Gerhardt Gallagher


Born Waterford, educated at De la Salle College, Qualified UCD (Forestry). Studied art at Waterford Technical College and NCAD. Works in aquatint hard and softground, drypoint etching, and also with oils, acrylics and watercolours. Drawing and sketching have always featured in his work and his numerous sketchbooks are used as an archive for current themes. Style has varied from hard edge figurative to more stylised representational landscapes with figures which also are reflected in his prints.


He has been exhibiting widely since the 1960s. Venues include: Garter Lane Waterford, Dundalk, Castlebar, James Joyce, and Ranelagh Art Centres; Malton, Kennedy, Combridges, Bective, Dye House, Kirk, Grace O'Malley, Greenacres, RHA, Waterford Municipal/Grey friars and Kenny Galleries; also Irish Life, Microsoft, Bank of Ireland, Arnotts, Liberty Hall, UL, Glucksman Library, Rathfarnham Castle, Phoenix Park OPW Centre, Goethe Institute and open exhibitions in Ireland and abroad.


Collections include: Waterford Municipal, Arts Council, Airfield Trust, VEC, Black Church Print Studio, RTE, Comhaltas Ceoilteoiri, Bouch and Lomb, Business and Private - Ireland, UK, US, France, Sweden, Germany, Canada, China and Finland.


Working at Airfield Print Studio to 2011 and currently with Ranelagh Arts Centre. Full member Black Church Print Studio since 2014 and professional member of VAI.


Artists Statement

My work as a visual artist has evolved over time. I've been drawing almost since I could walk, and have exhibited since the sixties with a variety of media, oil, acrylic, pencil and ink and more recently etching, using my sketchbooks as source material. Variations on one theme, figures on a landscape, come up in many of my images, perhaps reflecting the Germn romantics. This was in a semi abstract way in some of my earlier work comprising hard edged space and time paintings, and later on, as Max Ernst said, 'with one eye open and one shut' in a later series of historical/mythological themes. My work has since then moved towards a more stylised representational approach. In earlier works figures often dominated but more recently they take a more diminished role.


I came to printing in the late nineties and became a full member of Black Church Print Studio some years ago. Aquatint combined with hard and soft ground as well as dry point etcing fits in with my continuing involvement in drawing and composition. My grandmother was a well known etcher and painter of the North German landscape so there may be something in the genes also. Print images are all based on my drawings and tend to follow a somewhat painterly route using gradation and contrast in light and shade which aquatint allows. However, I also use in oils and watercolours with a preference for the more muted colours of the Irish landscape. Trees, representing the natural world at its most impressive, with the human figure, as a minor or receding feature in composition, frequently make up the content of my recent pieces, reflecting both the temporary and continuing aspects of our lives and our individual fragility. This imagery absorbs me and I see it continuing to be a significant aspect of my work through print, drawing or painting.