1960 · Ireland
Seán Shanahan is one of the younger generation of abstract painters. Born in Dublin he was educated in London and Madrid, and has lived and worked in Northern Italy since the late 1980's. A painter of refined geometric abstractions, he has often pitted an elegantly understated use of line and colour against the more naturally recalcitrant qualities of a variety of occasionally improbable supports. In the past these have included rough rectangles of different natural woods and medium density fibreboard, as well as variously polished and sanded steel, in a wide range of sizes. During the late 90's, Shanahan moved inexorably towards the monochrome, painted on M.D.F. supports bevelled at 90 degrees on two opposing edges. Increasingly these paintings have been conceived with specific architectural destinations in mind, such as the Villa Pomini Castellanza and his highly acclaimed site specific installation at the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery in 2002. These luminous monochrome colour fields are as compelling as they are aloof and on observation, surfaces dissipate revealing hidden depths and a myriad of images which demand an ongoing rapport Shanahan has exhibited widely throughout Europe since the early 1980's, and has had numerous solo shows, especially in Italy, the Netherlands and Germany.
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