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Lennon, Porous Plane

13 October 2017 - 30 September 2018
Main Galleries | East Wing


Lennon, Porous Plane, Installation view IMMA – Irish Museum of Modern Art, 13 Oct 2017 – 30 Sept 2018. (Centrepiece Folded/Unfolded, 1972). Courtesy the artist

Porous Plane, a solo exhibition by Lennon, presents a range of work from the 1970s to the present which includes 1/3/92B, 1992, from the IMMA Collection and Folded/Unfolded MM 1972 (for Fiona), 2017, shown originally in Lennon’s first solo exhibition at the Project Arts Centre, Dublin in 1972 and remade especially for the IMMA Galleries as part of this exhibition.

Lennon’s exhibition is part of a curatorial approach that explores works in the IMMA Collection where artists are invited to place their early work among their current practice - ‘Then and Now’. Lennon’s art began in the 1970s with the Folded/Unfolded paintings and has continued to explore innovative forms of painting, most recently, AL13s, Denier7s, Autochthones and the on-going Arbitrary Colour Collections.

The Folded/Unfolded paintings first appeared in Lennon's first solo exhibition at the Project Arts Centre, Dublin in 1972. They are paradoxes and were his most emphatic early response to his discovery, aged 12, of the Holocaust. Lennon’s early paintings function like high relief sculptures, with the artist folding the canvas in order to control and manipulate the space of and around the work. Lennon describes his 1972 making of Folded/Unfolded in an essay, Self-making in a Post-Colonial Culture, written for the IMMA exhibition; “I had been experimenting with ways of making paintings by pouring paint into canvases and shaping them by handling and folding them in ordinary everyday ways that most people do. I decided to exaggerate and make a large version of these ideas; the resulting paradoxical thing that emerged was Folded/Unfolded. Making it was a simple strategy of separating out facts from feelings, choosing 'givens': the canvas for the outer world of facts, and poured paint (added to it in a mixed complex of colour) for the inner emotional world of feelings. The support would be a conventional wall, a temporary arrangement”.

The painting, AL13, is on aluminium and is composed of five composites – each one a composite of brushstroke and surface. The AL13 paintings have no verticals: the viewer is the vertical who completes the composition.

About the artist

Born in Dublin in 1947, Lennon studied at the National College of Art & Design from 1963 to 1967. He has been awarded the Pollock Krasner Foundation Award twice in 1991 and in 1997. In 1993 he became an elected member of Aosdána and in 1996 he was chosen to represent Ireland at the Săo Paulo Biennial in Brazil. He has had numerous solo exhibitions in museums and art galleries in Ireland and abroad including: the Arken Museum of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen; National Gallery of Ireland; IMMA; Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin; Chester Beatty Library, Dublin; Ulster Museum, Belfast; Kerlin Gallery, Dublin; Fenderesky Gallery, Belfast; Annely Juda Fine Art, London and Galerie Lahumier in Paris. His work has also been included in exhibitions representing contemporary Irish art in London, Paris and New York. Lennon’s work is represented in many major collections including Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane; the National Gallery of Ireland; IMMA; Kamarsky Collection, New York and the Fogg Museum of Fine Art, Harvard. He lives and works in Dublin.

Exhibition Resources

Read the Exhibition Guide.

Media Release

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