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Anne Madden: Colours of the Wind - Ariadne's Thread

01 June 2017 - 10 September 2017

Waves, 2016, oil on linen, 143 x 270 cm

Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane is delighted to present Colours of the Wind: Ariadne’s Thread, an exhibition of recent works by Anne Madden. Madden’s abstracted landscapes see imaginative and emotional responses to place and memory. Her colour-saturated paintings are imbued with symbolic potency, dwelling on the complexities of the natural order and the tragedy of existence.


Anne Madden, Life and death in the garden
Drawings, watercolours & gouaches on papier d'Arches

30 June - 22 July 2017

Crab apple, 2015, 15 x 42 cm

Taylor Galleries is pleased to announce the Private View of a new solo exhibition of work by Anne Madden on Friday 30 June from 6-8pm. Drawing on elements of the natural environment surrounding the artist's home and studio, "Life and death in the garden" comprises a series of closely observed studies of fruits, flowers, birds, skulls and bones, and continues from 30 June to 22 July 2017.


Ainsi font les rêveurs / As Dreams Do - The 60's in CAM's British Art Collection

7 June - 1 October 2010

As Dreamer's Do presents a series of works from the Modern Art Center's collection of British art an offers a route through the 60's, a decade of great vitality and creativity, of major innovation in sculpture, painting and visual arts in general, in which British artists take their distance vis-a-vis the illustrator legacy of war and the post-war and chose vocabularies, addressing topics such as body, space and artistic and historical memory. The exhibition is organised by CAM (Center for Modern Art) in Lisbon and curated by Ana Vasconcelos. A catalogue is published by the Centre Culturel Calouste Gulbenkian, Paris.


Visions. Spectacular art from the Ulster Museum

26 March 2010 - 26 October 2010

The new show ‘Visions – Spectacular Art from the Ulster Museum’ will feature major Irish artists of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries including Nathaniel Hone, Roderic O’Conor, Walter Osbourne, Sir John Lavery, Jack B Yeats, Paul Henry, Gerard Dillon, Louis le Brocquy, Robert Ballagh, Anne Madden and Hughie O’Donoghue. One of the museum’s newest acquisitions, Ghost Story by Turner Prize Finalist Willie Doherty, will be on display for the first time as part of an exhibition exploring contemporary Irish art. The British and international highlights include work by JMW Turner, LS Lowry, Francis Bacon, Jean Dubuffet, Karel Appel, Bridget Riley, Gilbert & George, Graham Sutherland and Patrick Caulfield. A new publication by the Ulster Museum’s Curators of Fine Art, Dr Eileen Black and Anne Stewart, detailing 100 of the best Irish works of art will be launched alongside the exhibition. Tim Cooke, Director of National Museums Northern Ireland, says: “This new exhibition will build upon the success of the Sean Scully retrospective in re-establishing the Ulster Museum and Belfast as a venue for exceptional art exhibitions.”



15-31 October 2009
16 Kildare Street, Dublin 2, Ireland
T: +353 (01) 676 6055



27 May – 20 June 2009
21 Cork St London W1S 3LZ

Madden resolves [her] paintings as problems of composition, pictorial process, texture, colour and light, but remains constantly aware of what can be achieved through this beyond mere abstraction. Her approach to painting could be described as material, as opposed to formal, but Madden is fully committed to (and wholly engaged with) the transformative powers of her medium.
Enriqué Juncosa, Anne Madden, A Retrospective, Irish Museum of Modern Art, 200

For me, these paintings are a continuation of the idea of light as a metaphor for the search for something beyond.
Anne Madden, 2007

Anne Madden is particularly well known in both Ireland and France where she has divided her time for the past forty years. Of Irish and Anglo-Chilean origin, she spent the first four years of her life Chile, before returning to Europe to live in Ireland and in London where she attended the Chelsea School of Arts and Crafts. In the 1980s, Madden took a hiatus from painting and devoted herself to drawing. She returned to the medium with a newly fortified commitment to painting as an essential human activity, and a belief in art’s capacity to penetrate the ‘something beyond’ that is the ambition of spirituality and imagination.

Much of Madden’s work can be seen as a paean to Mediterranean light, inspired, undoubtedly, by long periods spent living in the South of France. However, she has always maintained a presence in Ireland, and it is her affinity with the dramatic natural phenomena native to the Northern hemisphere that provides the animus of her newest work. For many years The Burren, a unique karst-landscape region in Northwest County Clare , acted as the source of inspiration for her painting. Imbued with an almost magical, other-worldly beauty, this setting provided the real-world reference point for her own imaginative landscape.

This unique relationship between artist and place was given a new dimension during a flight across the North Atlantic, when Madden witnessed the Aurora Borealis; a natural light display which occurs when sun flares caught by the northern wind are rebounded off the Earth’s atmosphere. This dazzling spectacle provided Madden with a new imaginative springboard. Inspired by the Northern Lights, she embarked on an epic body of work comprising large-scale, boldly-patterned, brightly coloured evocations of the luminous phenomena, imaginings unshackled from a fixed landscape or location, and yet intimately dependent on a serendipitous equilibrium between the axes of the spatial and temporal. As Madden herself has stated, such moments of creative revelation come ‘only if we are in the right place at the right time’.

The paintings exhibited here are infused with a palpable sense of excitement, a fundamental liveliness that returns us again and again to the moment of visual discovery. As ever, Madden is interested in finding images that encapsulate many layers of potential symbolic meaning, and we, as viewers, approach them with the sense that the time for unravelling these meanings is now.
Recent exhibitions of Anne Madden’s work include ‘A Space of Time’, Dublin City Gallery, 2003, and a major retrospective of her work in the Irish Museum of Modern Art in 2007. The artist's work is represented in public collections including the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, and the Centre National d’Art Contemporain Georges Pompidou, Paris.

For further information, please contact Ellie Harrison-Read at Flowers East on 020 7920 7777 or email


Anne Madden Retrospective


27 June 2007 - 30 September, 2007

A major retrospective of the work of the acclaimed Irish artist Anne Madden opens to the public at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on Wednesday 27 June 2007. Spanning the artist’s entire career, Anne Madden: A Retrospective comprises some 60 works from the 1950s to date, including a number direct from the artist’s studio. The exhibition features some of Madden’s most important paintings, including early works inspired by the Burren and her series of Megaliths, Monoliths and Doorways, from the 1970s. The exhibition also presents early sculptural works, paintings from her Elegy, Pompeii , Odyssey and Garden series and new paintings from her Aurora Borealis series. The exhibition will be opened by the distinguished Irish artist and writer Brian O’Doherty (Patrick Ireland) at 6.00pm on Tuesday 26 June. A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition and features essays by Enrique Juncosa, Director, IMMA, and the poet Derek Mahon; a poem by Derek Mahon and a short text by Marcelin Pleynet; Anne Madden’s important essay A quest: some reflections on being a painter; and a comprehensive illustrated chronology compiled by Karen Sweeney. It is published by the Irish Museum of Modern Art in association with Scala.

Aurora borealis, Snake of Light, 2006, oil on linen, triptych, 146 x 267 cm

Anne Madden: Painter and Muse, the widely-praised documentary film produced by Mind the Gap Films in 2006 and shown as part of RTE Television’s prestigious Arts Lives series, will be screened in the Lecture Room at IMMA at 11.00am and 4.00pm from 27 June to 10 July (excluding Mondays). Anne Madden will give the annual Winter Lecture at IMMA in December 2007.

Director's Foreword

We are very pleased to present a full-scale retrospective of the work of Anne Madden. The exhibition focuses on her paintings, but also includes some of her small sculptures. One of the missions of the Irish Museum of Modern Art is precisely to present surveys of Irish artists alongside those of artists from abroad. The Anne Madden exhibition follows other ones devoted to Louis le Brocquy, Hughie O’Donoghue, Willie Doherty, Kathy Prendergast, Tony O’Malley, Dorothy Cross, Barry Flanagan and Michael Craig-Martin. All of them are also well- represented in the collection, as indeed is Anne Madden. Working now for over 50 years, she has recently made an extraordinary group of paintings based on the atmospheric phenomenon of the Aurora Borealis. This group was a catalyst for the exhibition to happen, and will be, without doubt, one of its highlights.
Anne Madden spent long periods of her adolescence in the Burren, County Clare. She was fascinated by the landscape, which somehow became an archetypal one that could be used to explore different questions. In the 1960s, her work was close to abstraction, as she experimented by pouring paint on horizontal canvases. Rather than representing nature, she wanted to find an equivalent to its inner laws. Madden, however, has always been interested in the symbolic potential of the image, and her later poured paintings refer also to archaeological sites. Since then, the artist has worked on different series, including paintings related to the frescoes of the Villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii, ones depicting nocturnal gardens, or the more recent works dedicated to the myths of Odysseus and Icarus. The exhibition shows examples of all of these series, demonstrating that, even if formal aspects are very important, a Romantic longing is always present.
I would like to thank all the people involved in this project, starting with the lenders to the exhibition, including several public collections in Ireland and France. These thanks should be extended to the authors in this book. They include the poet Derek Mahon, a long-time friend of the artist, who has written an illuminative text and poem; Karen Sweeney, assistant curator, who has compiled a detailed chronology; and to the artist herself whose text ‘A quest’ is republished here.  We are also reproducing a short text by the French critic Marcelin Pleynet, translated into English by Derek Mahon. This publication has been beautifully designed by Anne Brady and her team at Vermillion. It is also our first collaboration with Scala in London. I would like to acknowledge Oliver Craske from Scala and also Tom Cobbe for their editing input. Thanks also to all the staff at IMMA involved in this exhibition.  Finally, and especially, I would like to thank Anne Madden for her work and for her support of this project.

Enrique juncosa, Director, Irish Museum of Modern Art



February 26 - March 2005
A Space of Time
New Art Centre
Sculpture Park & Gallery
Roche Court, East Winterslow
Salisbury, Wiltshire

May 14 - June 2005
A Space of Time
Centre Culturel Irlandais
5, rue des Irlandais, 75005 Paris

May 14 - 2 June 2002
The Garden of Love. New Work
Taylor Galleries, Dublin

August 8 - 11 October 2000
Anne Madden, A Space of Time
Anne Madden Trajectories, Museum of Contemporary Art of Oaxaca, Mexico 2000
Sponsored by the Cultural Relations Committee of Ireland

June 1 - 30, 1999.
Centre Internationale d'Art Contemporain
Château de Carros
Inauguration of a fresco
and exhibition of studies and paintings.

Summer 1998
Château de Carros
(Anne Madden & Louis le Brocquy)
Opening of the permanent room

Opening June 7, 1998
Anne Madden, Open Spaces
Kilkenny Castle
Co. Kilkenny
Concertina catalogue available

Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, Dublin
Anne Madden, Trajectories
November 12, 1997 - 25 January, 1998
Catalogue available

Château de Cagnes
29eme Festival Internationale de la Peinture
November 21 - 20 January 1997
Representing Ireland
Catalogue availble

Château de Tours
(Anne Madden & Louis le Brocquy)
June 28 -31 August 1997
Anne Madden, Odyssée et Icare
Catalogue available