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Artist and researcher Liz Cullinane draws on her biographical investigations into Swanzy’s life long career and shares some of the most fascinating discoveries to emerge out of the artist’s own records, archives, and accounts from those closest to her. This talk provides a valuable picture of the times in which many of Swanzy’s paintings were created, as well as the rich social history behind some of the artist’s less familiar styles and developments that comprise several rooms of the IMMA exhibition.
Liz Cullinane is a researcher, artist and designer who works in a multi-disciplinary practice. Her research investigates the career of the Irish painter Mary Swanzy. It extends into the exhibition record and biographical history of her life to evaluate Swanzy’s career in the context of the development of Modernism in Ireland in the 1920s and examines the later paintings in the broader British and European sphere of Surrealism. Cullinane’s initial research used a genealogical model to extend and test earlier work by J. Campbell (1986) and F.Brennan (1989). Birth records, wills, census returns and archives were searched to enlarge knowledge of Swanzy’s social background. In evaluating Swanzy’s career, as well as interviews with the remaining people who knew Swanzy; many of the issues around national identity and influences of the more immediate nature are considered.
Mary Swanzy (1882-1978) is a unique Irish artist. Her level of achievement, world travel and original thinking is unmatched in Irish art, yet this is the first retrospective of her work in 50 years. She witnessed the birth of Modern art in Paris before the First World War and her work rapidly evolved through the different styles of the day, each of them interpreted and transformed by her in a highly personal way. View Artist »
This talk is programmed in the context of the exhibition Mary Swanzy, Voyages, 26 October 2018 – 17 February 2019. This IMMA initiated exhibition aims to reintroduce our audiences to this artist’s extraordinary achievements and reinstate her as a Modern Irish Master. A fully illustrated monograph accompanies the exhibition with text by Seán Kissane and a biography by Liz Cullinane. The exhibition is presented as part of the IMMA Modern Masters Series.