Kevin Cosgrove : A Peening Sound

The Butler Gallery is delighted to present A Peening Sound, an exhibition of new paintings by Kevin Cosgrove.

Kevin Cosgrove makes representational oil paintings on linen that concentrate on the motif of the workspace, de-populated factory interiors, mechanic’s workshops, lumber-yards; places where manual work takes place.

The title of the exhibition A Peening Sound refers to the sound of someone striking metal – bright, pure and precise. A ringing hammer has been linked to ideas of truth, industriousness and Gods justice. In several of these paintings, a stark white light flows in through a rectangular opening. In speaking with the artist, Cosgroe mentions a spiritual consciousness happening in the workshop paintings, where this white light flows in. Of particular interest to him, is the cultural and spatial shift that occurred during the Reformation, where places of worship were re-defined and cluttered idolatry made way for an austere and minimalist aesthetic. It could be said that these workshop paintings are a hybrid of both of these aesthetic choices and their corresponding set of ethics.

The crispness of Vermeer might be an influence

[Peening is the process of working a metal’s surface to improve its material properties, usually by mechanical means, such as hammer blows, by blasting with shot, or blasts of light beams with laser peening. Peening is normally a cold work process (laser peening being a notable exception). It tends to expand the surface of the cold metal, thereby inducing compressive stresses or relieving tensile stresses already present. Peening can also encourage strain hardening of the surface metal.]

In this exhibition, Cosgrove explores the making of much larger scale works, something he has long desired. In addition, a selection of medium sized works will convey a different, more seasoned sense of artistic authorship, freer in style with time constraints imposed upon the process. Using a more casual painterly approach and drawing on work from painters like Norbert Schwontkowski, post-Fauve André Derain and Stephen McKenna, these works will be reflective companions to the lucid large-scale workshop paintings. This self-critique or re-picturing of this form-content driven material has opened up new creative avenues for Cosgrove as a contemporary painter to fresh and relevant modes of expression.

October 29 – December 18, 2016. The Butler Gallery, Kilkenny

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