10 Exhibitions to Visit in Ireland this Spring

by Allie d'Almo  |  Published March 7, 2023

From a 16th-century trailblazer to the country’s most prolific ceramists, spring 2023 is shaping up to be a superb season to catch an exhibition in Ireland. 

Thought Before Song by Katherine Boucher Beug, 1994 at RADHARC: Perspectives in Print (Photo: Crawford Gallery)

RADHARC – Perspectives in Print 

This much-anticipated exhibition offers a cross-section of printmaking over the past hundred years using works from the Crawford Art Gallery’s extensive print collection. It invites visitors to consider what enters the artist’s field of vision and how they perceive or propose what they envision. The exhibition title, Radharc, is an Irish word that means prospect, view, scene, range of vision or something seen. Highlights include works from artists including Norman Ackroyd, Katherine Boucher Beug, Christo, Otto Dix, Debbie Godsell, Robert Indiana, Fiona Kelly, Paul Larocque, David Lilburn, Joan Miró, Cóilín Murray, Jennifer O’Sullivan, Eduardo Paolozzi, Pablo Picasso and Georges Rouault.

Crawford Art Gallery, Cork/ 4 Feb – 21 May 2023 

Pastel Revealed

This new spring exhibition showcases works from the gallery’s extensive pastel collection. Works span some four centuries and highlight how the technique has developed over time.  There are pieces from skilled practitioners from both Ireland and abroad, including Rosalba Carriera, Hugh Douglas Hamilton, Jean-Francois Millet, Edgar Degas, Maurice Marinot, Harry Kernoff, and Brian Bourke. Visitors can sign up for introductory seminars and dedicated tours too.

National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin/ From 25 Feb – 5 June 2023

Eamon O’Kane – A History of Play

Eamon O’Kane, A History of Play at The Model (Photo: The Model)

Travelling with little ones this spring? This colourful artwork and playspace invites children to make, create, construct and play freely, using simple colours and shapes. Created by artist Eamon O’Kane, the installation is inspired by the magic of modernist art and the freedom of Froebel’s philosophy on art, imagination and learning. The temporary exhibition will be installed in the main public foyer gallery at The Model Gallery, one of Ireland’s leading contemporary art centres. If it’s your first time visiting, take a peak at the impressive Niland Collection, one of the country’s most significant collections featuring works by John and Jack B. Yeats, Estella Solomons, Paul Henry and Louis Le Brocquy. 

The Model, Sligo/ 17 February – 8 April 2023

Patricia Hurl: Irish Gothic 

This major retrospective exhibition of one of Ireland’s most accomplished and respected artists is set to be a showstopper. The exhibition will feature more than 80 works by Patricia Hurl spanning some 40 years, many of which have never been seen before. Hurl’s work traverses the disciplines of painting, multi-media and collaborative art practice to create material that explores loss, pain, frustration and loneliness. This curation will predominantly showcase the lived experiences of women, using painting, performance, film, textiles and the artist’s own body. 

Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin/ 10 Feb-2 July 2023


Kate O’Kelly, Cloud Vessels at the National Design & Craft Gallery (Photo: National Design & Photo Gallery)

The National Design & Craft Gallery is the only dedicated design and craft gallery in the country. The space offers a groundbreaking exhibition programme and the aptly-titled Land/Marks exhibition is set to be one of its finest. The fourth in its triennial exhibition series, the exhibition promises to celebrate the diverse range and breadth of contemporary ceramic work created by makers of and from Ireland. Works will explore and challenge the limits of clay, pushing its boundaries to create sculptural forms, functional vessels and installation-based works. An independent expert panel selected the 42 makers, with artists including Sara Flynn, Mark Campden and Isobel Egan among the final group. 

National Design & Craft Gallery/ 14 February 2023–20 May 2023

Catarina Araujo – Cocooning: Catch a Breath

This immersive and interactive sculptural exhibition is a collaborative socially-engaged art project designed to understand the impacts of Covid-19 on the mental health sector. To create the exhibition, artist Araujo was mentored by mental health nursing lecturers and doctors John Goodwin and Dr Eve Olney. Araujo uses the concept of a ‘cocoon’ as a mode of expression and invited participants to create their own ‘cocoon’ (small-scale structure). The result is a powerful and emotional insight that enables individuals to reclaim and reappropriate their experiences during Covid-19. The exhibition will be held at Sample-Space, one of Ireland’s largest artist studios and creative workspaces. 

Sample-Studios, Cork/ 16 March – 22 April 2023

Prix Pictet 

Once again, the Photo Museum Ireland will host Prix Pictet, one of the world’s most important prizes for photography and sustainability. The exhibition aims to harness the power of photography to draw global attention to critical sustainability issues that threaten humanity and the planet. This year’s theme – Fire – is particularly timely. Since its inception in 2008, there have been nine cycles of Prix Pictet shown in exhibitions in major cities across the world. Entry to the award is strictly by nomination. 

Photo Museum Ireland, Dublin/ 18 March – 30 April

Anne Collier – ‘Eye’ 

Anne Collier, Developing Tray (Grey) in Eye at Lismore Castle Arts (Photo: Lismore Castle Arts)

Over the past two decades, New York-based artist Anne Collier has created a complex body of work considering our social and cultural relationships with images. This exhibition will be her first exhibition in Ireland. Focussing on works produced between 2007 and 2002, the exhibition considers her long-standing interest in a ‘self-perpetuating ocular system’, where the act of looking or being looked at is intrinsic to the photographic process itself. Highlights will include iconic self-portraits ‘Developing Tray #2 (Grey)’ and ‘Cut’, alongside more recent works from her ongoing ‘Filter’, ‘Women Crying’ and ‘Women Crying (Comic)’ series and a new slide-projection work ‘Shutter’, 2022. 

Lismore Castle Arts, Limerick/ From 25 March 2023

Liam O’Neill – An Naomhog, Capall Na Farraige 

Liam O’Neill, Turfcutting Cruach (Photo: The Oriel Gallery Dublin)

Kerry-born Liam O’Neill is one of Ireland’s most celebrated contemporary artists. This exhibition will showcase some of his most sublime works depicting wind-beaten harbours, coastal fishermen, farmers and musicians. O’Neill is renowned for capturing the essence of literary figures such as James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, as well as the colour and movement of horse racing and fairs. Having exhibited his works across the world in London, Paris, and the East and West Coast of the United States, O’Neill’s newest show will return to Dublin in May. 

Oriel Gallery, Dublin/ From May 2023

Lavinia Fontana: Trailblazer, Rule Breaker

The late sixteenth-century Bolognese artist Lavinia Fontana is widely considered to be the first female artist to have achieved professional success beyond the confines of a court or convent. This exhibition explores her extraordinary life through her paintings and drawings to shed light on her role as an artist, businesswoman, wife and mother. Bringing together a selection of her most highly regarded works from international public and private collections alongside the gallery’s own The Visit of the queen of Sheba to King Solomon, the exhibition is the first monographic exhibition to examine her work in over two decades and the first to focus on her portraits.

National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin/ From 6 May 2023