Project Description


Gwen O’Dowd was born in Dublin in 1957 and now divides her time between her studios in Wexford and Dublin. O’Dowd is one of Ireland’s foremost contemporary artists; she has received many awards and prizes and is a member of Aosdána.

Writing of O’Dowd’s paintings in her Grand Canyon series, critic Medb Ruane notes:

“O’Dowd creates her visual encounters by working through surface details from a series of structural planes which both organise the composition and toughen up the two-dimensional limits of the canvas. She sections these planes like an architectural anatomist, sometimes making transverse slices, sometimes cutting downwards from sky to bedrock. …Close up, her use of mediums with oil, textures the surfaces so that they have both a craggy feel and a pointed sense of a landscape where nothing is ever still.”

“Her formal concerns have always been rooted deeply in the tradition of landscape painting, yet the specific locales from which she has drawn inspiration, the modes of addressing them, and the metaphoric import of the resulting series of paintings have varied considerably over the years. Among the aspects of the landscape O’Dowd has registered over the past decade are the ecological devastation of the Gulf War, the epic grandeur of the Grand Canyon and, most recently, the mythically sexualised landscape of rural Ireland.”

(Catalogue Entry: In the Time of Shaking, Art for Amnesty, Irish Museum of Modern Art)


Selected Exhibitions

  • 2022 New Works from the Studio, Hillsboro Fine Art, Dublin, Ireland
  • 2019 Limen, Hillsboro Fine Art, Dublin, Ireland
  • 2015 Tonn, Hillsboro Fine Art, Dublin, Ireland
  • 2012 Across Three Decades (with Eilís O’Connell), Hillsboro Fine Art, Dublin, Ireland
  • 2010 Sea, Hillsboro Fine Art
  • 2009 Works on Paper, Hillsboro Fine Art, Dublin, Ireland
  • 2007 Waterbased, Hillsboro Fine Art
  • 2004 Cladach, Hillsboro Fine Art, Dublin
  • 2004 In the Time of Shaking, Art for Amnesty, Irish Museum of Modern Art
  • 2003 Spaces, Vangard Gallery, Cork
  • 2000 Ashford Gallery, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin
  • 2000 Artists Century, RHA Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
  • 2000 Artists Century, Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • 1999 British Contemporary Landscape, Flowers East, London, England
  • 1998 Art into Print, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1998 Art First, Cork Street, London, England
  • 1997 Re: Dressing Cathleen, Boston College, USA
  • 1997 Kerlin Gallery, Dublin
  • 1996 L’Imaginaire Irlandais, Galerie Claude-Samuel, Paris, France
  • 1995 Grand Canyon Series, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin
  • 1994 Coram Gallery, London, England
  • 1993 Recent Acquisitions, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland
  • 1992 Welcome Europe, Holstebro Kunstmuseum, Denmark
  • 1992 Kerlin Gallery, Dublin
  • 1990 Kerlin Gallery, Dublin
  • 1990 Nature and Culture, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin
  • 1990 24th International Prix of Contemporary Art, Monte Carlo
  • 1991 Parable Island, Blue Coat Gallery, Liverpool
  • 1989 The Butler Gallery, Kilkenny
  • 1989 West Cork Arts Centre, County Cork
  • 1988 Mid-Wales Open, Aberystwyth, Wales
  • 1987 Fishguard, Wales
  • 1985 Edinburgh/Dublin Exhibition, Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 1985 Group Exhibition, Taylor Galleries, Dublin
  • 1984 Project Arts Centre, Dublin
  • 1984 16 Artists, Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin