Last Chance to see…


Do not miss out on your final chance to see Voyages exhibition at IMMA which focuses on the contribution of artist Mary Swanzy to European Art. In this travelling exhibition, curators aim to reinstate Swanzy’s work as that of a modern Master.


Mary Swanzy was born in Dublin to an affluent family. She first exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1905 and continued to do so for the following ten years. She had moved to Paris by 1906 to continue her artistic training and studied at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière and the Académie Colarossi. She returned to Dublin and exhibited there regularly. She showed her work at the Salon des Independants in Paris, becoming a committee member in 1920 and at the Beaux Arts. She travelled extensively and painted landscapes from her various trips.


Her eclectic source of influences sum up her highly individual style represented through an innate classicism, a bright use of colour and an enduring Cubist influence. Her work has been exhibited alongside internationally acclaimed artists; Marc Chagall (1887-1985) and William Scott (1913-1989), among many others.


Though her artistic achievements have been recognised in the past, Voyages represents her first retrospective in 50 years. As we continue to examine the art canon and reevaluate the contributions made by lesser known artists, or artists outside the traditional white male paradigm, the work of artists such as Swanzy when viewed through a contemporary lens can lead to new understandings of the time from which her art came. In the case of Mary Swanzy, the limitations of her gender was known to her. She said of this, ‘if I had been born Henry instead of Mary my life would have been very different’.


This timely exhibition aims to look at her art for the inherent value it holds, its pure originality, her unique approach to art making and the sheer vastness of her thinking at this time, which IMMA contend is unmatched in Irish art. What a compliment! 


The exhibition will remain in IMMA until 17th February before touring to Crawford Art Gallery, Cork from 15 March-3 June 2019 and Limerick City Gallery of Art from 20 June - 15 September 2019.