Throughout her career Kathy Prendergast has received international critical acclaim for her work with cartography, often returning to the Atlas of North America and in particular the state of Minnesota. The map of this state, commonly known as the ‘land of 10,000 lakes’ makes clear the contrast between our need for structure and order and the irregularity of millions of years of organic natural history. A uniform grid of road networks sits at odds with a landscape formed by volcanic eruption, carved by glaciers and defined by misshapen lakes and serpentine waterways. Prendergast has painted directly on the map itself, filling in the space between the roads, redacting nature with exuberant colour.
Prendergast transforms the map from a key to understanding how to navigate the Minnesota landscape to a kaleidoscopic abstraction celebrating the chaotic clash of two opposing orders.
Prendergast represented Ireland at the 46th Venice Biennale, 1995, for which she won the prestigious Premio Duemila Prize. In the 25 years since she has had significant shows at Kunst-Station St. Peter, Cologne (2019); Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Ireland (2016, 2006, 2003); Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, Ireland (2015); The Irish Museum of Modern Art (2000) and Tate Britain (1997). Her ambitious 'Atlas' installation first shown at Kerlin Gallery, 2016 has been shown at Museum Morsbroich, Germany (2020); Kunst-Station Sankt Peter, Köln, Germany (2019); MoMA Oxford (2018) and The Yokohama Triennale (2017). Public collections include Tate, London; the Cheekwood Museum of Art, Nashville; Santa Barbara University Museum; the Albright-Knox, Buffalo; the Contemporary Museum, Honolulu; The Hugh Lane, Dublin and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin.