The Molesworth Gallery

Cian McLoughlin

Johnny 'Pops' Connors I ~ oil on board ~ 48 x 26 inches (private collection)


Cian McLoughlin is one of Ireland’s foremost figurative painters. Not only does he use paint to capture a likeness but he also marshals its tactile, malleable properties to convey the turmoil, the joys - the cumulative impact of a life lived. Writing in the cover story of the autumn 2014 issue of ‘The Irish Arts Review’, Brendan Rooney said of the artist that he is “invigorated by the uncertainty inherent in the creative process. Working without any prescribed vision, he embraces the challenges and impediments he encounters in his work and favours a method of engagement, detachment and re-engagement in the realization of his compositions.”

Born in 1977, McLoughlin is an architecture graduate who went on to take a masters in film studies in UCD. Although reluctant to talk about his own work, McLoughlin does tell of the effect a study trip to Florence has had on it. It was there, as a 16 year old, he first saw the slave sculptures of Michelangelo and Donatello's Mary Magdalene that would have a profound and lasting influence on his painting. He also finds particular inspiration in the self-portraits of Rembrandt, Whistler's nocturnes and the late work of Titian.


2000-02 ~ Architecture UCD
2000 ~ MA Film Studies UCD
1995-99 ~ Architecture UCD


2014 ~ The Middle Watch, J. Cacciolo Gallery, New York
2011 ~ Drawings, Molesworth Gallery, Dublin
2008 ~ Camden Town and the Aisling Project, Molesworth Gallery, Dublin
2006 ~ No Colour, No Colour, part of the Beckett Centenary Festival,
Office of Public Works, Dublin
2004  ~ Six People, Two Places, Solo Show, Blue Leaf Gallery, Dublin


2016 ~ RHA Annual Exhibition, London
2015 ~ RHA Annual Exhibition, Dublin
2015 ~ Ruth Borchard Self Portrait Exhibition, King's Palace, London
2014/15 ~ Hennessy Portrait Award Exhibition - The National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin
2013 ~ Voltus - Contemporary Portraiture, The Molesworth Gallery, Dublin
2008 ~ Davy Portrait Awards Exhibition, Dublin & Belfast
2008  ~ The F-Word, Iontas Arts Centre, Co. Monaghan
2007 ~ The F-Word, Molesworth Gallery, Dublin
2007 ~ RHA Annual Exhibition, Dublin
2006 ~ Ranelagh Arts Festival
2006  ~ Boyle Arts Festival
2006 ~ 150th Anniversary of the National Portrait Gallery, London
2005 ~ BP Portrait Award Exhibition, National Portrait Gallery, London
2005 ~ Portrait Ireland, Newtownbarry House, Wexford
2004 ~ RHA Annual Exhibition, Dublin


2007 ~ Sketch Section, 80 People, 80 Countries, 80 individual portraits
representing 80 nationalities found in Ireland
2007 ~ Paintings for the reception area of the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin
2006 ~ Portrait of Brian Friel for the Gate Theatre, Dublin
2005 ~ Paintings for the lobby of Croke Park, Dublin


2014 ~ The Irish Arts Review, winter edition, cover story
2011 ~ Drawings, published by The Molesworth Gallery, Dublin
2008 ~Camden Town and the Aisling Project, published by The Molesworth Gallery, Dublin
2006 ~ No Colour, No Colour, exhibition catalogue, published in association  with the Beckett Centenary Festival
2005 ~ BP Portrait Award, exhibition catalogue, published by the National
Portrait Gallery, London

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