on a perilous margin
27th November - 23rd December 2009
“We are on a perilous margin when we begin to look at our future selves, and see our own figures led with dull consent into insipid misdoing and shabby achievement.”
-Middlemarch, George Eliot.
“Recently I read Middlemarch for the first time, I loved it. Unremarkably perhaps, I was struck throughout by the great esteem placed upon making the ‘right’ decisions. Good choices were made both with and against the mores of a society predicated on patriarchy, religious duty and class. It is very hard to know what is a good way to be, but in Middlemarch, above all other factors, following one’s heart (if it beat selflessly...) seemed to be the formula for avoiding “insipid misdoing”.
...I often wonder why things (man-made or natural) came to be made or to exist, and more particularly why one has such strong reactions to, and feeling for them. Frequently I wonder why on earth I want to make yet more things, it is something I am very puzzled by. I find this desire problematic, conceivably even self-indulgent, yet I will passionately defend it against those whom C. S. Lewis dubbed, men “ of radically servile character (who) will never understand. (And who) will ask, ‘But what use is it?’”.
Reflecting the artist's multifarious practice, this exhibition will include sculpture, painting, drawing and needlework. Nolan's recent work has been described as the perfect marriage of 'an intuitive intellect with a disciplined hand, creating a unique and eclectic body of work'.
This new body of work continues, through such diverse mediums to uncover the hidden energy in things. Nolan's exhibitions present a universe of competing forces where each element is able to hold its own and make its presence felt. It is an art by any means necessary, with a signature that is constantly changing.
In the short time since her first show at the Kerlin in early 2007, Nolan's work has received international attention with numerous group shows including ones at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Musée d’art Moderne de Saint Etienne, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, De appel Amsterdam, Beijing Art Museum of the Imperial City, Beijing, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery New York, Mediation Biennale, Poznan, Poland, SMART, Amsterdam and Stroom Den Haag. In 2008 Isabel Nolan presented a solo show at ARTSPACE, New Zealand. Previous shows include a solo show at Project Arts Centre (2005), Temple Bar Gallery & Studios (2005), Glasgow International 2006 and the Venice Biennale, 2005.
Future exhibitions include solo shows at Musée d’art Moderne de Saint Etienne and Gallery side 2, Tokyo. Nolans work is represented in the collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, City Gallery the Hugh Lane, Dublin, AIB, The European Investment Bank, Luxemberg and in various international collections, both public and private.