Seamus O’Rourke—Dark Inventory

Preview: Wednesday 12th November 2014, 6–8pm

2014 marks the 75th anniversary of the burning of ‘Entartete Kunst’ or painting and drawings termed ‘Degenerate Art’ by the Nazis in 1939. It is estimated that 1,004 paintings and 3,825 works on paper were completely destroyed during March 1939. O’Rourke examines the empty spaces left behind after thousands of these artworks were confiscated from public galleries and museums throughout Germany and which were subsequently burned in Berlin by the Reich. In this ongoing ‘Dark Inventory’ series the artist engages with politicizing the space between what is visible and what is absent. He emphasises this critical moment in the history of Modernism in Europe with a corresponding reductive process on paper. These drawings investigate ideas concerning censorship and loss, examining art as a form of commemoration with a dual critical strand. O’Rourke tests how art is both recognised and invalidated in society and acts as a form of commentary or dissent in a controlling society and how constant scrutiny is necessary to protect freedom of speech.

Born Co. Wexford 1964, Seamus O' Rourke studied at Waterford RTC, Limerick School of Art & Design, completing his M.A. in Fine Art at University of Ulster Belfast 1994. He has exhibited extensively with solo shows at Entoderweder Galerie, Germany in 1992, 1996 and 2000. Galerie Tendenz, Sindelfingen, Germany in 1997, Limerick City Gallery of Art at the Hunt Museum 1997, Gallery Sanjo, Kyoto, Japan 2003, The Workroom, Dublin 2003, Broadstone Studios, Dublin 2008 and 2011.

Group exhibitions have included: Belfast Young Contemporaries 1994, EV+A 1995, 1998, 1999, 2005, RHA Gallagher Gallery, Butler Gallery Kilkenny 1999, Cheltenham Open Drawing Exhibition 1999, 15th International Triennale of Drawing, Moderna Galerija, Rijeka, Croatia 2000, 1st International Drawing Biennale, Melbourne,Australia ( Award winner) 2001, Galerie Voelcker & Freunde, Berlin, 2003, Goethe Institute, Dublin 2003, 5th International Biennale of Drawing, Pilzen, Czech Republic, 2006, Galerie Inga Kondeyne , Berlin, 2007, Monster Truck Gallery, Dublin, 2009, Cross Gallery, Dublin, 2010, Ormston House, Limerick 2012, 5th International Drawing Exhibition, Museum for Architecture, Wroclaw, Poland, 2012, Catalyst Art Gallery, Belfast, 2014, Williamsburg Art & Historical Center (WAH), Brooklyn, New York 2014.

Awards: He has received Arts Council of Ireland awards in 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2003. Also Cultural Relations Committee Awards in 1992, 1997 and 2000. In 2001, he received an award in the 1st International Drawing Biennale, Melbourne, Australia. Currently his drawing ‘Missing Pictures’ was selected by Claire Gilman Curator of Drawing Center, New York ( for inclusion in ‘ Over the Edge: Paperworks Unbound) - Co Curated by Yuko Nii and Rebecca Cuomo at the WAH Center, Brooklyn, NYC which continues until December 28th. He has a studio at Broadstone Studios and lives in Dublin.