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July 29, 2004

Maureen Gallace in the Hyde

Icy Barns by Maureen GallaceDUBLIN -- I shared a Gallace moment in the Douglas Hyde Gallery today. It happened through layers of white oil on canvas that evoked a shared memory, captured by the artist in her quiet, fastidious way. The cavernous void of the Douglas Hyde Gallery swallows Maureen Gallace's paintings but not to the detriment of the artwork. For Gallace understates her craft as a matter of course and those who know her art understand the need to see it up close.

The paintings of Maureen Gallace reduce landscapes to basic geometric shapes. Her sensitive and understated approach captures the personalities of faces and the essence of activities in her small paintings.

I got stuck on "Icy Barns" because the cynic in me tried to stamp "Sunday painter" on the work. After all, it's a lot of white oil on white canvas with a few apex shapes and diagonal lines thrown in for good measure. But 15 minutes after stopping in front of the painting, I was getting closer to a quiet Sunday afternoon beach house. It could have been Cape Cod or deep in a Lithuanian winter. I felt I could linger because the scene is devoid of humans, traffic, or birds. Gallace had shared the serenity of the moment with me. I moved on when a quiet couple shuffled up behind my viewing point.

Maureen Gallace is in the Douglas Hyde Gallery through September 1, 2004. Gallace's "Icy Barns" (2003) is on loan from Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles, California.


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