Hughie O’Donoghue’s recent exhibition, his first in London in three years (at Fabian Carlsson, London, 15th September to 28th October) confirms him to be one of the most powerful of the younger artists now being associated with a `School of London’. His new pictures represent a distillation of themes and ideas that were already evident in his earlier work. These include an exploration of the elements of earth, water, fire and air, interest in both northern and classical myth and concern for what man does to man as symbolised by the respect accorded to the human body. The exhibition’s title, Fires, referred both to the artist’s continuing exploration of the elements as reflected in the titles of his works: Fires, The Irish Sea, Terrain, Chasm, and also to what enthuses or `fires’ the artist.
Caryl Beach: I find the painting of Hughie O’Donoghue a great inspiration.
His work has encouraged me to explore painting again and my new work to be shown in Hertford this month is a direct response to his exhibition at James Hyman Gallery:2008
Hughie O’Donoghue: The Geometry of Paths, James Hyman Gallery, London.
Hughie O’Donoghue is one of the most ambitious painters at work today. His subjects are history, memory and myth. At the heart of his work is the reimagining of individual lives such as the hardship of itinerant Irish labourers or the experience of his father in the Second World War.
O’Donoghue’s powerful figurative paintings and drawings often draw from the old Masters and have been compared to School of London painters such as Francis Bacon.