Sinéad Ní Mhaonaigh (b 1977) graduated with a BA in Fine Art Painting from Dublin Institute of Technology in 2001. In 2010 Ní Mhaonaigh was recipient of the Hennessy Craig Scholarship and was awarded The HOTRON Award 2019 by VISUAL Carlow for outstanding work. She was shortlisted for the Marmite Prize for Painting 2016, and the John Moores Painting Prize 2018. Ní Mhaonaigh is represented by the Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin, and 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel, New York. Ní Mhaonaigh was recently elected a member of the RHA.
Recent solo exhibitions include Structure (2022) at 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel; Struchtúr (2022), Dúil Series (2021) and Teorainn (2020) at Kevin Kavanagh Gallery; Cnuasach (2021) at Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre; and Macalla (2020) at Mermaid Arts Centre. Ní Mhaonaigh exhibited as part of VOLTA New York in a solo presentation in 2016, and her work has been presented at major international art fairs, including Art Market Budapest and VOLTA Basel. Ní Mhaonaigh’s paintings are held in many important public collections, including the Centre Culturel Irlandais (Paris), Crawford Art Collection (Cork), Butler Gallery Collection (Kilkenny), Ernesto Ventós (Barcelona), Luciano Benetton Collection (Treviso), O’Brien Art Collection (Chicago) and The Arts Council of Ireland (Dublin), as well as private collections in Ireland, across Europe and in the Unites States.
A substantial publishing archive has developed around Ní Mhaonaigh’s painting practice over the years, with her exhibitions attracting significant media coverage, as well as critical and scholarly engagement through the inclusion of her work in a vast range of catalogues, books, journals and periodicals. Ní Mhaonaigh is regularly invited to deliver public lectures and participate in conferences, while she also widely contributes to Irish language broadcasting across radio and television.
Sinéad Ní Mhaonaigh is innately concerned with the material qualities of paint, and the physical act of painting itself. Resisting the confinements of allegory, she earnestly engages with painting as its own autonomous language. Much like a poet, Ní Mhaonaigh is interested in ambiguity and in anachronisms. It has been said that she is a painter who suggests rather than represents. Over the past two decades, Ní Mhaonaigh has presented solo exhibitions whose titles comprise singular words, derived from the Irish language, that describe the lived environment. These include Struchtúr, Cnuasach, Imlíne, Eatramh, Imeall, and Ardán – which translate into English as Structure, Cluster, Contour, Interval, Margin, and Platform. This litany of nouns serves to emphasise prevailing concerns in her work, relating to the exploration and elaboration of bounded space. One is free to interpret this in formal terms, as the construction of pictorial architecture, or as a gesture towards more symbolic or enigmatic spaces. Indeed, rather than addressing the particular or the parochial, Ní Mhaonaigh’s paintings achieve an ‘opening up’ of landscape to consider universal themes of language, ancestry, and timeless depictions of place.
Born in 1977, Dublin, Ireland.
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