Kerlin Gallery is delighted to present
an exhibition of new works on paper by
Minnesota - land of 10,000 lakes.
Kathy Prendergast's work has often returned to the Atlas of North America and in particular the state of Minnesota. This new body of work, 'Road Trip' is a continuation of a series the artist began in 2004 which is painted directly onto the Minnesota road map.
The map of this state, commonly known as the ‘land of 10,000 lakes’ makes clear the contrast between our need for structure and order and the irregularity of millions of years of organic natural history. A uniform grid of road networks sits at odds with a landscape formed by volcanic eruption, carved by glaciers and defined by misshapen lakes and serpentine waterways. Prendergast has painted directly on the map itself, filling in the space between the roads, redacting nature with exuberant colour.
Prendergast transforms the map from a key to understanding how to navigate the Minnesota landscape to a kaleidoscopic abstraction celebrating the chaotic clash of two opposing orders.
about the artist
Throughout her career Kathy Prendergast has worked with maps. Her 1983 NCAD degree show, described by Irish Times critic Aidan Dunne as 'nothing less than a benchmark of contemporary Irish art' consisted of a series of handmade maps of the female body as a landscape. This seminal work, shown again at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in 2020, explored hidden agendas of both map making and representations of women in art; domination, control and exploitation.
These underlying concerns of mapping and their effect upon humanity and our sense of identity, continued to be highlighted by Prendergast in a series of remarkable works.
In 'City Drawings', begun in 1992, Prendergast set about drawing intimate street maps of every capital city of the world. Each unnamed city is no larger than an A4 page, delicate but dense, a portrait of how we come together to live and share space.
Prendergast's digital print 'Lost' from 1999 presents a map of North America where every place name is removed except those with the word 'lost' in its name. In sharp contrast to the optimism of the American Dream the map reveals a darker state of mind.
In 2016 Prendergast completed one of her most ambitious works to date. Atlas, consists of 100 copies of the AA Road Atlas of Europe. Each is presented on its own table, each open on a different double page spread. On each Road Atlas Prendergast has, with black ink redacted all detail except the white dots denoting populated places. All systems of connection and devision are taken away. All borders both political and geographical, economic and social are gone. Only towns and cities exist like stars in an ink dark night sky. The powerful and poetic installation first shown at Kerlin Gallery, has since been shown at Modern Art Oxford, Oxford; Museum Morsbroich, Germany and as part of the 2017 Yokohama Triennale in Japan.
The installation of Atlas at Kunst-Station Sankt Peter, Cologne in 2019, curated by Anne Mager is the subject of a forthcoming publication.
From 2000-03, Kathy Prendergast was artist-in-residence at the Geography Department of Royal Holloway, one of the first higher education institutions for women in the UK. In 2020 Scarborough Art Gallery presented 'Strata' by Kathy Pendergast curated by the arts and science organisation, Invisible Dust. The exhibition included original teaching maps created by women geography students from Bedford College, now Royal Holloway, University of London.
b. 1958, Dublin, Ireland.
Solo exhibitions include: STRATA, Scarborough Museum Trust, Scarborough, UK, (2020); Atlas, Kunst-Station St. Peter, Cologne, (2019); Atlas, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, Ireland (2016); Black Maps, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Ireland, (2016); Or, Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, Ireland (2015); Kathy Prendergast, Kinsale Arts Festival, Cork, Ireland (2014); The Black Map Series, PEER, London, UK (2010); Douglas Hyde Gallery (2006); The Irish Museum of Modern Art (2000) and Tate Britain (1997). Group shows include: Shaping Ireland:Landscapes in Irish Art, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland; The Keeper; To have and to hold,The Model, Sligo, Ireland; (All 2019); A Slice through the World, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, UK; (Both 2018); Yokohama Triennale (2017); Tate Britain (2012); Berardo Museum, Lisbon (2011); The Irish Museum of Modern Art (2008); 14th Sydney Biennale (2004); 13th Sydney Biennale (2002); Albright-Knox, Buffalo (2001); ICA, Boston (2000); MoMA PS1, New York (1999).
In 1995, Prendergast represented Ireland at the 46th Venice Biennale, for which she won the prestigious Premio Duemila Prize.
Prendergast's work is represented in the collections of the Tate, London; the British Government; the Cheekwood Museum of Art, Nashville; Santa Barbara University Museum; the Albright-Knox, Buffalo; the Contemporary Museum, Honolulu; Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane; the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Contemporary Arts Society, London alongside numerous private collections in Ireland, Great Britain, Europe and the USA.