Born in Enniskillen, Gerard McGourty is a self-taught artist who, since 1989, has had numerous solo exhibitions and is represented in major private collections in Ireland and the USA. He is an artist-in-residency in Millrace Gallery, Blackrock, co Dublin and a member of a various galleries across Ireland.
On art, galleries and understanding the role of an artist – read more in the booklet Word of Art, commissioned by Millrace Gallery and available for download.
A bog, a blackbird and a bicycle – an imagery of Fermanagh and early life of the self taught artist… It was a time later overshadowed by the “troubles” of Northern Ireland, but the woodland and fields provided a natural heaven, a place where simple ideas could germinate and later become the canvas.
Even after much travels or periods abroad there isn’t a conscious attempt to be “intellectual” or aloof. Like the poet Patrick Kavanagh or Keats, the fullness of nature and the human place in it provides more inspiration than academic theory. This for me doesn’t mean trying to copy the landscape, or the flowers in a vase, but to paint almost to discover what is so freely available in nature, as if one was seeking an answer to unlock the prisoner.“I have made my canvas a wonderful exploratory machine, where I investigate different phenomena, through the prism of history, childhood experience, the effects in society of current economics and managements, romance, travel, in fact the gamut of human experience, and the constant search”.
Art critics on his work:
‘Framing pictures for Christies in London in 1983 awakened Gerard McGourty’s interest in Art. While exposure to artists such as Monet, Van Gogh and Munch introduced him to Modernism and Expressionism, McGourty’s work can best be described as a love affair with paint. The work exists without the structures or characteristics of draftsmanship, yet the paintings are rooted in an instinctive and natural grasp of composition, harmony and balance.
Images emerge almost despite his method of applying paint, usually working on the canvas without a plan. Accidental effects are embraced allowing a freshness and renewal of expression. It’s a fearless even reckless approach to painting. The works take on a life of their own allowing freedom of interpretation and interaction between viewer and painting’
– Blue Leaf Gallery
‘Expressionist? Modernist? Contemporary Art? Perhaps, New Celtic Expressionism? None of the experts are really sure of how to categorise Gerard’s work but they are unanimous in recognising its strength’
– Sol Art Gallery