Edward Delaney is one of the most celebrated Irish sculptures of the second half of the twentieth century. Trained in Germany in the 1950s Delaney’s brand of European modernism was without context in 1960s Dublin. Imbued with that aesthetic tradition and the experience of living and studying in post war Germany Delaney’s work seized on vital and fundamental imagery. Working in bronze in the lost wax method Delaney’s figures attempt a seamless union of form, material and content.
Delaney is best known today for the two major monuments in Dublin, the Wolf Tone Memorial, 1967, on the North East corner of St. Stephens Green and the Thomas Davis Memorial 1966, on the median opposite Trinity College. Both monuments show a marked departure for their time. Their abstraction and expressionism, the naturism and their egalitarianism reflecting the new sense of confidence in the nation.
Delaney brought much of these qualities into his studio work and this exhibition uses a concentrated selection of his bronzes from the sixties to aid a review of his oeuvre. There will be five large scale works including the Figure of Cuchulain and the Great Hunger (both collection, Garech Onorach a Brún), and Forms (Private Collection). Smaller works include Bather, The Piper and Bird Alighting.
This exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with an accompanying essay by art historian Róisín Kennedy. The exhibition has been aided throughout its orgainsing stages by the enthusiasm, knowledge and archive of the scupltor’s son, Eamon Delaney.