Margaret Clarke: An Independent Spirit
13 May – 20 August 2017
Print Gallery | Free admission
This exhibition re-evaluated the work of this once well-regarded member of the Irish artistic establishment, whose reputation has faded from view. Examining the development of Margaret Clarke’s style, the exhibited works ranged from those produced during her time at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art through to her later period. Immediate likenesses of Clarke’s family and close friends, attesting to her skill as a sensitive, perceptive portraitist, were shown alongside commissioned portraits. The artist’s varied interests and influences, together with her facility as a painter and draughtsperson, was presented through paintings, drawings, sketchbooks, photographs and archival material. The challenges she faced as an artist, balancing family life and the management of the Harry Clarke Studios after her husband’s death in 1931, were also be addressed.
“Here we have sincerity of technique, feeling and lovely brushwork. It is regrettable that we do not see more of this artist’s work, she is one of the finest this county has produced." A.J Leventhal, ‘The Living Art Exhibition’, Irish Art: a volume of articles and illustrations (Parkside Press, 1944), 90.
The exhibition was kindly supported by the Friends of the National Gallery of Ireland, and a group of individual sponsors.
Curator | Niamh MacNally, National Gallery of Ireland