Tableaux Vivants

  • Exhibitions

18 December 2021 - 24 April 2022


A contemporary response to Studio & State: The Laverys and the Anglo-Irish Treaty, co-curated by Logan Sisley with invited artist Niamh McCann.

This exhibition is conceived in parallel to Studio & State: The Laverys and the Anglo-Irish Treaty, which is a collaboration between Hugh Lane Gallery and the National Museum of Ireland and is currently on view at Collins Barracks.

Tableaux Vivants, co-curated by Logan Sisley with artist Niamh McCann, features a selection of works from the collection centred around three recently acquired works by McCann: Sculpture Picture Furniture Gesture #1–3. In them, McCann restages gestures portrayed in iconic statues of James Larkin and Edward Carson. These gestures reference images from art history ranging from ancient Greek sculptures to religious iconography and instigate a dialogue with selected works from the collection.

  • Gestures

    The gestures inherent in the artworks selected for Tableaux Vivants were variously used to convey authority, surrender, to dismiss or to rejoice. The focus and thinking behind the selection was to explore the historical narratives, meaning and power dynamics inherent in these art works.

    Tableaux Vivants or “living pictures” originally referenced the presentation of a static scene by a group of actors, a popular entertainment in the early 20th century. Tableaux Vivants invites viewers to engage with our historical and contemporary collection in the context of the centenary of the Anglo Irish Treaty of 1921 making their personal associations and connections with the selected works.

  • Artists Included

    The artists included in Tableaux Vivants are: Robert Ballagh, Margaret Clarke, Dorothy Cross, Edward Delaney, Willie Doherty, Daniel Chester French, Isobel Gloag, Philip Guston, Augustus Edwin John, Seán Keating, Sir John Lavery, William John Leech, Niamh McCann, Henry Scott Tuke and books from the Francis Bacon Archive.

    Niamh McCann contributed the essay, “Foreground, middleground, background,” to our Studio & State catalogue, which is available in our bookshop.

  • Published Material

  • Explore works in the exhibition

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Big Bird Niki de Saint Phalle 1982