Dublin Gallery Weekend
30 November 2017
By challenging the assumption that the movement across borders is an homogenizing force, the work offers a reminder that the exchange of people, services and ideas can not only accommodate difference but stimulate new and hybrid forms.
That much is apparent in the work of Stephen McKenna, whose paintings are exhibited at Kerlin Gallery. McKenna—who was born and studied in London, spent most of his life in Ireland, and lived at various times in Belgium, Germany, and Italy—was once asked whether he considered himself to be English, Irish, or European. “Yes,” he answered, suggesting that if he did belong to any community it was that branch of eccentric European painting to which Rousseau, Morandi, and Spencer also belong. Paintings such as Pyrrhus (2012)—with its postmodern collapse of high and low references—serve as a reminder that this port on Ireland’s eastern seaboard has always been a site of exchange.—Ben EasthamVisit Website