Interview | Richard Hearns
The acclaimed Irish artist Richard Hearns has an upcoming exhibition entitled Journey at Cadogan Contemporary. This will be the artist’s first solo show in London and will feature a collection of abstract oil paintings that are concerned with the alchemy of painting, what Hearns describes as an ‘… internal vision, something inside coming out’.
The paintings, many of which are life-size – literally the same height as the artist and spanning the width of his outstretched arms – are intensely physical acts, drawing inspiration from the discipline of martial arts, of which Hearns is a practitioner, and the rhythmic nature of Ballyvaughan, County Clare, Ireland, the rural idyll where he lives and works.
Physical and instinctive, the canvasses are a flight from tradition. Until 2013, Hearns’ artistic practice was primarily focused on figurative work: still life and landscape. These abstract paintings are in every sense a journey, an attempt to capture something that is not fully understood. Moreover, Hearns’ paintings are a means to create and discover something new and exciting, guided by a belief that through the possibilities of art, there lies an answer to life’s unresolved questions, and that through paint, something fundamental can be revealed to the beholder and the artist.
On the occasion of his exhibition, we had the chance to discuss his practice and inspirations in more detail.