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Seán Kissane, Curator, Exhibitions, IMMA, discusses the major retrospective Mary Swanzy, Voyages. Mary Swanzy is arguably Ireland’s first ‘modernist’ painter and this is the first major retrospective of her work since 1968. The exhibition offers a timely review of Swanzy’s work, demonstrating her early mastery of Modernist styles, her wide travels, idiosyncratic feminism and forward-thinking ideas that makes Swanzy such a fascinating artist to explore in our times.

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.


About the Artist

Mary Swanzy 1882–1978

Mary Swanzy was born in Dublin. She spent periods in Paris before the first World War and from 1920, she travelled through Eastern Europe and the Balkans and then to Hawaii and Samoa. Best known for her Cubist and Futurist paintings, Swanzy exhibited regularly at the Paris Salon des Indépendants and the Beaux Arts. By 1946 she was included in exhibitions with Chagall, William Scott and Henry Moore. The first major retrospective of Swanzy’s work was held in IMMA in 2018.

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Curator's Talk, Sean Kissane on Mary Swanzy, Voyages Soundcloud

Important Notice

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We would like to advise our visitors that our Main Reception area is closed for renovation from 22 April until mid-June. A temporary reception is open on the ground floor next to the original main entrance. There are three exhibitions to visit  Hilary Heron: A Retrospective; Derry Film & Video Workshop and Self: Determination: Artists Commissions. IMMA’s shop, café and gardens are all open.

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