press release

Curated by Professor Dermot Keogh and Ruth Osborne, An Eye for an Eye: Representations of Conflict in 20th Century Ireland employs art as an historical source to explore and reflect upon moments of conflict from throughout the twentieth century in Ireland. The title is evocative of how conflict has continually been played out in Irish history and the exhibition seeks to challenge the viewer by inviting them to reconsider moments of conflict beyond the binary of right verses wrong.

An Eye for an Eye chronologically traces developments in Irish history by including artists who have visually represented events such as the rise of revolutionary and constitutional nationalism, partition and statebuilding, to the years of violent conflict beginning in the late 1960s and known as the ‘Troubles’. Irish artists have left strong images in response to these events. Yet none of the artists in the exhibition gratuitously extol violence. Nor are any of the artworks propagandist in nature. Rather the artworks suggest alternative responses and relationships to conflict in Ireland; from Jack Yeats’ personal and introspective Going to Wolfe Tone's Grave and Sir John Lavery’s grand Pro-Cathedral Dublin (Michael Collins), which addresses the aftermath of conflict on the scale of national mourning, to TP Flanagan’s poignant The Victim a highly personal work, universal and local in its significance, which tells the story of innocent, civilian death as a result of conflict.

The exhibition seeks to offer moments of twentieth century Irish history to the viewer for examination, contemplation and even revision. The artworks have been chosen to encourage reflection on a complex period of history. By presenting images of quality and importance, which provoke a questioning of presuppositions or received views the exhibition is an invitation to reflect on the complexities of the past rather than a formula which seeks or offers answers.

Professor Dermot Keogh is the Head of the History Department at University College Cork and has published widely on Irish social, cultural and political history and has conducted extensive research on the former Taoiseach Jack Lynch.

Artists: Robert Ballagh, Rita Duffy, T.P. Flanagan, Paul Graham, Paul Henry, Seán Keating, Sir John Lavery, F.E. McWilliam, Sir William Orpen, Michael Power-O’Malley, Dermot Seymour, Victor Sloan, and Jack B.Yeats, alongside archive materials from Gael Linn,the Imperial War Museum, the Linen Hall Library, the National Library of Ireland and UTV.

An Eye for an Eye
Representations of Conflict in 20th Century Ireland
Kuratoren: Dermot Keogh, Ruth Osborne

Künstler: Robert Ballagh, Rita Duffy, T.P. Flanagan, Paul Graham, Paul Henry, Sean Keating, John Lavery, F.E. McWilliam, William Orpen, Michael Power-O´Malley, Dermot Seymour, Victor Sloan, Jack B. Yeats ...