Stephen McKenna

Stephen McKenna 
Spele with Laurel
1988 
Oil on canvas
60 x 50 cm
 

Stephen McKenna, Hydrangeas, 2016, oil on canvas, 80 x 100 cm / 31.5 x 39.4 in   

Stephen McKenna, Apple Tree, 2010, oil on canvas, 50 x 40 cm / 19.7 x 15.7 in  

Stephen McKenna, Cigar Smoker in Snow, 2003, oil on canvas, 90 x 70 cm / 35.4 x 27.6 in   

Stephen McKenna 
Primroses 2016
oil on canvas
60 x 50.5 cm / 23.6 x 19.9 in   
 
Stephen McKenna 
Geraniums on blue 2016
oil on canvas
90.5 x 70 cm / 35.6 x 27.6 in 
Stephen McKenna
Large Bedroom Interior
2014
oil on canvas
100 x 80 cm / 40 x 31.5 in
Stephen McKenna
Benbulben 
2014 
oil on canvas
50 x 70 cm / 19.5 x 27.5 in
Stephen McKenna
St. Vincents Afternoon 
2014/15
oil on canvas
60 x 90 cm / 23.5 x 35.5 in
Stephen McKenna
The Temptation of St Anthony 
2014
oil on canvas
120 x 160 cm / 47 x 63 in
Stephen McKenna
Climbing 
2014 
oil on canvas
60 x 50 cm / 23.5 x 19.5 in 
Stephen McKenna
Fire and Lamp 
2015
oil on canvas
121 x 181 cm / 47.5 x 71.25 in
Stephen McKenna
Geraniums 
2015 
oil on canvas
50 x 65 cm / 19.5 x 25.5 in
Stephen McKenna
Tiger
2012
oil on canvas
60 x 80 cm / 23.6 x 31.5 in  
Siobhán Hapaska and Stephen McKenna
Kerlin Gallery
30 November 2012 – 19 January 2013

 

Additional Views
Stephen McKenna
Kerlin Gallery
10 September - 9 October 2010
Additional Views
Stephen McKenna
Contrasts & Complementaries
Kerlin Gallery
14 September – 13 October 2007
b. 1939, London.
 
Stephen McKenna was born in London in 1939, and was living and working in County Carlow at the time of his death in 2017.
 
A painter impervious to changing fashions, his work nonetheless achieved particular international prominence during the 1980s as part of the neo-classical strain of painterly postmodernism. Yet, for McKenna classicism is more a question of attitude than of subject matter. Overt pictorial references to classical antiquity gave way during the 1990s to a sophisticated exploration of the still life, the interior, the landscape and the seascape, rendering these scenes with great attention to the atmospheric conditions of light, air, space and water. He drew on the hard-won skills and knowledge of the history of painting to create contemporary works that intrigue and question, and have the wherewithal to stand the test of time. 
 
McKenna has had many major solo exhibitions. Some of the most recent include MiMA, Middlesbrough (2014), travelling to Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane (2015); The Paradise [36], Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2013) and Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin (2012). Other major solo shows include Museum of Modern Art, Oxford (1983), Stadtische Kunsthalle, Dusseldorf (1986), the Irish Museum of Modern Art (1993), Ca di Fra, Milan (1999), the Douglas Hyde Gallery Dublin (2003), Arp Museum, Rolandseck, Germany (2000) and the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin (2005). McKenna participated in Documenta 7 in 1982; Classical Spirit at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Falls the Shadow at the Hayward Gallery, London, in 1986; Avant Garde of the '80s, Los Angeles County Museum of Modern Art in 1987 and Dreams & Traditions, at the Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C. in 1997. In 1986, he was nominated for the Turner Prize.
 
McKenna's work is represented in the collections of the Irish Museum of Modern Art; the Tate, London; the Berlinische Galerie, Berlin; Staedtische Sammlungen, Rheinhausen; Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels; Fries Museum, Leeuwarden, Netherlands and in many other collections, both private and public, worldwide.
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Stephen McKenna, 1939–2017

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our friend and colleague
Stephen McKenna. Stephen passed away at his home in County Carlow on 4 May 2017. 

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Stephen McKenna, Perspectives of Europe

Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Dublin, Ireland

23 July – 4 October 2015

Solo exhibition

This unique exhibition features works created throughout McKenna’s career, focusing specifically on cityscapes, parks and trees.

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Stephen McKenna, Landscapes of the Mind

Museo Nacional de Arte, Mexico City

25 March – 21 June 2015

Group exhibition

Many of Tate's finest oil paintings, watercolours and drawings, prints and photographs –from Stephen McKenna, to Turner and Constable, Burra and Hockney– will be seen in the context of the literary, philosophical, political and social forces which shaped the nation's growth over nearly three centuries.

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Stephen McKenna

Stephen McKenna: Perspectives of Europe 1980 – 2014

6 February – 7 June 2015

mima (Middlesborough Institute of Modern Art), UK

While McKenna has lived and worked in various countries since the 1960s, since 1998 he has been based in Ireland. This exhibition will be the artist’s largest museum solo presentation in over a decade and will feature work from throughout his career including landscapes, cityscapes, trees, with loans both nationally and internationally.

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'Meditation on Plates'

Dorothy Cross, David Godbold, Richard Gorman, Stephen McKenna & Kathy Prendergast

12 July - 31 October 2014

Casino Marino, Dublin

The Office of Public Works will present an exhibition 'Meditation on Plates: Inspired by Lord Charlemont's Casino' in one of Ireland's most highly regarded historic buildings, the Casino at Marino, Dublin.


A group of almost 40 esteemed Irish and international artists, designers and architects was invited to respond to the Casino building, some of its ornamental elements or surroundings in a personal drawing. The artists' drawings have been transferred onto porcelain plates and reproduced in a limited edition of 18 plates per artist. The resulting collection is rich in its variety of interpretations and the quality and  beauty of the work.

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Stephen McKenna

Drawings and Watercolours: 1974 - 2013

8 March - 20 April 2014

Butler Gallery, Kilkenny

The Butler Gallery presents Stephen McKenna: Drawings and Watercolours 1974 - 2013.

 

This exhibition will be dedicated to the works on paper by Carlow based artist Stephen McKenna. Concerned with the enduring value of the time-honoured genres of the still life, the interior, the landscape and the seascape, these works on paper, mostly pencil on paper, reveal a looser body of work by this accomplished artist.

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'Stephen McKenna finds the unity in fragmentation', The Irish Times

by Aidan Dunne

4 August 2015

The Irish Times

"It’s not just that McKenna depicts a succession of interconnected rooms and occasional views to the outside world beyond. His interiors are both studios and homes. They open up other, multiple, imaginative spaces via depictions of paintings completed or in progress, books that suggest avenues of thought and enquiry, geological samples, vessels, food and drink, swathes of fabric and, though not in the current show, musical instruments.

"Each interior is a world. Add the warm glow of Mediterranean light and you have something irresistible, but also stirring and involving: spaces of possibility."

- Aidan Dunne, The Irish Times

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Kerlin Gallery

Stephen McKenna

16 December 2012

The Sunday Times

This show juxtaposes Siobhán Hapaska’s cryptic and contemporary sculptures/assemblages with the classical formality of Stephen McKenna’s paintings. This contrast works well: McKenna’s still and stately paintings balance Hapaska’s busy contraptions. Her exquisite For Eyes That Are Full, a leather gourd bedecked with pheasant feathers, even finds an echo in McKenna’s Triple Head hanging nearby.

McKenna has 16 pieces on show and his usual tropes are on display: the lush greenery, the classical architecture, the formal interiors, and even an eye-catching nude. A couple of recent pieces, Piranesi I and Piranesi II, are architectural tributes to the Italian artist. Hapaska has claimed the purpose of art is “confusing the masses”. She may have achieved this with her four pieces. Those who seek for meaning and message may depart none the wiser. Those who stay to admire the visual chutzpah of her surreal assemblages will be rewarded.

- John P O’Sullivan 

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This Is Your Audio Guide

Stephen McKenna

2012

Frieze Emdash

The winner of the 2012 Emdash Award was Cecile B. Evans whose project was an audio guide, featuring McKenna's Dead Nude painting, to Frieze London accompanied by a holographic ‘host’. This Is Your Audio Guide featured a panel of non-art experts that described works from the fair in a subjective manner. The panel included notable figures from media, pop culture, politics and science. Evans aimed to intervene in the vocabulary typically employed by the contemporary art market and introduce a different type of language to the fair, one based on feelings rather than material, price or provenance.

‘Host’ Simon Schama introduces experts including Rabbi Lionel Blue, Sophie Dahl and Patrick Moore who all comment on works that could be found at the 2012 fair.

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42 Carlton Place

Stephen McKenna

5 May 2012

artcritical

The debut exhibition at the gallery at 42 Carlton Place, “Ever Since I put Your Picture in a Frame,” is a refreshingly thoughtful and diverse selection of painting both contemporary and from the early 20th Century. The gallery is a project of the painters Carol Rhodes and Merlin James; curated by James, “Ever Since...” clearly shows the touch of a painter. 

- William Corwin

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