Analysing Cubism


Irish Museum of Modern Art, Kilmainham, Dublin Feb 20- May 26 Tues-Sat 10am-5.30pm (Wed 10.30am-5.30pm), Sun noon-5.30pm

What did Europe ever do for us? Whatever else, it introduced a generation of Irish artists to Cubism, which kick-started the development of European Modernism and fully fledged abstraction in 20th-century Irish art. Analytical Cubism was an early phase of the Cubist revolution initiated by Picasso, Braque and Juan Gris, with Cezanne as the essential pathfinder.

Imma’s exhibition doesn’t so much analyse Cubism, in any case, as its Irish reception and adaptation. For various reasons, the strand of Cubism that filtered through to Ireland came via Albert Gleizes and André Lhote. In their different ways, both systematised and academicised the adventurousness of Braque and Picasso (who once described himself and Braque as two mountaineers, roped together, in their pioneering aesthetic efforts).

The Irish manifestation was comparatively tame, though nonetheless important in many ways. Worth seeing – and analysing.

Can’t See That? Catch This

Fenster The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim Until Apr 13