Last of the Visioners;
Curated by Ruth Clinton & Niamh Moriarty
Fri. 21 Jul. – Fri. 8 Sep. 2023
KEVIN JEROME EVERSON / GRACE HENRY / PAUL HENRY / SEAN KEATING / MAURICE MACGONIGAL / EMILY MCFARLAND / KENT MONKMAN / WILLIAM ORPEN / NANO REID / GEORGE WILLIAM RUSSELL / TUQA AL SARRAJ / STEVEN YAZZIE / JACK B. YEATS
Taking the modern Irish painting canon as a popular imaginary for a rapidly changing new republic, Last of the Visioners considers how early 20th century representations of Ireland have come to shape our national and diasporic consciousness. Here, key romantic works by artists who were active during Ireland's revolutionary period, and formative early years of the Free State, are exhibited against contemporary works made in North America and Ireland. Documentary-style media by artists Kevin Jerome Everson, Emily McFarland, Tuqa Al-Sarraj, Kent Monkman and Steven Yazzie will commune with the visionary paintings of, among others, Sean Keating, Paul Henry, George William Russell and Jack B. Yeats.
Last of the Visioners presents these selected paintings from The Niland Collection as a 'promise' to a burgeoning nation, and gives prominence to more recent depictions of the ecological realities, partisan violence and enduring colonial gaze that have affected western landscapes in the ensuing years. Displayed through a nonchronological framework, works from the past two decades will give a sense of the present intruding upon and informing the past, including a range of alternative perspectives to unsettle the bucolic visions of yesterday. This exhibition hopes to tell a story of the Irish that acknowledges our struggles, admits our complicities and builds our capacity for solidarity.
A specially written pamphlet on Last of the Visioners by Ruth Clinton & Niamh Moriarty is available at reception or by clicking on the button below.
Read exhibition pamphlet
Image credits: Kent Monkman; Sisters & Brothers, 2015, still image. Courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada.