James Hanley RHA: One Day | Work from the Life Room
James Hanley hosts his first solo exhibition in over six years, with Solomon Fine Art at 15 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2 from 4-10 March 2011. The forthcoming show represents a full year’s work in the life room and brings together approximately 80 nudes and figure studies on paper and canvas, each one having been completed in a single sitting of just a few hours duration.
James Hanley has always been one of the driving forces behind the revival of the life room at the Royal Hibernian Academy and over the past ten years or so has organised and participated in the regular RHA Thursday life drawing sessions. Working in the life room is something that appeals by its very nature to James’ sense of tradition and continuity. For a particularly sociable animal who spends such a significant percentage of his waking life on his own in his studio, the pleasure of working regularly with other artists in the life room is immense. Experimenting with different materials and media, while sharing the experience with artists who work in various ways and at varying paces, has expanded his working vocabulary, allowing him to examine his own methods and open up to new experiences. This concentrated focus for a finite period of time on the person being recorded is liberating, compared to the usual level of preparation required for larger work and naturally creates a situation where each attempt is a chance to try something new.
James Hanley was born in Dublin in 1965 and is regarded as one of Ireland’s leading young painters. More recently he has made a name for himself as the country’s foremost portrait painter. These works range from the personal, individual and relaxed, to the official formal portraits required by corporations, institutions, organisations and the State. His work is in numerous public and private collections including IMMA, the Arts Council, AIB and the European Parliament and he is one of only a handful of living artists whose work is represented in the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland.