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Isabel Nolan | IE

The startling objects of Isabel Nolan’s art take wildly unpredictable forms, — but they are at the same time the fully consistent outcomes of a singular, searching artistic sensibility. Nolan’s works evolve out of almost scholarly processes of investigation — intensive enquiries into cosmological and botanical phenomena, perhaps, or analytical scrutiny of literary and historical texts. These contrasting means of representing reality (and of comprehending its infinitely various components) provide divergent points of departure for Nolan as she attempts to somehow account for the enduring strangeness of the world, even in its most intimately familiar forms.

Recent large-scale sculptures in particular have demonstrated an extraordinary capacity to realize in elaborate form the uncertainties of the questing, subjective consciousness. Such works often have the appearance of grand metallic doodles – line drawings that might imply efforts towards rational modeling or more impulsive sketching, but that are rendered dramatically, imposingly real. These sculptures (such as Slow Dirty Solution, 2013) have an inhuman heaviness and scale, and yet their precariousness — their barely held-together state — might well speak of states of mind as much as material tensions.

Nolan’s recent solo shows include the The Black Moon, curated by Sinziana Ravini in Palais de Tokyo, Paris and a solo in The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Musée d’art moderne de Saint Etienne, France (2012). She represented Ireland at the 2005 Venice Biennale in a group exhibition, 'Ireland at Venice 2005'.

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Irish Museum of Modern Art, Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, D08 FW31, Ireland
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