Cadogan Gallery opens 'Richard Hearns: The Living Mountain'
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Cadogan Gallery opens 'Richard Hearns: The Living Mountain'
Richard Hearns, The Living Mountain. Installation shot, Cadogan Gallery, 2024. Photo: Pietra Studio. Courtesy: Cadogan Gallery.

MILAN.- Cadogan Gallery announced The Living Mountain, an exhibition by Lebanese artist Richard Hearns, who from May 14 to July 27 2024 presents an unprecedented series of works inspired by the wild landscapes of the Burren National Park in County Clare, Ireland, where he has been living for some time.

In his works, Hearns is inspired by the concept of genius loci, associating it with Lebanon and Ireland, the places that most influenced his biography. My dual heritage has greatly influenced and inspired my paintings – says the artist. The Irish have always had an outward looking perspective and a unique identity in the world. Likewise, throughout history, the Lebanese people have covered great expanses in order to explore, learn, trade and grow.

The exhibition’s title, The Living Mountain, is borrowed from the name of one of the artist’s latest paintings: a landscape fragmented in five large canvases, an homage to Turlough Mountain, where Turlough comes from the Irish words for “disappearing lake”.

About this work, the Irish author Niall Williams writes: “the paintings themselves are neither grey nor impassive. They are charged. They pulse first with energy, urgency and colour, and then, as you sit longer, tenderness and delicacy. [...] Sit before these five large paintings you feel the mountain come alive. You feel its otherness and its individuality, its strangeness and its beauty. [...] The paintings are not representations in the ordinary sense, but are in the extraordinary one, the mountain re-presented, presented again, in a different medium, with all of its contradictory and mysterious and ultimately unknowable character remade here through the hand and the spirit of a remarkable artist. It is alive. And like all living things, the longer you look the more you see”.

The series of works on display represents an idyllic extension of real landscapes, turned to abstraction through an expressionistic use of colour: not realistic views, therefore, but impressions recreated through the filter of experience and memory.

Born in 1980 in Beirut and raised in Ireland, Richard Hearns studied in Dublin at The Institute of Art, Design and Technology and later at The National College of Art and Design; his talent for drawing and line work led to a keen interest in observational painting. Though executed in a variety of media, his works are primarily oil based. In recent years, the artist has turned his attention to abstract painting: these works have brought an entirely new discipline and challenge to his practice. Hearns has been exhibiting for over a decade and, to date, has had solo shows in Dublin, London, Paris, Barcelona, Los Angeles and New York. His work can be found in important collections around the globe.

Operating since 1980, Cadogan Gallery has always been distinguished by its careful support of emerging, mid-career, established or critically acclaimed artists, and also by an unwavering commitment to nurturing relationships with generations of collectors and artists for over 40 years. Alongside its first gallery in South Kensington, London, Cadogan adds an international perspective to its exhibition programme by opening its first international venue in Milan. From spring 2023, in a typically Milanese light-filled space, with an approach focused on highlighting individual artists and a clear aesthetic identity, the new space will be the perfect place to showcase not only works by artists who have grown up with the gallery, but also an emerging new generation.

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