Dorothy Cross in Coast-Lines

Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin

13 October 2017 – 30 September 2018

Dorothy Cross, Tabernacle, 2013, currach, shed, wood, roller blinds, mixed media and sea cave video, 270 x 522 x 126 cm / 106.3 x 205.5 x 49.6 in 

Drawing on the paradox implicit in the word ‘coastline’ - for never has a coast followed a linear course - the title of this exhibition throws a line around a 12-month programme of changing displays of artworks and archival material that will explore our sense of place, perception, representation and memory. Works by Dorothy Cross, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Clare Langan, Richard Long, Anne Madden, Anita Groener, Michael Mulcahy, Donald Teskey, Tony O’Malley, Alexandra Wejchert, Bridget Riley and others variously explore pattern and line, surface, folds, enclosures, erasures, borders, terrain, the inherent coastal tensions between motion and stillness and any attempt to map what our senses perceive. Others such as Brian O’Doherty, Hamish Fulton, Tim Robinson and OMG collective variously engage photographic, linear, linguistic and coded systems to invoke a mind/body relationship.


The 1960s as a decade gets particular focus in the current exhibition. On the international art scene it was a time, much more than any other decade, that was highly energised. Each year saw a new movement surface: Pop, Op, Kinetic, Minimalism, Conceptual art and so on. In Ireland at that time we saw the emergence of the first Rosc, in 1967, a series of 6 major exhibitions of international art that had a significant impact on contemporary art developments here. Rosc had a significant impact on the development of contemporary art in Ireland. While Rosc ’67 was indeed a major showcase it was less about contemporary developments of the time than it was a catch-up survey of 20th century masterworks for the benefit of Irish and visiting international audiences. IMMA has been re-examining Rosc across the programme this year, and Coast-Lines provides glimpses of some concurrent moments in the art world of the 1960s and ’70s with artworks and archival holdings that draw on the Gordon Lambert and Timothy Drever/Robinson archives in the IMMA Collection. A number of displays will include Irish artists who were working internationally in the late ’60s and ’70s such as Brian O’Doherty, James Coleman, Noel Sheridan and Anne Madden.


A timeline spanning the 1940s to the 1970s contextualises the pre and post Rosc art scene in Ireland, highlighting key moments and exhibitions. These include the Irish Exhibition of Living Art (IELA), an annual exhibition of Irish modernist developments initiated by Mainie Jellett; to the establishment of the Hendriks Gallery in 1957; Project Arts Centre in 1967 and other significant events. Archive material related to the shortlived but seminal Signals Gallery, London, has particular significance in any account of Optical, Kinetic and Conceptual Art developments of the 1960s. Examples of such works were introduced to Irish audiences of the day through the vision of the Hendriks Gallery and many are now in the IMMA Collection due to the  philanthropy of Gordon Lambert.


Video footage from The Roland Collection, the Cruz-Diez Art Foundation, Joe Lee and the RTÉ archives is available to view.


Margaret Benyon, Dorothy Cross, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Gerard Dillon, Brian Eno, T.P. Flanagan, Gerda Frömel, Hamish Fulton, Helena Gorey, Anita Groener, Paul Henry, Patrick Heron, John Hinde, John Hoyland, Clare Langan, Richard Long, Julio Le Parc, Anne Madden, Norah McGuiness, Stephen McKenna, Sean McSweeney, Michael Mulcahy, Brian O’Doherty, Tony O’Malley, Betty Parsons, Bridget Riley, Nano Reid, Tim Robinson, Peter Sedgley, Noel Sheridan, Jesús-Rafael Soto, Camille Souter, John Millington Synge, Donald Teskey, Victor Vasarely, Alexandra Wejchert and Orthogonal Methods Group (OMG) at CONNECT.

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