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Ann Madden Retrospective and Some Art Exhibitions.

category national | arts and media | opinion/analysis author Thursday September 06, 2007 15:55author by C Murray

Yeats will run until 2008

There is a retrospective of Ann Madden's Major works from the 1950's to Date
running at IMMA until September the 30th, I had meant to write about it before.
The themes are of voyages and mythos- including the Icarus story which is
painted in red and gold, the paintings are ofter based in connected series
through the East wing of the gallery or presented in Triptych form on the walls.
Its a stunning exhibition, the later paintings are marked with small icons of crosses
. the image shown with this little piece is one of a series of Aurora Borealis inspired
paintings- and the exhibition is free, as is the Yeats collection at the National Library
and of course walking on the Hill of tara.
Ann Madden- Aurora Borealis (IMMA)
Ann Madden- Aurora Borealis (IMMA)

This piece is prompted by an article written yesterday by 'Cael' who had drawn attention to
the issue of Public Sculpture of the commerorative variety in Co Mayo. Three of the
Images at the Madden exhibition are high aerial views of small boat shapes on vast
seas, one of them commerorates the famine exodus and is unlike the others , it
features a boat shape on a vast sea that is divided between the dark water and a morass
of copper and gold creating a whirl around it. Its called 'Passage', that image is available
through catalogue, slide or from attending the exhibition. Its evocative and simple.
The exhibition begins with her early landscape and a self-portrait of the artist in a
working hair veil with one little brush, she has elongated the figure and presented it in
a way where she is remote from the viewer and caught up in her language and colour.
It continues through the whole of Madden's career and ends up at the Aurora Borealis
pictures that can be seen from half way down the main gallery and draw you to them.
The rooms on the right of the main gallery contain the Icarus images and mythos:-
Icarus:- Point of No Return, Icarus:- Transition II, Icarus:- Plummet, Icarus:- Immolation.
They are in red and gold, with tiny iconographic mandalas constructed in the bush strokes
as part of the process of the painting. They are next to the later Aurora Paintings.
The 'Garden of Love Paintings' feature short arm crosses worked into the canvas.

The exhibition is free and is well worth the visit, she is lyrical and poetic, though most of the
canvasses are quite big. the Yeats continues until the end of 2007 and into 2008.
This is ongoing in the National Library and features small rooms , each with a theme
such as: Esotericism, 1916,Maud Gonne, Public Life and etcetera.

The Hill of tara is free for people to walk on but the sites involved in the bisection of the Gabhra
Valley are not and many have been arrested on the flimsiest of video evidence which suggests
that the lines drawn by the NRA and Siac/Ferrovial are known only to them.

We have a pretty amazing modern art collection in the combined galleries of
IMMA, The Hugh Lane, NGI, Red on Green, The Original Print Gallery, Temple Bar
Galleries and a host of small independent concerns. Mostly our modern collections
have been formed through the work of small groups of artists and beneficent
people who recognised at the foundation of the State that the art policy of the
de Valera regime did not do enough to help create a visual feast for young Irish Kids
to help form their ability to discern form in art. Our current Legislation :- The Arts
Act 2003, continues the De Valera policy of funding art that appeals to the state
and often disallows the creation of newer work by creating an ossified establishment
in bursary awards or cutting funds to already struggling music or theatre groups.
we should support the galleries people fought so hard to achieve. The Friends of Irish
Art who did most of the collecting saw the banning from exhibition of such artists
as Roualt. it hangs today in the Hugh Lane Gallery.
+ Its free.

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