Minimalism in the Dutch Golden Age at the Kerlin by Aidan Dunne
Paul Winstanley: Faith After Saenredam and Other Paintings
Kerlin Gallery, South Anne St, Dublin
The key work in his new show at the Kerlin is his recreation, or re-imagination, of a lost painting of Mariakerk by Saenredam. Winstanley set about approximating it by referring to a surviving, precise preparatory sketch. Then he moved on to make another painting of Mariakerk, but from a slightly altered viewpoint, so that we can see a window and a golden tapestry, both of which, he points out, were documented as being there. But in composing his painting, Saenredam made sure neither would be seen, though he did include comparable elements in other paintings. The bottom line is that Winstanley's re-imagination of the Saenredam is of course a Winstanley. And perhaps our version of anything is uniquely our own.
Other paintings include people looking at paintings in the National Gallery, London. A man and a woman stand before a Vermeer. A larger group moves around in front of a religious icon painting. The moving figures are blurred as though by a long photographic exposure. The figures are ephemeral, the artworks fixed and bathed in light. There's also a painting of a recurrent subject: a birch tree, which of course changes all the time even in its constancy. Seeing is believing, but the implication of these beautifully poised works is that our faith may be misplaced.