Luan Gallery presents DECADE by famed Irish portrait painter

James Hanley RHA comes to Luan Gallery this November with his first solo show since 2011: DECADE. Taking a look back at the past ten years of this seminal artist’s career, DECADE celebrates the work of one of Ireland’s most renowned portrait artists.

A retrospective exhibition, DECADE includes samples of Hanley’s celebrated portraiture and surveys six other themes explored and developed through the artist’s practice.

Gallery manager Aedín McGinn says: “We are thrilled to present DECADE by James Hanley RHA at Luan Gallery. It is a great kudos for the town of Athlone and for Luan Gallery to host a solo exhibition by one of the country’s leading artists. Thanks to the generosity of a number of lenders, we have acquired a variety of portraits borrowed from private collections around the country. This creates a unique opportunity to view work by the artist which otherwise would not be seen in the public sphere. These portraits with a selection of other pieces including nudes, design, statues, oils and souvenirs present an all-encompassing overview of Hanley’s artistic practice over the past 10 years.”

Hanley’s expertly painted representations of public figures such as Bertie Ahern and former Olympian Ronnie Delany have led him to be called “the unofficial court painter of the Irish Establishment”. He has also been a driving force behind the revival of the ‘life room’ drawing sessions at the Royal Hibernian Academy. A most accomplished figure amongst the Irish arts community, Hanley has been elected to the RHA, Aosdána, and the Governors and Guardians of the National Gallery of Ireland.

Ennis-born artist and fellow eminent portrait painter Mick O’Dea RHA will introduce the exhibition at the launch in Luan Gallery on Friday November 1 at 6pm.

The exhibition also marks the first birthday of the gallery space which was officially opened in 2012.


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