Dublin is not only the capital city of Ireland, but also the capital for contemporary art. From art galleries situated in Georgian houses to those that are within beautiful art spaces; Dublin is indeed a happy place for those who appreciate arts. Here is a list of the best contemporary art galleries in Dublin.
Kerlin Gallery was established in 1998 and has developed a name among Ireland’s top contemporary art galleries. The current gallery was designed by architect John Pawson last 1994 and is divided into two floors. It is located in the center of Dublin City, near Grafton Street; the gallery’s exhibit features several highlights including Andy Warhol retrospective in 1993 and two Hiroshi Sugimoto exhibits. Their latest exhibits include the work of the popular Irish artist Dorothy Cross, with scriptures and images that portrays the relation between the natural world and the human beings. In addition, the gallery has also featured several artists that were nominated for the Turner Prize. With the increasing number of notable artists that have exhibited in Kerlin Gallery, they remain to be one of the best galleries in Dublin in the contemporary arts arena.
The Molesworth gallery is located near Leinster House which is a small but great center for arts. The gallery is also divided into two floors of Georgian townhouse. It offers a wide variety of exhibition program and hosts at least 8 solo shows and 2 group exhibits per year. It was established and founded in 1999, representing approximately 20 breakthrough, as well as notable creative Irish artists. Aside from that, they have also collaborated with other art galleries and museums in terms of promoting their artists. The first floor of their gallery often features paintings, sculpture, and prints from the collection of several Irish artists. More often than not, they are featured among several critics’ list of best contemporary art galleries in Dublin, Ireland.
Dublin City Gallery the Hugh Lane
The Dublin City Gallery the Hugh Lane was founded in 1998 and was named after the reputable Irish art collector and public figure Hugh Lane. About a century ago, Hugh Lane opened a gallery called the Municipal Gallery of Modern Art that serves as a temporary home for his extensive art collection; however, he died during the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915. But, the Dublin City Gallery the Hugh Lane continued his legacy.
The gallery is situated at the Parnell Square in Charlemont House. Its architecture will surely catch your attention as it is unique to its location and is different from those that surround it. Some of its significant features include the art of Sean Sully and the studio recreation of Francis Bacon along with his collection of books, canvas, as well as photographs.
Gallery of Photography Ireland
The Gallery of Photography Ireland located in Dublin is the home of digital and film photography of the entire country. It was founded in the year 1978 by John Osman. It is currently located in Dublin’s Meeting House Square; a gallery that is purposely built in a space that has several darkrooms and facilities for digital photography. The gallery actually hosts various free exhibitions that showcase the works of Irish photographers, as well as those from outside Ireland.
In addition, the gallery organizes workshops and short courses aimed for those who desire to learn and develop their skills in photography and imaging. They also organize exhibits for popular artists such as Steve McCurry who was best known for his “Afghan Girl” photograph, featured on the cover of National Geographic in mid-1985. Aside from that, they also support and welcome breakthrough artists and organize graduate exhibits for those who are from Northern and Southern borders of Ireland.
Irish Museum of Modern Art
The Irish Museum of Modern Art, or IMMA, was built based on the renovated seventeenth century old hospital; thereby, resulting in a beautiful clash of contemporary and historical art. The architecture is based on the Les Invalides in Paris, giving off a formal theme with its huge and elegant courtyard. The hospital was restored in 1984 and was officially opened to the public as the Irish Museum Modern art in 1991.
IMMA offers a wide variety of exhibits including Eileen Gray (a popular Irish designer) and Philippe Parreno (an international artist). Lately, they hosted exhibits of Second Sight which is a collection of more than 500 photographs that were created over the last 2 decades by Dr. David Kronn; he promised this as a gift to the gallery. IMMA, therefore, is a combination of old and modern art; acknowledging past artists, as well as celebrating contemporary art.
Project Arts Centre
The Project Arts Centre started as a one-day event which eventually evolved into a 3-week art festival which was held at the Gate Theatre in the year 1966. Due to the event’s popularity, there became a need to establish a permanent gallery which is dedicated to contemporary arts. Ever since 2000, the gallery was located in Temple Bar; consisting of 2 spaces for art performances and a gallery. Over the years, Project Arts Centre has become among the leaders in the practice of contemporary art not only in Dublin, but in the entire Ireland.
Moreover, the gallery has established and launched many famous artists, including Gerard Byrne. Aside from that, they have also played a significant role in establishing the careers of famous musicians and actors, including U2 and Liam Neeson. They host more than 600 events and 6 exhibits annually and also organize several local and international festivals like Dublin Theatre Festival and Dublin Fringe Festival.
RUA RED is considered to be the South Dublin Arts Centre. It is home to various types of arts that feature all the members of the community. It is located at the Tallaght (an emerging cultural culture) which is just outside Dublin City center. They have programs that serves to inspire Irish and international audiences. They also partner with several local festivals and organizations in the creation of wide range of events and programs. Aside from that, the gallery also hosts visual art exhibits, theatre production, music events, film showing, performance pieces, dance recitals, as well as writing workshops.