Works by Limerick artists in 'major demand'

Artists remain highly sought after

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

Works by Limerick artists in 'major demand'

This work by Adare based Henry Morgan made €3,200 at auction

GALWAY may lay claim to being the arts capital of the country, but artists from Limerick remain the most highly sought after, an auctioneer has said.

Niall Dolan of Dolan’s arts and antiques said all work by Limerick artists sold above their guide prices at their recent auction in Wexford.

One of the works by Limerick artist Henry Morgan sold for three times above its guide, fetching €3,200 on the day.

“Henry Morgan certainly is an artist on the up-and-up. At every auction the interest in his work has increased and it’s now quite noticeable. I have been saying to years to look at his work, because it has been grossly under-priced and under-valued to date,” Mr Dolan told the Limerick Leader.

“A lot of the big names of the 20th century –Thomas Ryan, Sean Keating – are all Limerick, and in recent times you have [John] Shinnors, [Donald] Teskey, Morgan. There’s a whole rake of really good contemporary artists from Limerick.

He said that it is “gratifying to see the market is beginning to firm up, and there’s life coming back to it now. The resurgence always starts in Dublin and maybe six to 12 months later it begins to ripple down the country. This time, the crowd was bigger and there was more money being spent.”

Two years ago a work by Jack B. Yeats sold for €120,000, but the majority of their lots – of which 80% are paintings –  sell for more affordable sums.

Their next auction will be held on the August Bank Holiday week in Connemara, which will feature up to 600 lots.

Meanwhile, the first major solo exhibition in years by renowned Limerick artist John Shinnors will open in Dublin’s Taylor Galleries on Kildare Street on Thursday, June 1.

The 66-year-old will unveil 14 pieces, in his idiosyncratic three-tone abstract style.

The sale of Shinnors’ work given the fluctuating prices in the art market will be viewed with interest, particularly following his comments earlier this year. “If you were Rembrandt and had an exhibition in a gallery today you would struggle to sell in the Irish market. The only market is for the old - the dead [artists],” he says, citing the work of Jack B. Yeats, Sir William Orpen and Sir John Lavery as being impenetrable to the economic storm.

The Dolan’s auction results are: Diane Copperwhite’s Cypress Mountain, sold for €1,000; Henry Morgan’s A Woodland Stream sold for €3,200; Sean Keating’s An Sean Fhear sold for €3,250; Charles Harper’s Skellig Monks sold for €4,200; Jack Donovan’s Circus Ring sold for €2,500; Charles Harper’s Transitory Landscape sold for €3,000; Henry Morgan’s Water Cascade sold for €2,800.