John Shinnors (B.1950) Road to Carraroe (2004) Oil on canvas...

by Adam's Auctioneers




John Shinnors (B.1950) Road to Carraroe (2004) Oil on canvas laid on board, 89.5 x 109.5cm (35¼ x 43) Signed Provenance: With Taylor Galleries, Dublin, label verso John Shinnors’ matter-of-fact directness is an important part of his appeal to viewers. Like the illusionist Derren Brown, who tells his audience that there’s nothing paranormal about what he does before going on to astound them with apparent magic, Shinnors marshals the most ordinary things from everyday life, such as road markings, washing on a clothes line, Friesian cows, cats, and transforms them so that it’s as if we’ve never seen them before. The epiphanic moment for him as a painter was typically mundane: a double-take glimpse through the fishmonger’s window of sparkling fresh mackerel laid out on a steel tray. The familiar made strange. Ever since, he’s been creating paintings about seeing and not seeing, what we allow ourselves to see, and also the optics of transgression, intimations of what is ignored or forbidden or troubling. This latter imbues his work with a spooky, incalculable note, a slight edginess. He does all this with what many an artist would consider very limited means. Paintings incorporate simmering accents of earth hues, reds, yellows and chilly blues, but really he is sparing with colour, and variations of blacks, whites and greys dominate. Motifs are stylised and abstracted or, one could say, translated into Shinnorese, as in this work, which is appropriately full of a sense of movement. The artist’s habitual terrain extends as far as the Tarbert ferry and Loop Head, but in 2004 he ventured to Carraroe. It was a productive trip that included a visit to Edward Delaney’s sculpture park and much else. One strong Limerick connection if that the area was also much loved by the plein air painter Walter Verling, who painted there with Charles Lamb and lived and taught there for a time. Shinnors offers a dynamic montage of fragmentary details in a composition bisected by a purposeful vertical division. Intimations of warmth filter through and, especially to the upper left, there is a sense of a destination. Limerick’s best-known artist, Shinnors was born in 1950, studied at LSAD under the guidance of the painter Jack Donovan and travelled for a time in England, where among other things he tried busking and other musical forays. Back in Ireland, he established himself as a painter in Limerick in a city-centre studio. He did not go into teaching himself, but has been a real benefactor to younger artists and his home town. Excursions apart (mostly to the coast), Limerick remained his base. There has always been a magic-realist touch to his vision. His work is included in numerous private and public collections. Aidan Dunne, April 2024

Auction Date:
29th May 24 at 6pm BST

Fees apply to the hammer price:

Free Registration
28.6% inc VAT*

Flat Fee Registration
25.00% inc VAT*

*These fees include buyers premiums and internet surcharges.
Please see the auctioneers terms & conditions for more information

Other Lots in this Auction

Adam's Auctioneers

Sale Dates:
29th May 2024 6pm BST (Lots 1.00 to 124.00)