Distant Things Appear Suddenly Near
Public artwork, 2021
University Square, Melbourne
Tak Tent O' Time Ere Time Be Tint
July 29 – August 29 2021
Co-commissioned by Edinburgh Art Festival and Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop. Supported by the PLACE Programme, a partnership between Edinburgh Festivals, Scottish Government, City of Edinburgh Council and Creative Scotland.
The willow sees the heron´s image upside down
Tenerife Espacio de las Artes, Santa Cruz, Tenerife
20 June - 4 October 2020
Curated by Catalina Lozano
Artists: Berenice Abbott, Adrián Alemán, Bleda & Rosa, Santiago Borja, Brassaï, Carolina Caycedo, Wilson Díaz, Patricia Esquivias, Harun Farocki, Trino Garriga Abreu, Dan Graham, Michele Horrigan, Marine Hugonnier, Hector Hyppolite, Isuma, Patrick Keiller, Teresa Lanceta, Janelle Lynch, Sean Lynch, Gilda Mantilla & Raimond Chaves, Britta Marakatt-Labba, Carme Nogueira, Tania Pérez Córdova, Peter Piller, Xavier Ribas, Xabier Salaberria, Amaia Urra, Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa
The willow sees the heron’s image upside down explores how images of landscape have been constructed, both ideologically and technically. It considers the representation of landscape as one of the instances in which the notions of nature and culture converge to show the transits between the two. Through the notion of ruin, it seeks to critically reflect on a series of transactions, typical of the age of colonialism and capitalism, and their visible and invisible remains.
Image: What Is An Apparatus? 2016-ongoing
A Murmur, Repeated
January 8 - February 1 2020
Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin
Read Irish Times review here
Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Dublin
22-23 November, 2019
Gene Beery / Gareth Bell-Jones / Elisabetta Benassi / John Carson / Adam Chodzko / Ruth Clinton & Niamh Moriarty / Wayne Daly / Emanuele De Donno & Viaindustriae / Barry Flanagan / John Hutchinson / Ramon Kassam / John Latham / Vukašin Nedeljkovic of Asylum Archive / Renata Pękowska / Cesare Pietroiusti / Juan Sandoval / Dan Starling and more...
Curated by Jo Melvin, Michele Horrigan & Sean Lynch
Temple Bar Gallery + Studios presents Publication Scaffold, a series of events, performances, installations and discussions held during 2019’s Dublin Art Book Fair. Publication Scaffold finds practical and metaphorical ways of envisaging the process of publishing. It points to books not solely as objects, but as conversation and encounter, as discursive notions surrounding their own existence. Pages turn, words are uttered, platforms for communal discovery emerge. Juxtaposition and serendipity are fundamental to these investigations, leading to new ways of thinking about the portable, malleable exhibition format as a publication itself.
Image: John Carson, Evening Echoes, 1993
Bandits Live Comfortably In The Ruins
August 12 2019
ACCA, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne
Image: Sean Lynch, Adventure: Capital, 2015
The Rise and Fall of Flint Jack
June 22 - September 29 2019
Yorkshire Sculpture International
Solo exhibition at Henry Moore Institute, Leeds
Part of a multi-venue programme involving Henry Moore Institute, Hepworth Wakefield, Leeds Art Gallery and Yorkshire Sculpture Park, featuring Tarek Atoui, Nairy Baghramian, Phyllida Barlow, Huma Bhabha, Ayse Erkmen, Jimmie Durham, Sean Lynch, Damien Hirst, Rashid Johnson, Rachel Harrison, Wolfgang Laib & David Smith.
Accompanied by a new publication co-authored with Jorge Satorre, and a public programme of events with Jo Melvin (curator, London) and Dan Hicks (University of Oxford / Pitt Rivers Museum)
‘I liked the idea of bringing sharp objects into a library’ – an interview with Sean Lynch
by Samuel Reilly
A Murmur, Repeated
July 19 - September 28 2019
Solo exhibition at John Hansard Gallery, Southampton
Within a varied collection of artefacts, props and sculptures, a new video is presented, shot in the English port city of Southampton. Time travel and spirit possession drive a surreal narrative where a bard from the seventeenth century ends up encountering the empty car park of an out-of-business Toys R Us, Southampton’s geothermal plant, IBIS hotels and the streetscape of the city centre.
Caught between a desire to fit into the constraints of the contemporary world and the seemingly liberal possibilities of a more poetic, distance life of the past, Lynch’s central character, played by Timmy Creed, offers up many opinions about the construction of public space and the role of history.
A new publication featuring an essay by Kevin Barry accompanies the exhibition, digressing from an overview of bardic culture to consider Hollywood screenwriters, Mexican drug lords, and the strange rituals used in the making of verse itself.
Le jour des esprits est notre nuit
CRAC Alsace, France
June 13 - September 15 2019
Curated by Catalina Lozano & Elfi Turpin
Lazara Rosell Albear & Sammy Baloji, Meris Angioletti, Minia Biabiany, Oier Etxeberria, Tamar Guimarães & Kasper Akhøj, Sheroanawë Hakihiiwë, Candice Lin, Sean Lynch, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz
Winning by Losing
February 22 - May 26 2019
Curated by Catalina Lozano
Caroline Achaintre, Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz, Marcel Broodthaers, Cian Dayrit, Aleksandra Domanović, Juan Downey, Elvira Espejo Ayca, Patricia Esquivias, Sheroanawë Hakihiiwë, Geir Tore Holm, Jochen Lempert, Sean Lynch, Asier Mendizabal, Paper Tiger TV, Xabier Salaberria, Jorge Satorre, Rosemarie Trockel
Visiting Professor of Art
Carnegie Mellon School of Art, Pittsburgh
Spring semester 2019
Lecture at Kresge Theatre
March 5 2019
Rocca Albornoz, Spoleto / Palazzo Ducale, Gubbio / Tempietto sul Clitunno, Campello, Italy
7 December 2018 – 7 April 2019
Curated by Emanuele De Donno, Giuliano Macchia & Franco Troiani
Doug Aitken, Fiona Banner, Joseph Beuys, Alighiero Boetti, Gilbert & George, Dan Graham, Richard Hamilton, Dick Higgins, Douglas Huebler, Allan Kaprow, Joseph Kosuth, Jannis Kounellis, Sol LeWitt, Sean Lynch, Mario Merz, Olaf Nicolai, Slavs and Tatars, Daniel Spoerri, Lawrence Weiner, Stephen Willats.
Cream cheese and pretty ribbons!
Galerie Martin Janda, Vienna
14 September - 13 October 2018
Group exhibition curated by Latitudes, Barcelona with David Bestué, Sean Lynch, Eulàlia Rovira & Adrian Schindler, Batia Suter
“Two strains of intellectual vulgarity: defenselessness against content and defenselessness against form. The one experiences only the material side of art. It is of German origin. The other experiences even the rawest of materials artistically. It is of Romance origin. To the one, art is an instrument; to the other, life is an ornament. In which hell would the artist prefer to fry?” Karl Kraus, Viennese satirist, 1910.
‘Cream cheese and pretty ribbons!’ is an exhibition that ventures into the apparently perilous middle ground between too much content and too much form, between too many nouns and too many adjectives, between too much everyday and too much artiness. Are objects or statements that are laden with information – or those that are concerned with utility above all else – at risk of appearing aloof and extorting their own importance? Undoubtedly. Just as art in an abundantly ‘poetic’ mode might be deemed just too delightful and refined.
Drawing on strategies such as disposition, wit, redundancy, or storytelling, the artists and artworks of this exhibition conspire with seemingly mundane things and images to somehow find and invent ways to rebuff, circumvent, surpass, or mitigate this spurious alternative between indulgent contents and bad Romance.
Images: A Blow-by-Blow Account of Stonecarving in Oxford, 2014
Helston Museum, Cornwall
May 5 - June 3 2018
Curated by Teresa Gleadowe
Groundwork is an unfolding season of international contemporary art, continuing throughout summer 2018, featuring artworks and commissions by Francis Alÿs, Manon de Boer, Janet Cardiff, Adam Chodzko, Tacita Dean, Andy Holden, Rosemary Lee, Sean Lynch, Christina Mackie, Steve McQueen, Abigail Reynolds, Abel Rodriguez, Steve Rowell, Simon Starling and Semiconductor.
An Evening of Technocracy
Lo Orto / Héctor
Lecture and solo exhibition curated by Catalina Lozano
Irish artist Sean Lynch’s lecture and exhibition digresses on some of the people, objects and ideas influential to his thinking. Swaying between the objective-informative and the anecdotal, topics explored will include folklore, public art, newspapers, architectural ornament and literature. In Lynch’s world, the technocracy and progress of western thinking is a flawed notion, and he sets out to locate moments of potentially poignant resistance to its dominance.
Devil In The Detail
Ronchini Gallery, London
November 2017 - January 2018
Ronchini Gallery is pleased to presents a second solo exhibition of Sean Lynch, entitled Devil In The Detail.
Lynch’s artistic practice focuses on storytelling, specifically unwritten narratives and almost-forgotten histories. With a keen interest in the offbeat and marginal, Lynch’s exhibition brings together a collection of sculptures, photographs, and prints, each pointing to how our environments are brought into being, shaped and understood. As the exhibition title suggests, not everything goes according to plan. Infrastructural mistakes, environmental campaigns, unreliable figures of Irish construction labour and seemingly out-of-control trees all spur on his narratives and investigations.
Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin
February - April 2017
"Endlessly curious and with a detached sense of humour, Sean Lynch’s videos and installations bring attention to overlooked, misunderstood, farcical or fabricated chronicles and narratives. For this exhibition, Lynch presents two new bodies of work, A Walk Through Time and What Is An Apparatus?, which delve into how we are implicated in the construction, and even contamination, of history and culture."
Image: What Is An Apparatus? 2016
Charles H Scott Gallery, Vancouver
November 2016 - February 2017
Curated by Cate Rimmer
"The Charles H. Scott is pleased to present the work of Irish artist Sean Lynch in his first solo exhibition in Canada. Lynch is a skilled storyteller with a knack for unearthing little-known or underappreciated stories. While he employs an ethnographic approach to researching the characters and situations that inhabit these stories, his retellings are sympathetic to the eccentricities of his subjects and their social and historical contexts. Whether it is the tale of a pair of nineteenth-century stone carvers, John and James O’Shea, in his work A Blow by Blow Account of Stonecarving in Oxford, or an attempt to trace the path of discarded parts from the defunct DeLorean car factory in DeLorean Progress Report, Lynch fully embraces the allegorical potential of his subjects.
For the exhibition, Lynch presents a new video installation entitled What Is An Apparatus?, produced throughout 2016 in Europe and North America, was completed this fall during Lynch’s tenure as the Audain Distinguished Artist-in-Residence and features locations in Vancouver. While initially appearing as a collection of somewhat ludicrous encounters with nuclear submarines, postmodern architecture, robots, scrapyards or supermarkets, it gradually becomes apparent that Lynch’s stories are generated as the result of living in an increasingly technocratic world. The measures and institutional values that aim to manage and orient human behavior become more evident in each of his eleven tales. Inside the gallery space, an innocuous collection of chairs and tables, scavenged from around the university campus, soon become embroiled in Lynch’s narrative, becoming the subject of a speculative investment opportunity generated by Emily Carr University’s upcoming move to the Great Northern Way Campus.
The new work will be presented alongside Latoon, a video work from 2006 that focuses on the story of a whitethorn bush in Latoon, County Clare. In 1999, folklorist Eddie Lenihan successfully campaigned to have a multi million-euro roadway redirected in order to save the bush, which he had argued was an important meeting place for fairies. The exhibition also includes Adventure: Capital, first presented at the 2015 Venice Biennale. Spanning geography and historic time, its narrative follows a wandering spirit encountering the hegemonic structures that anchor contemporary life and entwined flows of capital, migration and neoliberal spatiality.
Also on exhibition is Campaign to Change the National Monuments Acts, a video installation that investigates the legal status of metal detectors in Ireland. Following national controversy around the finding of the Derrynaflan Hoard, a medieval treasure trove uncovered in the 1980s, the state hastily placed a blanket ban on the public use of all devices used to search for archaeological objects. This legislation effectively destroyed the fledgling Irish metal detectorist community of Ireland. Using the tropes of a promotional video, Campaign to Change the National Monuments Acts advocates for a change in these authoritarian laws, where ideas of nationhood, individual freedom, and the need for new forms of community-led heritage are all explored."
Rose Art Museum, Boston
September - December 2016
Curated by Jennifer Wulffson Bedford
Accompanied by solo exhibitions by David Shrigley and Sarah Sze
Image: Adventure: Capital, 2015
Bandits Live Comfortably In Ruins
Group exhibition at Flat Time House, London
March – April 2016
"Flat Time House presents Bandits Live Comfortably in The Ruins, curated by Irish artist Sean Lynch. The exhibition broadly explores the attitudes that underpin human relationships to the environment. There is no masterplan of coherence here, or indeed any transcendental experience to be had. Instead, a series of artistic positions, objects and artefacts bargain and improvise through hard-won perseverance and novel invention. This loose grouping proposes no tranquil uniformity or comforts of identifying with history and heritage. Instead, everything constantly mutates, and nothing ever stays the same. Including works by Seanie Barron, Stephen Brandes, John Carson, Burke Kennedy Doyle, Michele Horrigan, Sam Keogh, John Latham, Fiona Marron, Eilis O’Connell, Freek Wambacq and materials from Country Life and British Telecom."
Image: a photograph by John Latham, taken in 1986
Irish representation at the 56th International Art Exhibition,
La Biennale di Venezia / 56th Venice Biennale
May - November 2015
Subsequent exhibition tour 2016-7 to The Model, Sligo / Royal Hibernian Academy & Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin / Limerick City Gallery of Art / Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast / Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Spacex & The Phoenix, Exeter
Interview with Art Review
with Wayne Daly, Bedford Press
published in A Circular Journal no. 2
Ce Qui Ne Sert Pas S’oublie (What is not used is forgotten)
group exhibition curated by Catalina Lozano
CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux
January - May 2015
Artists: Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, Sven Augustijnen, Mariana Castillo Deball, Sean Lynch, Pauline M'Barek, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Uriel Orlow, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Jorge Satorre, Museo Comunitario del Valle de Xico.
The exhibition explores how objects, along the circulation that constitutes their life, accumulate information thus becoming part of a historical process marked by the effects of colonialism. This exhibition tries to celebrate their agency and capacity to affect others, both human and non-human. What cannot be used is forgotten seeks to understand how our relation to the material world entails endless processes of assimilation, acculturation, re-appropriation, and ritualization.
A blow by blow account of stonecarving in Oxford
Modern Art Oxford
Solo exhibition April - June 2014
Exhibition graphic, designed by Fraser Muggeridge Studio, featuring The Cat Window, Oxford University Museum of Natural History, 1859 by James O'Shea & Chuckie logo of Favorite Chicken and Ribs,1986
A blow-by-blow account of stonecarving in Oxford is an installation by Sean Lynch exploring the work of the nineteenth century stone carvers, John and James O’Shea, whose naturalistic renditions of animals and plants are still visible in the architectural detail of buildings in Oxford and Dublin. Sean Lynch investigates distinctive and often overlooked moments in history that have left fragments of evidence, objects and narratives. He explores these sidelined histories through photographic and sculptural installations, prefabricated or found artefacts and small-scale publications.
The O’Shea brothers had completed a series of notable stone carvings in Dublin during the 1850s before accepting an invitation from the University of Oxford to work on the new Natural History Museum. Controversy quickly surrounded the O’Shea’s carvings of primates on the museum’s facade, as many people interpreted the work as a representation of Darwin’s theory of evolution, a contentious and powerful subject within theological, intellectual and social debates of the time. Following a quarrel between the O’Sheas’ and the University, James O’Shea attempted a series of impromptu carvings on the entrance to the museum intended to caricature the authorities of Oxford as parrots and owls. These carvings are still visible on the building today.
Lynch activates this story through a variety of objects sited throughout the exhibition. Subtly placed into the shop and café, a collection of material is exhibited about Favorite, a fried chicken outlet now found on what was once the site of Britain’s first public museum, the Ark, in Lambeth, London. Artefacts from the Pitt Rivers Museum, the Natural History Museum and stone carvings by Dublin-based Stephen Burke each evoke the playfulness of the O’Sheas’ work. In Lynch’s accompanying slide projection, these seemingly unrelated objects come together to weave a narrative about museum culture, public space, individual agency and the construction of history.
Never the Same River (Possible Futures, Probable Pasts)
Camden Arts Centre, London
Group exhibition curated by Simon Starling
Camden Arts Centre is delighted to present a new exhibition curated by British artist Simon Starling, the latest in a series of artist-selected shows.
Conflating works already exhibited at Camden Arts Centre during the past five decades, the works in Starling’s exhibition will be installed in the exact position they occupied the first time around. These fragments of the Centre’s history will be staged alongside new works by Sean Lynch, Michael Stevenson and Jeremy Millar, which represent an imagined prospective programme: the probable past and possible future of Camden Arts Centre momentarily coming together in an unstable present.
Artists: Francis Alÿs, Francis Bacon, Christian Boltanski, Matthew Buckingham, Harry Burton, Tony Carter, Keith Coventry, Andrea Fisher, Stefan Gec, Ernö Goldfinger, Graham Gussin, Susan Hiller, Douglas Huebler, Des Hughes, ISOKON / Marcel Breuer, Patrick Keiller, Hilma af Klint, David Lamelas, Sean Lynch, Mary Martin, Jeremy Millar, Jacques Monory, Henry Moore, William Morris / Liberty & Co., Mike Nelson, John Riddy, Michael Stevenson, Katja Strunz, Paul Thek, Francis Upritchard
Lost and Found
Group exhibition, 2010
Artists: Franz Ackerman, Pawel Althamer, Lothar Baumgarten, Nina Beier, James Benning, Tacita Dean, Jeremy Deller, Mark Dion, Jimmie Durham, Pierre Huyghe, Louise Lawler, Sharon Lockhart, Sean Lynch, Mike Nelson, Jorge Pardo, Manfred Pernice, Simon Starling, Mario Garcia Torres, Danh Vo, Ai Weiwei
DeLorean: Progress Report
Solo exhibition, 2010
Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin
A public conversation with art critic Caoimhín Mac Giolla Léith took place in the gallery.