Modernism in Irish Art exhibition features rarely seen works

Story by John Donohoe

Wednesday, 17th April, 2019 2:08pm

Modernism in Irish Art exhibition features rarely seen works

“The Dancer and the Bubble” (1947) by John Luke RUA (1906-1975).

A new exhibition, ‘The Birth of Irish Modernism in Irish Art’ is running at the State Apartments Galleries in Dublin Castle. This unique exhibition, curated by David Britton, is drawn exclusively from private collections with many of the works on display for the first time in over 50 years.
The exhibition explores the development of modernism in Ireland beginning in 1920, a period of political turmoil for the country and ending in the modern Ireland of 1960 and contains 47 works by such artists as Roderic O’ Conor, Jack B. Yeats, Paul Henry, Harry Kernoff, Sean Keating, Sir John Lavery, Gerard Dillon, May Guinness and William Scott.
The exhibition contrasts the traditional ‘Irish School of Painting’ of the male dominated Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) favoured by de Valera and the new Irish Government with the European influenced art that was being championed, mainly by women artists such as Mainie Jellett, Evie Hone and Norah McGuinness amongst others, through the Society of Dublin Painters and the Irish Exhibitions of Living Art.
David Briton says:  “This exhibition is an opportunity to see works of art which have not been on public display in decades, including Jack B Yeats’s We are Leaving Now (1928) will be exhibited in Dublin for the first time in over 50 years.
“Modernism came late to Ireland and when the influence was felt, it was against the back drop of a period of political turmoil. The evolution of the genre from the 1920s up to the modern Ireland of the 1960s, lends itself to the contrast between a conservative, more traditional Ireland and the progressiveness of newly founded nation and offers us an opportunity to challenge some of the ideas we may have held about that period in Irish history.”

 


EVENT:                    The Birth of Modernism in Irish Art 1920 - 1960

Location:                 State Apartments, Dublin Castle

Dates:                     12th April 2019 - 18th August 2019

Times:                     9.45am – 5.15pm every day

Admission:                   €3  

Mary Heffernan, general manager of Dublin Castle, says: “The team at the Office of Public Works are motivated by a desire that each visitor to Dublin Castle has a fantastic experience of their visit, therefore we are delighted that this summer they will encounter rarely seen Irish artworks from private collections on their visit to the State Apartments Galleries.
“We are very grateful to the numerous Irish collectors who have agreed to loan their works for the duration of this show and in doing so share these important works with visitors to Dublin Castle. We also extremely thankful for David Britton for bringing together the best artworks possible for this exhibition.”
'The Birth of Irish Modernism' will be on display until 18th August at the State Apartments Galleries, Dublin Castle.

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