Denis Farrell New Paintings 2005 at Norwalk Community College June 12 through August 16, 2005

June 11, 2005 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
Contact: Melissa Slattery, NCC Public Relations Office, 203-857-7264

Norwalk, Connecticut-Denis Farrell left Manhattan after 10 years, returning to his birthplace, Co. Monagham in Ireland. There, he established his studio and began painting small, grid-based abstracts reminiscent of the urban environment he'd left behind in the United States. Farrell is a graduate of Yale University and a Fulbright scholar, he is also the former proprietor of the Bingo Hall Gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which had the distinction of being named after it's 24-hour canine attendent, Bingo.

This new work offers Farrell's stance as a painter, who, in the words of Mike Fitzpatrick, Director of the Limerick City Art Gallery:
“…is at all times wary of the current tide. For the contemporary painter, this wariness, this fear of engaging in the redundant, this dread of failure of the language they have chosen to be faithful; is in fact their one true rationale”.

At NCC, Farrell presents a suite of a dozen plus small paintings and diptychs. First presented at the Irish Arts Center in Manhattan this past March, the paintings are squarish,
abstracts composed of oils and enamels. Upon first glance one must ask, “Is this ground-breaking work?” The answer is, “Yes.” In fact these energetic “field” paintings are literally groundbreaking.

Critic Ciaran Bennett, in an essay on Farrell's current show, remarks: “The internal dynamics confirm the notion of formalism, while obliterating such structural confirmations. …An interwoven mesh with speckled splotches of migraine intensity electrifies the surface with their unity of tone, touching a raw nerve. This eclectic pulsating sparkle of neurological discordance, simultaneously blinds the brain with electrical discharge, and splashes the inner eyelids with the night sky of sparkling effervescent pinpoints of penetrating needle-like rapture.”

This viewer takes note of the needle-like aspect, and the interwoven grip of sticky oil paint over hard, shiny enamel. The paintings remind me of beautiful Irish woolens, draped on a stonewall in a sodden field, shimmering and blinking as the sun breaks through dark clouds.

They are a small, wooly herd of breathing, warm things, their scale belying their power as potent ideas. They are worthy of a visit and considerate of the certain historical progression of the practice of painting.

Admission to the Farrell exhibition is free. The atrium gallery is located on NCC's east campus at 188 Richards Avenue in Norwalk, Connecticut. Hours are Monday through Thursday, 9 am to 9 pm; Saturday, 9 am to noon; and Sunday, 1-4 pm. For further information please call 203/857-3323.