Mary Swanzy was born Dublin in 1882 and is considered to be the first Irish Cubist, preceding Evie Hone and Mainie Jellet. Aged fifteen, she left Ireland to complete her studies in Versailles and later in Freiburg. In pursuing her career as a painter, she took further art and sculpture classes in Dublin where she was taught by Jack B. Yeats. Her initial career was as a traditional portrait artist.
During travels in mainland Europe, her style developed, heavily influenced by Cubism. Paintings produced during her stay in Italy were exhibited in 1914 at the Salon des Indépendants in Paris, together with a number of a Cubist group, including Robert Delaunay.
None of her paintings are dated, so it is impossible to establish an exact chronology. But it seems certain that Swanzy executed this painting only after her exposure to the Italian Futurists and to the work of Delaunay. In ‘Abstract’ she employs the Cubist-Futurist fragmentation of form to create a non-perspective sense of space combined with motion. The interplay of colours with repetition of curves creates a lyrical composition within the interplay of light and shadow.
|Medium||Oil on board|
|Dimensions||40 x 60 cmFramed: 58.5 x 80.5 x 6 cm|
|Credit Line||IMMA Collection: Donation, Maire and Maurice Foley, 2000|
|Item Number||IMMA.908 FD|
|Not on view|
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