Markey Robinson "Stars of the Evening"
Size: 14 x 38in. (35.56 x 96.52cm) Gouache
"Stars of the Evening". The dress and jewellery worn by the figures suggest an 'Hispanic Group', but with the terrace of white washed cottages this might just be a quiet street on the outskirts of Galway. Markey had lavished a great deal of time on the detail of their faces and bodies: the careful technique, and the way the black lines are controlled and modulated in thickness, recalls "Deep Sea Sailors", a quiet different subject painted in much the same style. The woman themselves are ambiguous: the lipstick, the rouge and the baubles are all conventioned 'fallen' symbols, but the crosses around their neck, and their lack of conversation, hint that they could very well be walking to evening Mass. The flat frontal presentation of the houses suggests a stage-set, with the women playing roles (part of the job, surely, for ladies of the night); however this flatness is relieved, as Liv Greene has pointed out to me, by the brilliant device of the archway, revealing an adjoining street rendered in a few succint strokes. His inclusion of this arch and the vanishing-point perspective is just one of many signs of sophistication in this group of works, which, taken together, shatter the myths of Markey as a naive painter. There is decorativeness and even gaiety in 'Stars of the Evening' but once again, as with 'Travellers', Markey's dark side comes through. How brightly will these stars be shining in a few hours? Does the grouping suggest rivalry or solidarity? Will they make it through the night?"
- O’Kelly, Paul, Markey at the Oriel, The Oriel Gallery Ltd, Dublin, 2008, p. 37 (illustrated)
"...Markey did, however, exhibit again at the Piccolo Gallery in 1961 when he showed 31 pictures including six sepia-wash drawings. By then CEMA had moved to its new gallery in Chichester Street; the Piccolo continued to provide an outlet for local artists until its closure due to pinched finances and, not unrelated, to its location above a noisy cafe. The artist Jack Pakenham 'sat in' with Markey at the 1961 exhibition and purchased one of the pictures 'Stars of the Evening' (see illustration full page 98)". - Mulreany, Michael, Markey Robinson: Maverick Spirit, Ben Madigan Publications, 2003, p. 98 (illustrated).