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James McKenna, b.1933

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the G.P.O.1990

‘A Funny Thing Happened on the way to The G.P.O.’ is made from a mixture of regular wood pieces fixed together to represent two figures in a tableaux that may suggest a chance encounter on the street (“on the way to the G.P.O.”) or a captured moment in an unknown narrative between two people. The G.P.O. may suggest a more historically loaded event than simply a geographic location. Reminiscent of early Cubism, facial features and limbs are simplified and movement is suggested in the dynamic between parallel lines of wood, emphasised by painted sections.

MediumPainted wood
Dimensions35 x 35 x 35 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Purchase, 1993
Item NumberIMMA.431
Image Caption
James McKenna, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the G.P.O., 1990, Painted wood, 35 x 35 x 35 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Purchase, 1993

For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].

About the Artist

James McKenna 1933–2000

Irish sculptor, poet and playwright James McKenna studied at the National College of Art and Design. The work of the Italian Renaissance masters influenced McKenna throughout his career. Political events, often married with Celtic mythology, also informed his work. He was a founding member of both the Independent Artists Group and the Sculptors’ Society of Ireland and exhibited with the Irish Exhibitions of Living Art. He was awarded the Macaulay Fellowship for Sculpture in 1960 and became a member of Aosdána in 1983. A major retrospective of his work was held at IMMA in 2007.
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