A cen­tury in out­line

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Listings - AIDAN DUNNE

RE­AL­ISM AND MODERNISM IN IR­ISH ART (1900-1990) Craw­ford Art Gallery, Em­met Pl, Cork Mon-Sat 10am-5pm Un­til May 3 021-4805042 Around the time of its pro­mo­tion to a na­tional in­sti­tu­tion, the Craw­ford Gallery re­ceived the Great South­ern Col­lec­tion, a fine col­lec­tion of 20th-cen­tury Ir­ish art built up mainly in the 1970s. The gallery al­ready had the Fr McGrath Col­lec­tion, be­queathed to it in 1998, and the Gib­son Fund ac­qui­si­tions. Now, draw­ing on th­ese col­lec­tions, to­gether with works from its gen­eral col­lec­tion, in­clud­ing re­cent do­na­tions and ac­qui­si­tions, the Craw­ford has put to­gether Re­al­ism and Modernism in Ir­ish Art (1900-1990), a show that out­lines the his­tory of art in Ire­land dur­ing the 20th cen­tury. It is in some re­spects a familiar story – aca­demic and green-tinged re­al­ism grad­u­ally fall­ing prey to modernist in­flu­ences, though not with­out a pro­longed strug­gle – with the ad­van­tage that we can look at the pri­mary ev­i­dence for our­selves and come to our own con­clu­sions. It also al­lows us to ask a dif­fi­cult ques­tion: just how good is much 20th-cen­tury Ir­ish art? can’T See ThaT? caTch This Urbs In­tacta Manet Water­ford (Water­ford re­mains the un­taken city) Garter Lane Arts Cen­tre Gallery, Water­ford

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