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Other Men’s Flowers

  • Exhibitions

26 July 2008 - 28 September 2008

Jeff Wall, Edwin Lutyens, Leon Kossoff, Martin Kippenberger, Patrick Hall, Patrick Graham, Ben Geoghegan, Brian Fay, Michael Farrell, Francis Bacon, Frank Auerbach

The art of the past and the great collections in which it is housed have always been an important resource for artists. Either using it as a source to extract lessons of relevance for their own work or wrestling with the tradition and transforming it into something of their own making, artists consistently acknowledge the value of the work of artists of previous generation in advancing the ‘new’ and establishing their own position in the long history of art. For some, such as Leon Kossoff and Frank Auerbach, this engagement with the past is based on a close study of the hand of great masters and is a continual process of technical discovery. For others, such as Francis Bacon, Jeff Wall and Martin Kippenberger, the art of the past is a source of ideas to be interpreted and refashioned in works of a very different kind.

Taken from a quote by the French moralist Michel de Montaigne – ‘in this book I have only made up a bunch of other men’s flowers, providing of my own only the string that ties them together’ – this exhibition draws on the collections of the Tate and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane as well as the private collections of the artists, and attempts to set up a dialectic discord between diverse artistic approaches. In seeking to address the nature and obligations of working within the art of the past and collections, ‘Other Men’s Flowers’ asks what are the responsibilities to context when bringing such a disparate group of works together? What useful histories can unfold? How might we usefully understand the gaps and discrepancies in art production and dissemination?

The exhibition is less concerned with histories of representation and illusion than with the lived experience or intervention offered by the work of art and with how artists deal with this experience as it somehow transforms their own field of vision.

Curated by Michael Dempsey, Head of Exhibitions

 

Ben Geoghegan, Turf Bog Scene, Paul Henry, 2008.
Courtesy of the artist.

Ben Geoghegan, Malin Head Donegal, Lord Leighton, 2008.
Courtesy of the artist.

Ben Geoghegan, Claude Monet ‘Waterloo Bridge’ or ‘Lavacourt Under Snow’, 2008. Courtesy of the artist.

Ben Geoghegan, A Breezy Day, Howth, William Orpen, 2008.
Courtesy the artist.

Gwen John, Study of a Young Girl, c. 1918-1922. Collection & image © Hugh Lane Gallery.
Donated by A. E. Anderson, 1929.

Gwen John, Study of a Young Girl with a Hat, c. 1918-1922. Collection & image © Hugh Lane Gallery.
Donated by A. E. Anderson, 1929.

Jeff Wall, Coastal Motifs, 1989.© the artist

Micheal Farrell, Madonna Irlanda or The Very First Real Irish Political Picture, 1977. Collection & image
© Hugh Lane Gallery, Purchased, 1977
© The Estate of Micheal Farrell.

Leon Kossoff, Fidelma in a Red Chair, 1981. Private Collection

Francis Bacon Studio, Leaf from book by Xavier de Salas, Velazquez, London, Phaidon Press, 1962, Collection & image © Hugh Lane Gallery.
© The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved/DACS.

Francis Bacon Studio, Leaf from unknown book on Rembrandt with colour photographic illustration of Rembrandt’s Self-Portrait, 1660 (detail). Collection & image © Hugh Lane Gallery.
© The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved/DACS.

Francis Bacon Studio, Leaf from book by Elizabeth Du Gué Trapier, Velázquez, New York, Hispanic Society of America, 1948 (pp. 299/ 300), Collection & image © Hugh Lane Gallery.
© The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved/DACS.

Installation view of Other men’s flowers.
Images by Eugene Langan

Installation view of Other men’s flowers.
Images by Eugene Langan

Installation view of Other men’s flowers.
Images by Eugene Langan

Installation view of Other men’s flowers.
Images by Eugene Langan

Installation view of Other men’s flowers.
Images by Eugene Langan

Installation view of Other men’s flowers.
Images by Eugene Langan

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Kneeling Figure – Back View Francis Bacon 1982