintings are loosely based on the landscape of Roundstone Bog in the Connemara region of west Ireland. As Byrne writes, “My fascination with this area is both personal—my maternal grandmother was born in a fishing village near the bog—and conceptual. The geological history of the bog is fascinating, and the contemporary characteristics of this austere landscape present visual problems that intrigue and challenge me as a painter.

Although rooted in the act of observation, these paintings incorporate fictional constructs. Byrne’s paintings negotiate the space between reality and the artist’s subjective response. From the physical world to the act of creating marks, the artist’s thoughts and experiences interrupt, and defined structures – such as a field of rocks – become abstract arrangements of color. This exhibition includes small works of casein on paper as well as larger oil on canvas paintings.

Byrne has exhibited his work throughout the U.S. and has enjoyed numerous grants and fellowships including two residencies at the McDowell Colony in New Hampshire as well as an Artist in Residence at the American Academy in Rome. Byrne taught painting at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota from 1987 to 2000. He currently resides in Hartford, Connecticut where he teaches in the studio arts program at Trinity College.

The artist will be present at the opening reception on Saturday, September 10 from 2 to 5 p.m. The exhibition runs concurrently with Wistman’s Wood, an exhibition of new work by Joyce Lyon in the Annex at Groveland Gallery. Both exhibitions continue through October 15.