The Hugh Lane is pleased to present our first solo exhibition by Irish artist Niamh McCann. Entitled Furtive Tears it explores the dynamic relationship between object, audience and modes of display. In its interrogation of visual symbols and gestures, Furtive Tears uses a wide array of materials and objects that make reference to Modernist utopian principles. McCann’s interest is in the interweaving of fact and fiction, the overlapping layers of history and the stories we construct to position ourselves in society. Two well known Irish political figures - Sir Edward Carson, leader of Irish Unionist Party and Jim Larkin, founder of the Irish Transport and Workers Party, feature in this exhibition.
Also featured is the expressionistic work of German architect and scenographer Hans Poelzig, whose philosophies were a forerunner to the Bauhaus Movement in 1920s Berlin and he was also a direct influence on the architecture of Fritz Lang’s sci-fi classic Metropolis.
For Furtive Tears, The Hugh Lane’s history and collection also becomes part of the raw material that the artist employs as Sir Hugh Lane's instruction to adorn the galleries with fresh flowers daily is reactivated. “Though her work has powerful resonances politically, McCann is never didactic. “Poetry, association and chance can articulate questions and hold ideas to account using less direct routes” .........Niamh McCann - interview for Studio International Barbara Dawson, Director, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane says: “...Weaving history and fiction Furtive Tears questions how we look and how we are looked upon”.
Michael Dempsey, Head of Exhibitions, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane said: “...Niamh McCann’s use of collage creates new banks of information for us to consume and by taking the familiar and reshaping its form McCann tests our underlying assumptions”.