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About Modern & Contemporary Art Sales

Our Modern & Contemporary Art Auctions have a diverse range of art offerings. We hold twice yearly sales of Modern & Contemporary Art that service our domestic and international clients. We handpick the lots for the auctions from private collections, as well as private estates, Artists, galleries and house clearances. We strive to provide a much-anticipated auction every 3 months, with a wide variety of works that assign themselves to different styles, periods, and genres.

If you are interested in consigning, Modern & Contemporary Art then please contact one of our specialists without any obligation.

To consign for our upcoming auction and exhibition, ‘Racht’, submit here.



• Outburst, outpour, flood, explosion, rush, rage, rant, cry, blaze, blast, access, flush, fit, emotion, diatribe, fit, gush

This Irish word is used before an emotion to try to stress the overwhelming intensity this feeling has brought on – be it a racht caointe, an outpour of tears; Racht áthais, a blast of joy; Racht bróin, a rush of sadness; Racht feirge, an explosion of rage; or a Racht gáire, a fit of giggles. It can even be a way of expressing a way to blow off steam, Racht a ligean, or a sudden burst of creativity, racht cruthaitheachta. The artistic process can often involve a range of these emotions; be it that the feelings themselves spurred on the urge to create, that they were felt during a work’s conception, or that they manifested as a result of the artwork’s creation. Racht acts as an open, connecting term to the emotion involved in the artistic endeavour. It merely signals that a rush or flood or blaze or gush is on its way – and it is up to the art produced to access this influx of sentiment, to find a way to communicate it through a chosen medium and to potentially allow the viewer to in turn experience this Racht of emotion.

Herman’s thus aims to act as the Racht for contemporary Irish artists – allow us to be the connection between the sentiment behind your work and communicate this with a wider audience. Alongside a collection of renowned Irish Modern and Contemporary artworks, Racht also aims to tie together the links between the changing artistic landscape of Ireland during an ever-evolving period in time, as we collectively witness the effects of climate change, turbulence and the fast-paced progression of technological advances. As we have seen throughout history, humanity has always attempted to make sense of contemporary developments and the subsequent complex emotions that come with them through art, and Herman’s exhibition and auction Racht aims to create a space for contemporary Irish artists to do just that. CLICK HERE | SUBMISSION FORM

Open Call Closing Date For Submission |  16th November 10:00PM GMT

Closing Date For Delivery of Selected Work | 21st November 5:00PM GMT


Deorad 23

Perched at the farthest flung corner of Western Europe, Ireland was somewhat delayed in its integration of the radical transformations occurring in visual art in the early 20th century. With the conception of new styles, motifs, themes, and mediums associated with Modernism, Ireland’s new guard of artists looked externally to conceive of a new visual culture, collecting fragments from their journeys abroad and refashioning them in a distinctly Irish context. In contrast, some practitioners looked to elements drawn from extant instances of a pre-colonised Irish visual tradition, from subject matter to style, to better define their concept of an Irish painterly tradition. 

Irish artists readily absorbed the visual elements of fresh and radical artworks being created throughout Europe. Travel, as well as the efforts of several Irish artists and academicians to bring works of art from abroad to the attention of the Irish public, had an enormous influence on the works created in the canon of Irish art. 

Herman’s presents Deorad this September, a collection of Irish Modern and Contemporary works. From the old Irish for wanderer or outlaw, Deorad will display visually the vastness of Irish contemporary art and its imported and historical influences.

Dessel 2023

‘I turn the chariot with the sun, and till there comes the power of a good omen that we may come back again.’

Tain Bo Cuailnge, translated from Leabhar na h-Uidhri 

The old Irish word for sunwise is Dessel. Interpreted as the sun’s skyward course from east to west, characters of Irish mythology believed moving clockwise in this direction was an auspice of good fortune, and they followed the rays of the sun’s heat to seek favour with the divine.

This Spring, Herman’s will present Dessel, an exhibition and auction of Irish modern and contemporary art. Important 20th Century works will be displayed alongside the most contemporary pieces produced on this island. The spirals of ancient Irish art are reimagined thematically here, to explore the development of Ireland’s modern artistic spirit.

Conceptualising the passage of time not as a linear form, but an undulating spiral highlight, through select works, the course of Irish art.

Artists working in Ireland are encouraged to interpret their place in the context of the canon of the history of Irish art. The extending spiral loosening itself west towards the sun is compared here to the fundamentally symbiotic process of creating works of art. Creating new images and forms has always necessitated the conception of the works of others, past and future. A theory of the visible can be deduced from viewing these works in situ with each other, and a rich history of Irish art is proposed: with past, present, and future furling together.

Department Contacts

Ross O’Sullivan BBS (Hons) (Mgt) MIPAV

Associate Director

Rachael Gunning

Modern & Contemporary Art Team | Head of Contemporary Art

Caroline Costello


Bill McHugh



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