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Kennys since 1940

Maps & Prints

Somewhere Before

Exhibition of Paintings
by Gerald Davis
February 18th - March 12th 2005

View Exhibition

Opening Speech by Henry Bourke

Exhibition Notes by Ray Comiskey

Notes by the Artist for what was to be his Last Exhibition

"I owe a lot of things to a lot of people.

My mother was artistic. She did embroidery and beadwork and was a masterful cook and baker. Every year she used to frame up calendar prints from the Irish Glass Bottle Company. I can remember pictures by Howard Knee and an outstanding Patrick Hennessy of Connemara ponies which haunts me still. Later we had a reproduction of a Tristam Hillier landscape hanging over the fireplace and there were a couple of original Kernoffs in the house. My father thought painting was no job for a Jewish boy. He taught me about business, the solid value of hard work and to be honest.

In school I was taught to appreciate art by Christopher Ryan. Subsequently he and his wife Elizabeth encouraged me through my teens and early manhood. When they had their gallery in Howth I showed with them several times. Sean McSweeney and I studied painting under Terence Gayer and we subsequently shared each other's studios from time to time. Maurice Fridberg bought the first picture I ever sold. He had faith in me from an early age and I learnt an enormous amount from him regarding many aspects of art.

I shared studios with John Kelly for several years and, from him learnt a tremendous amount about techniques of painting and printmaking. In the Graphic Studio Mary Farl Powers taught me etching and I learnt about screen-printing in the workshop of George Oakley, himself a great watercolourist.

I owe a huge amount to Brendan Kennelly, Terence Browne and David Norris from whom I learnt about Joyce and Beckett. I was friendly with the late Wolf Mankowitz for the last 20 years of his life. In addition to an encyclopedic knowledge of literature, cinema, theatre and the visual arts he had enormous practical knowledge in this entire field which he shared with me.

I have been fortunate enough to see the work of most of the world's masters: Rembrandt, Vermeer, Turner, Matisse, Picasso, Van Gogh, Lautrec, Cezanne et al. Such moderns as Rothko, Rauchenberg, Zao Woo Kee, Bacon and Pollock have excited me greatly and the Irish masters Yeats, Collins, Campbell, Hennessy, le Brocquy and Dillon have been exemplars.

Music too, has been a big influence on my life, primarily jazz. I am deeply indebted to Jim Doherty, Noel Kelehan, Len McCarthy, Louis Stewart, Brian Dunning, The Buckleys, Gerry Lynch and many other musical friends. I owe a lot too to Dizzy, Miles, Bird and, particularly, Keith Jarrett, all of whom are inspirational.

My ex-wife, Joan Davis and my children, Debbie, Judy and Leslie have supported me wonderfully. I am extremely thankful to them and to all the galleries and friends who have been great over the years. And, of course... Barbara.

Thank you all."

Gerald Davis, 2005