Stephen McKenna (1939-2017)
- Framed size: 29 x 36cm; Framed size: 47.2 x 53.5cm
- Watercolour on paper
- Donoted to the Collection following his exhibition in 2014
Stephen McKenna distinguished himself as a champion of form and precision in his drawings and paintings. Highly prolific and internationally renowned, McKenna’s work has been included in many of the finest museum and private collections worldwide. McKenna was born in London in 1939 and was based in County Carlow from 1998-2017. In his lifetime he travelled far and wide, with return visits to the places that most appealed to him. In McKenna’s 2014 (March 8-April 20) exhibition Drawings & Watercolours 1974-2013 at the Butler Gallery we were given a glimpse of some of these locations by way of works made in Derry, Donegal and Dublin in Ireland, Carrara, Naples and Pompeii in Italy, Berlin and Munich in Germany, Galicia, San Sebastian and Santander in Spain, Lisbon in Portugal and Istanbul in Turkey.
While some of McKenna’s drawings act as allegories of history, they also act as allegories of drawing, metaphors for rational techniques of picturing space and ordering the world. In the work exhibited in Drawings & Watercolours the fluency of McKenna in motion was revealed magnificently in drawing after drawing.
McKenna had major solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford in 1983, Stadtische Kunsthalle, Dusseldorf in 1986, the Irish Museum of Modern Art in 1993, Ca di Fra, Milan in 1999 and the Douglas Hyde Gallery Dublin in 2003. Comprehensive retrospectives of his work took place at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in 1993, at the Hans Arp and Sophie Teuber Arp Foundation, Rolandseck, Germany in 2000 and at the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin in 2005. He participated in Documenta 7 in 1982; 'Classical Spirit' at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and 'Falls the Shadow' at the Hayward Gallery, London, in 1986; 'Avant Garde of the '80s', Los Angeles County Museum of Modern Art in 1987 and 'Dreams & Traditions', at the Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C. in 1997. He exhibited The Paradise , Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin; Ever Since I Put Your Picture In A Frame, 42 Carlton Place, Glasgow, 2012; Brillianfeuerwerk, Haus der Kunst, Munich 2008 and Tate Britain, Turner Prize Retrospective, 2007. His work is represented in the collections of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Tate Gallery, London, the Berlinische Galerie, Berlin, Staedtische Sammlungen, Rheinhausen, Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels, Fries Museum, Leeuwarden, Netherlands and in many other collections, both private and public, world-wide. Stephen McKenna is represented by the Kerlin Gallery, Dublin. www.kerlingallery.com