Brian Fay

The Most Recent Forever 
Brian Fay 

18 February to 25 March 2023

The opening on Saturday 18 February at 2.00pm will take the form of an informal gallery talk between artist Brian Fay and writer and curator, Sarah Kelleher.

The exhibition is presented as a national tour, enabled by an Arts Council Touring Award, by Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda (8 October – 12 November 2022), with Limerick City Gallery of Art (1 December 2022 – 12 February 2023) and Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre.

Brian Fay's exhibition The Most Recent Forever provides a space for reflection on different ideas of time and how we might understand them, providing an overview of the artist’s drawing practice that has, for the last two decades, explored ideas of temporality, change and ephemerality in artworks as a way of standing in for our own experience of time.

Brian Fay’s practice uses different representational strategies to record, depict and present models of time and temporality using pre-existing artefacts, objects and artworks. A pre-existing artwork has a complex relationship to time, one that does not have a straight linear chronology. It both depicts and represents the historic time in which the image has been made, the time of its reprographic production, the time depicted in the image itself, the contingent time of the image’s reception, and the times and mode of its reproduction. A further temporal reading is brought when a drawing employs an intensive time-consuming drawing strategy, one that establishes and presents a direct relationship to the source material. Each stage of this process, from the original historical production to the contemporary response are forms of interpretation and adaptation.

The exhibition at Uillinn will include a new drawing inspired by the work of Anni Albers. Anni and Josef Albers were pioneering 20th-century artists whose work, writing, and teaching demonstrably transformed the way that people see colour and the process of art-making. Anni Albers is widely considered to be the foremost textile designer of the 20th century. She made major innovations in the field of functional materials and at the same time she expanded the possibilities of single weavings and individual artworks. She was also an adventurous graphic artist who took printmaking technique into previously uncharted territory. The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation offers three residency programs in three different parts of the world, including Connecticut, USA (where Brian Fay was awarded a residency in 2022) and Carraig na gCat, West Cork.

Video above by Ros Kavanagh

A publication on the themes and motivations within the practice to understand our experiences of time is being produced. This is a touring exhibition supported by the Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, in partnership with Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda (lead partner) and Limerick City Gallery of Art.


Image: Brian Fay, MJ Studio pencil on paper,  2020


WCAC acknowledges the financial support of Arts Council Ireland and Cork County Council in making these exhibitions possible.

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