Mick Rooney – Exhibition 2019

Friday February 15, 2019

Mick Rooney

From Genesis to Nemesis: New work by Mick Rooney RA

Amid the decline in foreign language studies in Britain, few people seem to have noticed the disappearance from our art schools of an international non-verbal language: the language of painting. Under the sway of conceptualism, a visual language developed in the early Renaissance—and enriched by generations of artists since—has fallen off the fine art curriculum, and students who want to learn it have to teach themselves.

But it’s a language in which Mick Rooney RA, who studied at Wimbledon College of Art and the Royal College in the 1960s, is lucky enough to be fluent, not to say voluble. And as he reasons, ‘if you’re lumbered with it, you might as well celebrate it by putting everything you know into a painting’. Rooney’s loquacity may have something to do with his Irish ancestry, though his means of expression is visual rather than verbal. His art is ‘a sort of outpouring’, as he puts it, in which the ideas cascade onto canvas or paper in a babbling stream of consciousness, surfed by the colourful creatures of his imagination—human, animal and a whole range of life forms in between.