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07 Nov 2012

Mary McIntyre: A Contemporary Sublime at the MAC, Belfast

Mary McIntyre 'The Lough I' 2006. Colour lightjet photographic print.

Mary McIntyre: A Contemporary Sublime


Preview 15 November 7-9pm 16 November 2012 - 20 January 2013 Open Monday - Sunday 10.30am - 7pm

Eoin Dara

10 Exchange Street West
Northern Ireland

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Mary McIntyre's images explore the subject of landscape – the picturesque and romantic movements in European landscape painting are a significant influence in McIntyre's work.

She is interested in making links between painting and photography, adopting formal qualities associated with painters such as Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot and Jacob Van Ruisdael, to re-interpret them within a contemporary context. However, her interest in landscape is not confined to traditional, rural subjects. She also focuses on urban space, depicting the transformation which occurs to these locations at specific times of day, when for a fleeting moment, the play of light can transform the mundane, urban environment.

McIntyre is also interested in locating contemporary photography in relation to art-historical ideas of the sublime, through images that explore elements of natural phenomena. These photographs fix the most transient conditions of the landscape, the 'elements' themselves, in representation. By photographing in very specific weathers, particularly mist and fog, she produces documents of that which is intangible; in these images, the landscape itself, the supposed 'site' of the work, is rendered unknowable; it becomes an absent subject.

Her work examines how painting and photography not only portray, but also construct the landscapes we see.

This exhibition of McIntyre's landscape work from 1999 – 2011 is shown for the first time alongside historical paintings which have influenced her practice. The exhibition includes works by Paul Nash, Jacob Van Ruisdael, Jean Baptiste Camille Corot and L.S. Lowry.