Born in Dublin in 1960, John is a graduate of Ireland’s National College of Art & Design. Apart from a two-year spell teaching art, Hurley spent much of the 80’s and 90’s working in the financial services sector in Dublin. During this time he exhibited widely in many group exhibitions and has had several successful solo shows. Since 1998, he is based full-time in County Kerry where the rugged coastline inspires his landscape paintings. He is also a professional member of Visual Artists Ireland.
John is also a respected songwriter and performer whose songs have been recorded by Irish and American artists and he has released three albums of original songs to date.
Hurley’s painting focuses on those elemental forces that shift and shape the landscape. The water is whipped and whirled by the wind. There is always a howling wind, a threatening storm cloud-chaotic moments captured in freeze-frame.
Hurley’s paintings are intuitive and physical. His work is moody and sensuous, suggestive rather than descriptive. His preferred medium is acrylic on board. Pigment is worked up into a lavish impasto. The wooden support is often scored and cut, echoing the way in which man and the elements make their marks on the land.
In 2005, the Minister for Arts, John O’Donoghue T.D. officially opened the John Hurley Gallery, a year-round exhibition of the artist’s unique Atlantic coastal landscape paintings.
He has become a highly collectable artist according to the Sunday Independent art critic. His work is in many private and corporate collections in Ireland and abroad, including Radisson Blu Hotel Group, University of Limerick, Citibank, Pfizer and University Hospital Kerry. He has been the featured artist in various publications including the prestigious Book of Interiors.
Selected Solo Exhibitions:
- 1988 – United Arts Club, Dublin
- 2002 – Origin Gallery, Dublin
- 2003 – Cill Rialaig Gallery, County Kerry
- 2003 – Belltable Arts Centre Gallery, Limerick
- 2006 – Royal Albert Hall Gallery, London