Michael Gurhy


Location: London
Website: www.michaelgurhy.com

Michael Gurhy graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2009 with an MA in Fine Art. His most recent exhibitions include The 2016 Bow Open Show Selected by painter Anj Smith (Hauser & Wirth), On Transience, Solo Exhibition of new works at The Hackney Picturehouse, and Vanquished by Love, a crowd funded Solo Exhibition at The Upstairs Tea Room in Maison Bertaux, London’s Oldest patisserie on Greek Street, Soho.

Michael became the first recipient of the €5000 Crawford Open Artist Award selected from over 750 applicants by Francis Morris and Enrique Juncosa (Head of Collections (International Art), Tate Modern, and Enrique Juncosa, Director, Irish Museum of Modern Art) both agreed that Michael Gurhy’s work “ is small-scale work but potent in terms of emotion. His work addresses youth culture but evokes a knowledge of the unforeseen, of premonition”

Prizes and awards received include The Installation/video award from the Cork Film Centre. The UCC Purchase Prize selected by the Glucksman Gallery for the University College Cork Collection and the Arts Festival Prize award given by the Cork Institute of Technology. This year Michael’s print The Language of Lagomorphs was selected by the Nunnery Gallery as part of its 20 Prints for 20 Years, a limited edition series of prints from Bow Arts artists.


My artwork primarily focuses on the figure, psychological portraits constructed from both fantasy and memory are then further informed by tear out pages of glossy high fashion magazines.

The male figure within the work seems to challenge traditional images of male beauty that use strength and power as currency, these subjects are often passive, even tearful capturing some kind of inward battle or melancholia.

Adorned in piercings and marked by symbolic tattoos and thick bodily hair, these features evoke the artists early experiences of masculinity and vulnerability.

In opposition the female figures gaze seem more deliberate, bold and suggests a knowing or sense of premunition.

Recurring themes within the work include vulnerability, mortality, sexuality, the uncanny and the transcendental.

Animals such as deers, birds, foxes and wolves become symbolic messengers. There is a sacred/celestial component within the work that is both gentle and violent, destruction is linked with creation exorcising the old and paving the way for new cycles.


Objects of Desire, Solo Exhibition
Tsuru+Lim, Redchurch Street, London, November 2016

Livid and Hairy, A Mixed Print Show Curated By LIK+NEON,
People’s Park Tavern, Victoria Park Road, London, October 2016

Bow Open Show 2016, group show selected by guest curator Anj Smith,
Nunnery Gallery, Bow, London, June 2016

Anthology: Black/Ivory/Memorabilia, Joint exhibition with Meiko Kikuta,
Tsuru + Lim, Redchurch Street, London, 2015

Pop Saints and Sinners and Other Stories, group exhibition,
69 Camden High Street, London, January 2015

On Transience, Solo Exhibition,
Hackney Picturehouse, London, July 2014

Vanquished by Love, Solo Exhibition,
Maison Bertaux, 28 Greek Street, Soho London, April/May 2013

Art & Style, Display Window at Brown Thomas,
Patrick Street, Cork, Ireland, May 2012

Thanatos, Solo Exhibition of Video and Photography,
University College Cork, July/August 2012

Bittersweet, Works by contemporary Irish and International Artists,
Doswell Gallery – Macroom Town Hall Gallery, Ireland, February 2010

Central Saint Martins MA in Fine Art Graduation Exhibition,
Charing Cross Road, London, September 2009

Central Saint Martins MA in Fine Art Auction,
Charing Cross Road, London, 2009

MA in Fine Art Interim Show, Bargehouse St,
Oxo Tower Wharf, London, January 2009

Binocular Group Show,
Kingsgate Gallery, London 2008

The Third Bicycle Byam Shaw Postgraduate Group Show,
Lauderdale Gallery, London, 2008

My Space and I, An Exhibition of Selected works from the University College Cork’s collection, West Cork Art Centre, Skibereen, Cork, Ireland, September 2008

X’hibit 08, Showcase of Selected student work,
65 Davis Street, London, May, 2008

The Sleep Of Reason, Crawford Open,
Crawford Munical Gallery, Cork, Ireland, November 2007

Beyond Form, Tigi Filli Art Gallery,
Cork, Ireland, 2007

Death and Desire Group Show, Sirius Arts Gallery,
Cobh, Ireland, April, 2007

Objects of Desire, RDS Student Art Awards Exhibition,
RDS Concert Hall, Dublin, Ireland, August, 2006

Hung Well, Crawford College of Art and Design Degree Show,
Crawford College, Sharman Crawford Street, Cork, Ireland, June, 2006