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Paul Nugent, b.1964

Cardinal 61997

Paul Nugent’s art is located in the ambivalent areas of past and present; multiplicity and uniqueness; presence and absence. Working in series, from the earlier ‘Six Sisters’ to this ‘Cardinal’ series of seven, Nugent paints a single ecclesiastical figure in a manner that evokes earlier Dutch and Renaissance art. Starting from a single photograph, the artist draws the figure on gessoed board over which acrylic paint is applied followed by washes of colour and glazes. The paintings appear as single colourfield abstract paintings at first glance and only reveal their contents over time.
The figure is repeated in a fugue-like movement across the series as it alternatively moves towards us and then away, is obscured and revealed, setting up associations between what we see, know and remember. Nugent did not intend the works to be viewed chronologically but rather in the manner of their creation, “slowly and contemplatively”*.

*Statement from the artist, January 1998, IMMA

MediumOil & acrylic on board
Dimensions 85 x 55 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Purchase, 1997
Item NumberIMMA.793
Copyright For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].
Image Caption
Paul Nugent, Cardinal 6, 1997, Oil & acrylic on board, 85 x 55 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Purchase, 1997

For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].

About the Artist

Paul Nugent b.1964

Irish painter Paul Nugent attended the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. Influenced by photographic reproductions of 18th century paintings, Nugent’s practice explores ideas of multiplicity and uniqueness, presence and absence. Constructed by layering acrylic paint over drawings on gessoed boards, his paintings appear as single colour field abstracts and reveal their contents over time. A solo exhibition of Nugent’s work took place at the VOLTA NY, New York in 2012.

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