Gerard Byrne's en plein air oil paintings and charcoal sketches reflect the artist's everlasting love for architecture, plants, cityscape and landscape. Whether in his London urban landscapes or depiction of Brighton's architectural gems Byrne's unique qualities is to represent the past and present simultaneously. In every painting he shows both what is now and what is in danger of being lost or has been lost already. But it is not simply different times that are brought together in a single image or scene in his work but also different places. Byrne's Brighton could be Italy or the French countryside. His scenes of contemporary London and party life are London but they could be New York or Paris. His New York might be Dublin or Amsterdam.
Gerard Byrne's unique blend, near kaleidoscope, of style and subject explain his emergence as an established force in Irish art and increasing internationally. Selection of Gerard's modern impressionistic paintings from his latest collection will be showcased 9-12 March 2017 at Battersea Affordable Art Fair London.
Gerard Byrne's interest in diverse themes invites numerous exhibition opportunities and determines a choice of international and the UK events he participates in. In the upcoming visual arts initiative and fundraiser 'Incognito' Gerard explores the beauty of Dublin cityscapes on postcard-size scale, while late summer painting trip to eastern Poland focused on the rural landscape. On 16th and 17th July Gerard was participating for the very first time in Pintar Rapido London, the UK's biggest plein air painting festival winning outstanding 2nd Prize in a 'professional artists' category. First weekend of September he was capturing picturesque Amsterdam's famous canals competing in the following Pintar Rapido Amsterdam festival, resulting in the exhibit of two fabulous art pieces extraordinarily completed within just one day.
'Gerard Byrne, from Ireland, is one of the more established painters of the fair. His landscapes are dynamic and spontaneous. His style is rich with texture and vibrancy, while his scorches and perspectives give an extraordinary depth and movement to the canvases. An excellent plein-air painter.'
Art Critic, ICAC Art Critics, Parallax Art Fair London 2015
'Like many of the impressionists, with his out of door scenes, he works en plein air working with or at the times against the elements. He uses oil for its "buttery finish" and the way it flows and mixes on the canvas. Colour is of the utmost importance to Gerry as it is always a challenge to imitate nature and capture light. He welcomes this challenge with interest.
Gerard is exploring the themes of impressionism in a contemporary manner capturing the transience and atmosphere, but most of all the emotion.'
Art Dealer, Owner Greenlane Gallery Dingle, 2008
'Byrne is a self-taught artist who has reached international acclaim with his impressionistic, yet unique, style. His work is highly regarded in both private and corporate collections.
Getting his inspiration from the natural beauty that surrounds us. Byrne has an extraordinary capability of capturing the energy and movement of life, transferring it on to canvas with his vibrant warm palette, giving the viewer a feeling of participation. So full of life is his work, that one finds oneself, sun in face, walking the small, winding roads of Killiney Hill or accepting a drink from that smiling waiter whilst surrounded by colourful party people.
Byrne is a versatile artist with huge talent in both architectural and landscape paintings, as well as in figurative and still life subjects. True to the principles of impressionism his landscape and street scenes are worked out of doors giving most significance to the effects of natural light.'
Art Dealer, Owner Irish Fine Art Dublin, 2005
'Irish weather is not conductive to 'plein air' painting. Traditionally, those who persist in sketching outdoors have been forced to paint small scale studies, which are invariably used as preparatory notes for larger finished paintings in the Studio.
It was with some surprise therefore that I encountered an artist (Gerard Byrne) on a Dublin street, battling the elements, surrounded by onlookers, painting a large canvas. The sheer size of Byrne's canvases, some as large as 48 x 60 inches dictated the development of a direct bold technique of paint application full of bravura. He can often be observed sketching on steps, in a doorway or on a rooftop where his vibrant palette and unique perspective plunge the viewer into canvases awash with colour and movement.His most recent paintings come from the glasshouses in the Botanic Gardens where he worked surrounded by plants yet protected from the bad Summer weather.
There is, however, a very different aspect of Byrne's work which may surprise the viewer. When confined to his Studio he conjures up colourful figurative arrangements from earlier sketches in Dublin's Cafés, Pubs and Nightclubs where party revellers and jazz musicians are portrayed with gusto. He also paints large Still Lifes with dramatic light effects and again from unusual angles. All of his work, whatever the subject matter, share a lively palette, intuitive compositional skills and a 'joie de vivre'.'
Picture Restorer, Art Dealer, Owner Gorry Gallery Dublin, 1998
'There's always a great feeling of excitement when a new artist's talent is discovered. Although Gerard Byrne has only been painting seriously for two years, he displays an exceptional natural ability and an obvious ease with his medium. Living art is fresh, young and vital to the successful continuation of the Irish Art scene. It is a privilege for us to be involved with the initiation and nurturing of a new member of this scene. It is also a tremendous opportunity for those who are interested to support the young artists who will be the big names of tomorrow. Also, with such an ever increasing number of new buyers anxious to acquire quality works of Irish Art, this is the correct area in which to invest one's capital. Artists like Gerard Byrne and his contemporaries should be supported and encouraged to continue their work and it is so important for us all to realise artists' abilities while they are an active force in living art.
Gerard Byrne is a dedicated, prolific and exceptionally talented artist. We feel his work is very well worth representing on a permanent basis. This exhibition is, therefore, a stimulating and profound to what will be a long and significant career.'
Susan Stairs A.N.C.A.D.
Author, Art Consultant, The George Gallery Dublin, 1989