Speculative Artefacts

Pascal Ungerer
Speculative Artefacts

16 September to 21 October
Opening by Mary McCarthy, Director, Crawford Gallery of Art on Saturday 16 September at 2.00pm

Pascal Ungerer is an Irish visual artist originally from West Cork. He has a background in lens-based media and in recent years has focused on developing his painting practice. His thematic interests are primarily concerned with spatial cultures in the context of peripherality and place. His work often examines the in-between spaces that lie at the intersection of the urban and rural.

Much of his most recent painting work looks at liminal landscapes in the hinterlands and on the margins of human habitation. He often looks at these landscapes ‘as temporal, with a cyclical flux between abandonment and emptiness, to development and habitation’. He is drawn to unusual structures and topographies as well as places that have storied, hidden or layered histories. For Pascal, many of these places represent a kind of ‘otherness’ in a sometimes bleak and foreboding environment.

Most of his paintings are fictional landscapes that amalgamate different places and ideas into a metaphorical space to reflect upon wider socio-geographic issues such as post-industrialisation, ecological degradation, and the Anthropocene, but these paintings are also intrinsically linked to the places and stories that have inspired them. He is interested in people’s connections to place and land and the wider perception of the natural and built environment and the interrelationship between these two contrasting spaces.

In this new work for his exhibition at Uillinn, developed over a number of residencies at Uillinn (2020 to 2023) he brings together many of his interests in abandonment, peripherality and otherness into these pensive and empty landscapes, places that are always devoid of people but are punctuated by traces of humanity.

'Ungerer's paintings are an eloquent evocation of the sense of silence and isolation within these strange landscapes...his paintings are at once both elegiac and dystopian...Collectively, this is a compelling body of work - immersive, thought-provoking and enigmatic.'

From On the Edge, an essay by Margarita Cappock for Irish Arts Review, Autumn 2023.

Pascal Ungerer lives and works in Cork city. He holds an Honours Degree in Fine Fine Art from the Crawford College of Art in Design. In 2018 he completed a scholarship funded Masters on the prestigious MFA programme at Goldsmiths University London. He has exhibited his work extensively throughout Europe - as well as in North America and Asia - including Blackburn Museum, CICA Museum South Korea, Roman Road Gallery London and the Visual Center for Contemporary Art, Ireland.

He has won, been shortlisted and long-listed for many awards such as the Jacksons Painting Prize, Alliance Francaise de Cork Exhibition Award, the Bloomberg New Contemporaries, The Solo Award, The Alpine Fellowship, The Sunny Art Prize, The ACS Studio Prize and the Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize. He has received funding awards and bursaries from several public bodies including the Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, Cork County Council, Cork City Council, Culture Ireland and Goldsmiths University London. His work is held in numerous private collections in Ireland, the UK, the US, France, Germany and Switzerland.


Image: Pascal Ungerer, Earthbound, 2022, oil on canvas, 160 x 120 cm


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

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