The Niland Collection: Patrick Hall Selects
Thu. 01 May – Sun. 25 May
The Model is delighted to present a selection drawn from The Niland Collection by the acclaimed artist Patrick Hall:
“In making this selection from The Niland Collection, I have decided to pass over the Jack Yeats’ paintings for which The Model is well known and which, indeed, constitute the core of the collection.
It did strike me, however, that Nora Niland, who collected the Yeats’ works, did so out of her own inner passion, at a time when there was no money whatever, or thought, to buy paintings, and that her example has not been built on or continued by public servants. So, along with Sir Hugh Lane, she stands out as one of the great patrons of art in Ireland since independence.
The Niland Collection has been growing, of course, if sluggishly, and a few works of significance and meaning have found their way into it. From these I have made my selection. Plus the little portrait of Willie McKeown, which I am lending to The Model temporarily.
Nick Miller’s fine and sympathetic Portrait of Barrie Cooke, 1997 is remarkable for its almost tenderness and achievement. Dorothy Cross’s small, poetic drawing has an acute vibrancy and sense of freedom. Martin Wedge’s strong painting is alive and quite realised. Alice Maher’s brave work is full of doggedness and faith. Gerard Dillon’s pieces, though far from his best work, have the breath of life in them and are true. Micky Donnelly’s Hat, 1991, in its ironic frame makes one laugh with pleasure.
On the whole it is a selection that is intended to allow one to contemplate the absences, what deserves to be in it and isn’t, maybe because no one was interested enough. And for that reason the empty wall spaces might refer to the works we could have, we should have had, but don’t.
Whatever the pros and cons of this selection may be, I hope it gives pleasure to some people, and perhaps a meditative pause.
Finally, I am grateful to Emer McGarry, the Acting Director for having allowed me to show these works together in this way.”