11 Aug 2022

National Gallery of Ireland’s exhibition New Perspectives features art with a Kilkenny connection

Jane O'Malley exhibition opens on Saturday in Butler Gallery

Jane O'Malley with her late husband, Tony O'Malley

The National Gallery of Ireland has announced a new exhibition which features a Kilkenny flavour.
New Perspectives, a show comprised of acquisitions made by the Gallery between 2011 to 2020, has been launched to coincide with the Gallery reopening after 137 days of closure.
The exhibition highlights two works with a Kilkenny connection. Callan artist Tony O’Malley’s The Granite Land of Cornwall ‑ Winter, 1964 is featured as is Gerry Davis’s iconic portrait of the former Kilkenny hurler, Portrait of Henry Shefflin. This painting was the winner’s commission for the National Gallery of Ireland’s annual Portrait Prize, which Davis won in 2016.
The latest exhibition will allow the public to view many of new acquisitions to the national collection for the first time. Some highlights include Cityscape by American artist Alice Neel and City Rectangle by Ilya Bolotowsky.
New Perspectives also features works that have been purchased by Friends and Patrons of the National Gallery of Ireland, including Her First Communion by John Lavery and Crayfish by Anne Yeats.
As ever, visitor safety is at the heart of all reopening plans. The Gallery is operating a one-way system, and so entry is via Merrion Square only.
To comply with health and safety protocols at the Gallery those intending to visit any part of the Gallery will be required to pre-book free tickets, for contact tracing purposes.
Tickets for New Perspectives can be purchased online, starting from €5. Tickets can be booked by visiting
The popular national collection is open to the public for free, and the much-loved Gallery Shop reopened on site on May 17.
“We are very happy to be open again after months of closure,” said Sean Rainbird, Director of the National Gallery of Ireland. “These extraordinary times have reinforced the importance and value of the National Gallery of Ireland.
“After months of staying at home, we know that people are craving culture and live experiences, and we are delighted to welcome our visitors back.
“Our latest exhibition New Perspectives is a culmination of 10 years’ of acquisitions. Visitors will find great variety in the show, and the stories behind each work are truly fascinating. We are grateful to our friends, patrons and the public for their support over the last number of months.
“I especially would like to thank our Friends and Patrons, without whom, some of the art showcased in New Perspectives, would not have come to be here,” he added. “We look forward to seeing you all over the coming weeks and months.”
That sentiment was echoed by Niamh MacNally, Curator at the National Gallery of Ireland.
“There is something for everyone in this exhibition,” she said. “A great variety of subject matter, landscapes, portraits – visitors will recognise some of the places and faces that feature too.
Gender Balance
“Over the past decade, we have been working hard on gender balance in the national collection, and this exhibition features almost an even split of work by male and female artists. The earliest work in the exhibition dates back 500 years and the most recent work was created just last year.
“It has been a privilege to get to know these works and to learn more about the story that accompanies each one. I’m sure visitors to the Gallery will feel the same.”
To accompany the exhibition - or for those who cannot attend in person - a programme of online activity will run alongside it including podcasts, pop-up videos, interactive webinars and guided tours.
Events and activities will cater to all ages and focus on three themes: ways of collecting; a practical focus on variety of media; and a closer look at some of the contemporary artists represented in this exhibition. The artists will give their perspectives on their work and share what it means for them to be included in the national collection.
A companion book for the New Perspectives – Acquisitions 2011-2020 exhibition can be purchased from the Gallery’s online shop, price €22.50.

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