Donal Maguire on Aftermath: The War Landscapes of William Orpen and Rachel McIntyre on variations on a garden by Abbas Akhavan
Wednesday, January 10 2018, 1.15pm
We are delighted to invite you to a special two exhibition tour of the National Gallery of Ireland's Aftermath: The War Landscapes of William Orpen along with our current solo exhibition by Abbas Akhavan, variations on a garden.
Beginning at the National Gallery, curator Donal Maguire will lead the tour, looking at a selection of the celebrated Irish artist’s official war paintings as expressions of his struggle to comprehend the profound human trauma of World War I, as well as the position of the landscape as a victim of war. A contemporary response is provided with a new commission by artist Garrett Phelan, titled I HAVE NO RIGHT TO BE SO NEAR.
Leaving the National Gallery, we will arrive at the Douglas Hyde Gallery where Rachel McIntyre, Assistant Curator of Learning and Engagement, will introduce variations on a garden by Toronto-based artist Abbas Akhavan. Comprising a series of sculptures, video and photographic works, Akhavan explores the home, and spaces just outside the home such as the garden, as symbolic sites of trauma and hospitality but most significantly, as sites of sovereignty and war. A key work in the exhibition is study for a monument (2013-2016) which presents a series of bronze plants laid out on white cotton bed sheets across the downstairs gallery floor, native and endemic species from the area in and around the rivers Tigris and Euphrates, in present-day Iraq.
In different ways and from very different viewpoints, these exhibitions make space for considering the role of the artist in representing conflict and the trauma that is left in its wake.
We are excited to partner with the National Gallery of Ireland to offer this unique tour.
Left Image: Abbas Akhavan, study for a monument, 2013-16, Cast bronze on white cotton sheets, dimensions variable. Courtesy of Abraaj Group Art Prize and Family Servais Collection. Photograph by Toni Hafkenscheid.
Right Image: William Orpen (1878-1931), 'Man with a Cigarette', 1917 - detail. Photo © Imperial War Museum.