The Molesworth Gallery

Tom Phelan


Rack II ~ oil on birch panel ~ 80 x 60cm



Lipsticks series 19 ~ oil on birch panel ~ 20 x 16cm


"Tom Phelan's work is outsandingly open-minded and adventurous. He takes repeat patterns, silhouette motifs, and gestural marks and plays ingeniously with the ideas of symmetry, balance, and texture. He also has a sound and distinctive colour sense."

Aiden Dunne, The Irish Times, November, 2006


___For his debut solo exhibition at The Molesworth Gallery, Tom Phelan combined his two great passions - art and surfing. The exhibition title, Quiver was surfing slang for a collection of boards of different sizes, shapes and vintages. The word also conjured the shimmering presence of his latest work - poised between the abstract and the real.
___As he tackled the formal problems of abstraction - balancing colour, shape and composition into an unified whole - there were nods along the way to minimalism and colour-field painting. Underpinning each piece, however, was a visual reference to the sea or to surfing: the prow of a surfboard, a heaving sea-swell, a breaking wave. He works on Casani birch panels, using the grain of the wood to add texture and depth to the work and also to suggest the early wooden surfboards long since replaced by fibreglass.
___All of his work is rooted in the real, in the artist’s personal experience. Six years ago, Phelan retired as studio manager and master printmaker at the Graphic Studio, Dublin, to concentrate on his own practice, after committing over twenty years to the renowned Dublin printworks. A move to Vienna followed, where he set up his own studio and returned to painting, as well as printmaking on a press kindly given to him by the family of his late friend Barry Flanagan, with whom he had worked closely.


Click here to see more of Tom's work and to read further reviews.


Curriculum Vitae

Born: Dublin, 1970

Education: Blackrock College, Dublin - Intermediate Certificate, Leaving Certificate

Dun Laughaire College of Art and Design, Dublin - National Diploma of Fine Art in Printmaking and Sculpture

Il Bistone, International School of Graphic Art, Florence - Postgraduate Diploma in Printmaking

Awards: One of nine international awards by S.D. Aerospace Design, Tokyo, Japan for "Il Bisonte" Interntaional School of Graphic Art, Florence, Italy (1997-1998)

Residency Award for Artist Studios at Cill Rialaig Project, Ballinskelligs, County Kerry, Ireland (2006)


Selected Exhibitions

August 2015 - Wavelength, Molesworth Gallery, Dublin, Ireland

July 2015 - Vagabonde Surf and Art Festival, Halle de Chartrons, Bordeaux, France

May 2015 - A Natural Selection, Blue House Gallery, Cork, Ireland

July 2014 - Quiver, Solo exhibition, Molesworth Gallery, Dublin, Ireland

September 2014 - Swell, Solo exhibition, Dublin Graphic Studio, Dublin, Ireland

August 2012 - Dublin meets Kitzech, Weingut Schneeberger, Heimschuh, Austria

June 2011 - Mechanik, Galerie Part Of Art, Retz, Austria

September 2010 - Artists Proof, Markethouse, Monaghan, Ireland

March 2010 - Sesquincentenary Art Exhibition, Blackrock College, Dublin, Ireland

March 2010 - Memories of Water, Das Kabinett, Vienna, Austria

January 2010 - Artists Proof, Draiocht, Blanchardstown, Dublin, Ireland

December 2009 - Artists Proof, Mermaid Arts Centre, Wicklow, Ireland

November 2009 - Ile d'Hiver/Winter Island, The Leueven Institute of Ireland in Eurpoe, Belgium

November 2009 - Revelation, Kapavogur Art Museum, Iceland

September 2009 - Artists Proof, Centrespace Gallery, Briston, UK

September 2009 - Ile d'Hiver/Winter Island, Ten Artists from Graphic Studio Dublin, Centre Culture Irlandais, Paris, France

June 2009 - Artists Proof, Wexford Arts Centre, Wexford, Ireland

January 2009 - Artists Proof, Chester Beatty Library, Dunlin, Ireland


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