Enfilade

Exhibition | On a Pedestal

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on July 25, 2018

Alessandro Galilei and Edward Lovett Pearce, Castletown House, Celbridge, County Kildare, ca. 1722–29, built for William Conolly, Speaker of the Irish House of Commons; extensive rennovations were made by Lady Louisa Conolly starting in 1759 (Photo: Wikimedia Commons).

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Now on view at Castletown:

On a Pedestal: Celebrating the Contemporary Portrait Bust
Castletown House, Celbridge, County Kildare, 1 July – 31 August 2018
Dublin Castle, 8 September — 4 November 2018

Curated by Mary Heffernan, Hélène Bremer, and Nuala Goodman

Inspired by the classical busts in Castletown’s Long Gallery, this exhibition brings together works from an international group of contemporary artists who explore the genre of the portrait bust in a variety of media: from wood to stone, from marble to ceramics, from stainless steel to more ephemeral materials such as sugar. Initiating a dialogue between past and present, classic and modern art, the diversity of materials and techniques used by the artists represented in the exhibition will inspire visitors this summer.

Among those included in the exhibition are Irish artists Ursula Burke, Janet Mullarney and Kevin Francis Gray. International artists include Sir Tony Cragg, Giulio Paolini, and Ah Xian. Curated by Mary Heffernan, General Manager Castletown House; Helene Bremer, Dutch art historian and curator; and Nuala Goodman, Milan-based Irish artist and curator.

Mary Heffernan, Hélène Bremer, and Nuala Goodman, eds., On a Pedestal: Celebrating the Contemporary Portrait Bust in the 21st Century (Dublin: Office of Public Works, 2018), 95 pages, ISBN: 978-1406429862.

Installation view of the exhibition On a Pedestal: Celebrating the Contemporary Portrait Bust at Castletown House.

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From Aidan Dunne’s article for The Irish Times (3 July 2018). . .

This year, observes Mary Heffernan, the general manager of Castletown House, is the 275th anniversary of the birth of “the great heroine of the story of Castletown,” Lady Louisa Connolly. On a Pedestal, an exhibition of portrait busts at Castletown, is intended as an homage to Louisa, and “the magical Long Gallery she created.”

Anne Valerie Dupond, ‘Lady Louisa Connolly’, 2018.

In 1743 Louisa was born into privileged circumstances: her father was the second Duke of Richmond, and her childhood was spent in great houses, including Richmond House in Whitehall, Goodwood House in Sussex and, after her parents died within a year of each other, Carton House in Co Kildare. She married Thomas Connolly of Castletown, the wealthiest man in Ireland, in 1758.

Inspired by the many houses she knew and loved, she set about making changes to Castletown, including a new cantilevered staircase, La Franchini plasterwork, the print room, diningroom and the Long Gallery. The gallery, which she referred to as her livingroom, housed her library with busts and murals of classical writers, philosophers, gods and goddesses, including the nine muses. Compare it to the collection in the Long Gallery in Trinity College Dublin, initiated in 1743, which historian Hélène Bremer describes as the most significant single influence on Louisa’s project .…

The full article is available here»

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Note (added 24 August 2018) — The original posting did not include details of the catalogue.

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