Nano Reid, Légende, Presented by FNGI, Drogheda Municipal Art Collection, © The Artists Estate
Nano Reid and Gerard Dillon
Two of the most significant Irish artists of their generation, Nano Reid and Gerard Dillon shared friendship, inspiration and a love of the landscape, inhabitants and history of their native land. During the 1950s, Reid visited Dillon when he was painting in Connemara. In return, Dillon often stayed with Reid in Dublin and at her family home in Drogheda, where they sketched the landscape of the Boyne valley and studied the architecture and carvings at Melifont and Monasterboice.
Nano Reid and Gerard Dillon is the first exhibition to examine the influences, affinities and contrasts between the output of these two major Irish artists. Featuring works from public and private collections throughout Ireland, including many seldom seen in public, the exhibition includes Dillon’s enchanting portrait of Reid, Nano’s Dream Castle (Collection, National Gallery of Ireland), and paintings by both artists created during the periods that they spent together in Drogheda and Connemara.
While the reputations of Reid and Dillon have grown in recent years, there has been little in-depth research into their work and no exploration of their how their relationship influenced their art.
By exploring their shared interest in Celtic art and mythology, Drogheda and the Boyne, the landscape and inhabitants of the west of Ireland and urban scenes of everyday life, as well as their forays into illustration and their artistic experiments influenced by international Modernism, this exhibition revaluates the oeuvres of these two important artists and reveals how their shared influences, inspirations and experiences helped to change their art and, ultimately, the shape of Irish art history.
Developed by Highlanes Gallery with curator Dr Riann Coulter, the exhibition will tour to Highlanes’ cross-border arts partner F.E.McWilliam Gallery and Studio, Banbridge, Co. Down, Northern Ireland from January – May, 2010 following its exhibition at Highlanes Gallery.
The exhibition Nano Reid and Gerard Dillon will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue.