Eoin Mc Hugh

Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin

5 August – 21 September 2016

Eoin Mc Hugh, o-o-o-o da!, 2016, oil on canvas, 47 x 37 cm

In his 1920 essay, 'Beyond the Pleasure Principle', Freud recounts the details of a game played by his infant grandson. Though close to his mother, the child rarely complained when left alone and instead played contentedly with his toys. One such toy was a spool tied with string, which he would throw out of sigh, uttering a drawn-out 'o-o-o-o' sound, which the family understood as 'fort', the German for gone. He would then quickly reel the spool back in, crying out 'da!' - there - as it came back into view. In this game Freud saw a disturbing compulsion that was linked to the early recognition of separate internal and external worlds.


A key painting in Eoin Mc Hugh's exhibition is titled 'o-o-o-o da!' and serves as a starting point for the artist's ongoing exploration of the psychology of imagery. By reverting to elemental aspects of object recognition, such as light, shade, colour and form, he unsettles our modes of understanding and responding to what we see. Previous shows by the artist have included a variety of paintings, sculptures, and found objects, focused on the decay and chaos of the natural world. Here, in the four paintings that make up this exhibition, he has brought his attention to bear closely on the division and elision between abstraction and realism, idea and form.


Eoin Mc Hugh previously exhibited at the Douglas Hyde Gallery in 2013 with a solo exhibition entitled Augury. He has had major shows in TR1 Kunsthalle, Tampere; Centre d'Art Contemporain, Montélimar; and Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Dublin. Born in Dublin, he is based in Berlin and is represented by Kerlin Gallery, Dublin.