Gregoire Mathias at Howbert & Mays, Clare Street. May 16th 2024 - June 16th 2024

Gregoire Mathias at Howbert & Mays, Clare Street. May 16th 2024 - June 16th 2024

It's early March, 2024. Two French people are happily browsing in our Clare Street shop. It's a lovely day and everyone seems to be enoying Dublin. Our shop is looking pretty as sunlight bounces from the windows across the street.

We had just sold a painting or two and our spirits are high. The French people introduce themselves - Julie and Grégoire. Grégoire doesn't speak much English, so Julie does the talking. Grégoire is an artist. He is in Dublin because his daughter is in school here and he travels back and forth between Dublin and France. He loves our shop: the colours, the sense of history, the atmosphere, the plants, the artwork. He'd like to exhibit his paintings here. He has visited galleries around town, but he feels that the atmosphere in our shop is just right for his artworks.

'But we are not a gallery', I explain. 'We are a plant shop that has room for artworks. I find things that I like. Pieces that fit with the era of the shop or take my fancy.'

Grégoire doesn't mind. He feels that 16 Clare Street is the place for his works to be seen. They leave me with his catalogue. 'No pressure. Have a think about it' they say. 'Why not? It would be fun", I reply.

It's in this spirit of serendipity and fun that Howbert & Mays will host its first ever art 'exhibition'. Grégoire Mathias' paintings do resonate with me. I was lucky enough to live for two years in the home of the artist Mainie Jellet (1897-1944), while studing History of Art in college. The halls and staircase were lined with paintings from the early to mid 20th century, by her, her family and her contemporaries. The rooms were filled with beautiful, interesting things. When we opened Clare Street as Howbert & Mays, something niggled with me. It reminded me of somewhere. It took me a while to work it out. It reminded me of Fitzwilliam Square. It rekindled my interest in Irish art, especially of this era.

Grégoire Mathias' form of cubism is from the same stable as Mainie Jellett's. in the 1920s Mainie Jellett (along with Evie Hone and subsequently other Irish artists) travelled to Paris to study under Albert Gleizes. Fifty years later, Gregoire Mathias studied at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts in Paris, where his teacher had been a student of Gleizes. So, Mathias' form of cubism, applied to the Irish landscape and in an Irish context, has much in common with Irish Cubism of the early 20th Century.

Howbert & Mays has always tried to display and sell artworks that relate to the landscape and culture of Dublin and Ireland. In the works of Grégoire Mathias we have, through good fortune, found an artist whose works are beautiful, meaningul and relevant.

Catalogue and prices can be found HERE:

Sandycove 2


Howbert & Mays, Clare Street (sold)


Dingle 2


Irish Promenade


Sandycove 1


Wishing Bridge 1


Wishing Bridge 2


Cubist View from Killiney Hill (sold)


Gap of Dunloe


Déjeuner au Château


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