Porous Plane, a solo exhibition by Lennon, presents a range of work from the 1970s to the present which includes 1/3/92B, 1992, from the IMMA Collection and Folded/Unfolded MM 1972 (for Fiona), 2017, shown originally in Lennon’s first solo exhibition at the Project Arts Centre, Dublin in 1972 and remade especially for the IMMA Galleries as part of this exhibition.
Lennon’s exhibition is part of a curatorial approach that explores works in the IMMA Collection where artists are invited to place their early work among their current practice – ‘Then and Now’. Lennon’s art began in the 1970s with the Folded/Unfolded paintings and has continued to explore innovative forms of painting, most recently, AL13s, Denier7s, Autochthones and the on-going Arbitrary Colour Collections.
The Folded/Unfolded paintings first appeared in Lennon’s first solo exhibition at the Project Arts Centre, Dublin in 1972. They are paradoxes and were his most emphatic early response to his discovery, aged 12, of the Holocaust. Lennon’s early paintings function like high relief sculptures, with the artist folding the canvas in order to control and manipulate the space of and around the work. Lennon describes his 1972 making of Folded/Unfolded in an essay, Self-making in a Post-Colonial Culture, written for the IMMA exhibition; “I had been experimenting with ways of making paintings by pouring paint into canvases and shaping them by handling and folding them in ordinary everyday ways that most people do. I decided to exaggerate and make a large version of these ideas; the resulting paradoxical thing that emerged was Folded/Unfolded. Making it was a simple strategy of separating out facts from feelings, choosing ‘givens’: the canvas for the outer world of facts, and poured paint (added to it in a mixed complex of colour) for the inner emotional world of feelings. The support would be a conventional wall, a temporary arrangement”.
The painting, AL13, is on aluminium and is composed of five composites – each one a composite of brushstroke and surface. The AL13 paintings have no verticals: the viewer is the vertical who completes the composition.
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