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Paul Winstanley’s paintings are meticulous, meditative renderings of vacated spaces such as waiting rooms, deserted passages and lobbies. Sometimes looking out from these interior spaces onto the landscape, Winstanley frames the natural world with the clean lines of 1970s utopian architecture. His spaces are those which are most often the last place you want to be: like doctors’ waiting rooms, or official spaces where people count minutes and wait their turn. Time is slowed down here and the smallest of details occupies the eye as it scrutinizes every crack and crevice. The time spent waiting is echoed in the time Winstanley has taken to paint in such refined and polished detail.

In this painting a common-or-garden white net curtain is elevated to the poetic status of a veil. Somehow the image is not benign and innocent; instead, as with many of Winstanley’s images, it is melancholic and unsettling. We are excluded by the veil, the space beyond it is hidden from us, and likewise we are concealed from that outer world.

MediumOil on linen
Dimensions Unframed, 200 x 185 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Purchase, 2002
Item NumberIMMA.1523
Copyright For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].
Image Caption
Paul Winstanley, Veil 11, 2002, Oil on linen, Unframed, 200 x 185 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Purchase, 2002

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

About the Artist

Paul Winstanley b.1954

English painter Paul Winstanley attended Cardiff College of Art and the Slade School of Fine Art. Recording spaces such as waiting rooms, passages and lobbies, Winstanley’s melancholic interiors ally the values of still life and landscape with contemporary photography and the clean lines of 1970s utopian architecture. The first major retrospective of Winstanley’s work was held at the Auckland Art Space in New Zealand in 2008. The solo exhibition ‘Self as Selves’ took place at IMMA in 2009.

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Important Notice


We would like to advise our visitors that our Main Reception area is closed for renovation from 22 April until mid-June.  A temporary reception is open on the ground floor next to the original main entrance. While we prepare to open our next exhibition Hilary Heron: A Retrospective on 24 May, there are two exhibitions to see Derry Film & Video Workshop and Self: Determination: Artists Commissions. IMMA’s gardens and café are open to the public.