VISUAL ARTS

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The Independent Culture
The Pursuit of Painting: Irish Museum of Modern Art, Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, Ireland (00353 1 671 8666) to 2 Nov

The Irish Museum of Modern Art, housed in the old Royal Hospital on the edge of Dublin, is, from the outside at least, one of the most elegant art venues in Europe. Inside the beautiful 17th-century building, they have had a few problems with the shape (long corridors, small rooms) and with the lingering whiff of institutional life, but in the six years since opening, those in charge have been quick to find their curatorial feet.

This year's summer show, grandly titled The Pursuit of Painting, opened on Thursday and provides a good excuse, if one were needed, to visit Dublin over the next few months.

The idea for the exhibition grew out of lecture given at the gallery in 1993 by the artist Stephen McKenna. There is a polemic of sorts, namely the continuance of a classical painting tradition in 20th-century Europe, but as McKenna is the first to acknowledge, the guiding principle was "a barefaced personal preference for certain painters and paintings".

The final selection includes 26 painters working over a period of 82 years from 1915 to today. Happily, McKenna has been given the resources to cast his net wide. Balthus comes from the Tate, Bonnard from Stockholm, De Chirico from the Italian Gallery of Modern Art in Rome, Gwen John from Southampton, Malevich from Russia and Amsterdam, Morandi from Bologna, Picabia from Switzerland and a smattering of local talent from Jack Yeats to Sean Scully comes from closer to home. It promises to be a fine show.

EYE ON THE NEW Sadie Coles HQ, the art pack's latest and most fashionable new venue, opens its second show today at 35 Heddon Street, London W1 (0171-434 2227, to 26 July) with new work by Simon Periton, a young artist who does inventive things with fluorescent paper doilies. And if you want more, a second Periton installation can be seen from the street at Skinner's Cage, 56 Turnmill Street, London EC1, from 30 Jun to 30 Jul. Take your granny

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