Two Decades Has Seen a Lot of Welsh Art and a Lot of Very Happy Welsh Artists; It's 20 Years since Martin Tinney Opened His Own Art Gallery in Cardiff after Turning His Back on a Career in Medicine. since Then, He's Hosted More Than 200 Exhibitions, Participated in More Than 50 Art Fairs and Sold Almost 10,000 Paintings. to Celebrate the Landmark Birthday, Karen Price Asks Him to Choose 10 Highlights from His Years as a Gallery Owner

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), November 17, 2012 | Go to article overview
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Two Decades Has Seen a Lot of Welsh Art and a Lot of Very Happy Welsh Artists; It's 20 Years since Martin Tinney Opened His Own Art Gallery in Cardiff after Turning His Back on a Career in Medicine. since Then, He's Hosted More Than 200 Exhibitions, Participated in More Than 50 Art Fairs and Sold Almost 10,000 Paintings. to Celebrate the Landmark Birthday, Karen Price Asks Him to Choose 10 Highlights from His Years as a Gallery Owner


1992 After starting my career in medicine, I moved from my native Ireland to Scotland and then on to Nottingham before settling in Cardiff. I had always been interested in art and decided to leave medicine behind to work in a gallery.

For two years I was at the West Wharf Gallery in Cardiff before deciding to open a gallery in my own name. The gallery opened in Windsor Place in the city centre in the teeth of the early '90s recession. It was tough at first but I felt there would be a market in the long run. As a collector, I had to travel to London to buy the art I wanted. The first exhibition was a show of new paintings by Harry Holland (see main image) now one of Britain's leading figurative artists.

1993 This was the year they stopped the traffic in downtown San Francisco while unloading the exhibition of Important Welsh Artists, which the Martin Tinney Gallery was invited to organise at a leading gallery in the northern Californian city. This was the gallery's first exhibition abroad and a wonderful experience for a relatively young gallery.

Gwilym Prichard was among the Welsh artists whose works were on show.

1995 Ghent Art Fair, Belgium - the gallery's first art fair abroad and its first time to show Welsh artists in Belgium, including the paintings of John Macfarlane, who has pursued parallel careers in painting and theatre design. This was a huge critical and commercial success and, as a consequence, the gallery was invited to organise a show at the EU offices in Brussels.

1997 A particularly good year for sales to public collections, which, over the years, have included National Museum Wales, the Tate Gallery, London and most recently Te Papa - the national gallery and museum of New Zealand, which purchased Spring Flowers by Sir Cedric Morris.

1999 A landmark year for turnover with record sales and several sell-out exhibitions, including one by Kevin Sinnott, whose famous painting, Running Away With The Hairdresser is in the National Museum Wales collection. That's a lot of Welsh art and a lot of very happy Welsh artists.

2002 We move to a new purpose-built gallery in St Andrew's Crescent, Cardiff. Having demolished most of the building leaving only the original facade, it has since been described as one of the most beautiful private commercial galleries in Britain and is the envy of many London-based colleagues.

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Two Decades Has Seen a Lot of Welsh Art and a Lot of Very Happy Welsh Artists; It's 20 Years since Martin Tinney Opened His Own Art Gallery in Cardiff after Turning His Back on a Career in Medicine. since Then, He's Hosted More Than 200 Exhibitions, Participated in More Than 50 Art Fairs and Sold Almost 10,000 Paintings. to Celebrate the Landmark Birthday, Karen Price Asks Him to Choose 10 Highlights from His Years as a Gallery Owner
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