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Work of the Week | 26 December 2022

CAG.2275 Anne Madden, Burren Land, 1960, oil on canvas, 62 x 72 cm. Presented, 2006 (Great Southern Collection). © the artist.

It’s our last WORK OF THE WEEK of 2022!

Burren Land (1960) by Anne Madden evokes a fittingly wintry atmosphere as this year draws to a close.

An early work by the artist, Burren Land registers ‘the new possibilities of experimentation’ that Madden found in Abstract Expressionism and in the work of fellow artists Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, Jean-Paul Riopelle, and Mark Rothko. At the time of making this work, she had begun to pour paint directly onto her canvases.

The painting’s title, however, offers an entry point for viewers as this abstract field becomes the karst landscape of the Burren. Madden spent time as a child near this ‘rocky district’ (Boirinn) of County Clare, which is characterised by its expansive pavements of limestone, formed some 325 million years ago from seidments in a tropical sea. The artist hones in on the clints and grykes that typify this fabled terrain.

Signed and dated in the bottom right-hand corner, Burren Land used to hang in the Great Southern Killarney hotel before entering the Collection in 2006.

Of Irish and Anglo-Chilean origin, Anne Madden (b.1932) has enjoyed a long career as an artist, noted for her vigorous abstract works with figurative elements. In 1958, she married artist Louis le Brocquy and they divided their time between Ireland and France. She was made Officier des Arts et des Lettres in 2008.

Burren Land (1960) by Anne Madden is featured in AS FAR AS I CAN SEE until 15 January.

The artist’s Le Jardin de Nuit III is featured in BEHIND THE SCENES: Collection at Work until 10 April.

Tune in to The Arts House on Cork’s 96FM and C103 Cork every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with curator Michael Waldron about a work from the collection!

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