Eithne Jordan - Mise en scène

Saturday, 27th August 2022 - Saturday, 1st October 2022

Act I: Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda, 27 August - 1 October 2022

Act II: Crawford Gallery, Cork, 9 September – 30 November 2022

Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda and Crawford Gallery, Cork are delighted to present two solo exhibitions by Eithne Jordan, RHA one of Ireland’s pre-eminent painters.   This is Jordan’s first major show in Ireland since her outstanding exhibition at the Hugh Lane gallery in 2017. She has exhibited widely in Europe, and is a member of Aosdána and the RHA, where she holds the position of Keeper.  Her work is in major public and private collections in Ireland, Europe and the United States.

Since 2014, Jordan has produced a series of paintings of interiors of public and private galleries, museums and institutional buildings, that have attracted the artist’s attention, in Ireland, France and further afield. For these forthcoming solo exhibitions, Eithne Jordan presents a new body of paintings that date from 2020 to 2022. 

The exhibition at Highlanes Gallery will feature both large and smaller scale paintings of subjects, such as the interior of the majestic Hôtel de Ville in Toulouse, the Musée Fabre, Montpellier, the Musée Jacquemart André, Paris and further afield, at the Philadelphia Museum and Pennsylvania Museum of Art. In Ireland, buildings such as Newbridge House, the National Gallery and the Anatomy Room at the Royal College of Surgeons, have exerted considerable fascination for the artist.   Jordan looks at the way paintings, sculptures and artefacts are displayed in our museums and institutions, with her attraction firmly towards eighteenth and nineteenth century edifices. Many of these buildings once served the causes of science, aristocracy, government and culture and still do.  The juxtaposition of these sumptuous and pompous interiors with the functionality of their use in contemporary life is what attracts the artist’s attention, whose interest is piqued by the overall impression created by the ensemble of décor.

As Jordan notes,

‘What interests me is the display of these artworks in an interior setting with all that goes with it- the rich colours on the walls, the gilt frames of the paintings, the ropes preventing us entering, the plinths, and the lighting. It is really a staging of an inanimate performance – a mise en scène.’

The Anatomy Room of the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin is the subject of a number of paintings, the earliest dating from 2016.  Jordan finds herself returning to this space, attracted by the ‘chilly coldness’ of it, with the educational figures and models displaying different parts of the body and its various organs.

The exhibition at Crawford Art Gallery will take the form of an intervention in the beautiful sculpture galleries, with twenty small works by Jordan exhibited among the original Canova casts on display. Many of Jordan’s paintings feature sculptures which she sees as serving a multitude of purposes, but principally as a way of introducing the human figure into the institutional space. The artist notes that there are many layers of historical reference and interpretation distancing us from the humanity of the figure. This series of exquisite miniature oils on board is a new departure for the artist. 

As Jordan notes,

‘I like the idea of doing a show in a space where a conversation can happen between my paintings and works from the collection that is on display. Here there are all kinds of echoes and connections with the Canova casts and the sculptures represented in my paintings…’

Both exhibitions running concurrently will provide a unique opportunity for visitors to see the work of this artist in two very different contexts

Eithne Jordan was born in Dublin and lives and works in Dublin, and in the Languedoc, France. 

The exhibitions are curated by Margarita Cappock.

MISE EN SCÈNE: Act I will open to the public at Highlanes Gallery on Saturday, 27 August from 3-5pm where Eithne Jordan will discuss her practice and the exhibition in a gallery talk at 3.15pm. Book Here: Eithne Jordan - Exhibition Opening Artist Talk

MISE EN SCÈNE: Act I will open at the Crawford Art Gallery, Cork on 9 September and run until 30 November.


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