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Kerlin Gallery is pleased to announce Bent Knees are a Give, an exhibition of new work by Isabel Nolan.

In this body of work, Isabel Nolan explores the anxieties implicit in the quest for power. Drawing upon eclectic research, Nolan’s practice incorporates sculpture, photography, painting and text-based work.

A central motif in the exhibition is the funerary sculpture of the poet and cleric John Donne (1572-1631). Based on a study made in the final weeks of Donne’s life,where he staged his own resurrection, he appears to be joyfully accepting of his imminent death. Donne’s unperturbed countenance is  perhaps belied by the gentle bends in his knees which interrupt the otherwise inviolate, erect statue.

The gentle bends in Donne’s knees are echoed and amplified in a series of violently bent flag poles flanking the gallery space. Their banners hang unceremoniously in various states of distress and dishevelment. Nearby, a golden yellow lion offers its paw, punctured by a bronze thorn, awaiting assistance from some surrogate St. Jerome.

Bends reveal doubt, signal distress, admit failure – it is the bend that offers us a way into thinking about and against systems that rely on perfection.Pinpointing the weak points in these traditional motifs of power and imperial strength, Nolan exposes the ultimate ineffectuality of concrete objects in the face of time. Donne’s attempt to assert his future existence serves rather to crystallise the transience of his existence, ultimately revealing his vulnerability.

Isabel Nolan’s recent solo shows include Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2014); Sean Kelly Gallery, New York ( 2014 ); Musée d’art moderne de Saint Etienne, France (2012); the Return Gallery, Goethe Institute, Dublin (2012); and The Model, Sligo (2011). Other solo shows include Goethe Institute (2003); Project Arts Centre (2005); Gallery 2, Douglas Hyde Gallery, (2008) all in Dublin; Artspace, New Zealand (2008); In the Studio, as part of Glasgow International (2006). She represented Ireland at the 2005 Venice Biennale in a group exhibition, 'Ireland at Venice 2005'. Nolan recently showed in The Black Moon, curated by Sinziana Ravini in Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013). Forthcoming solo exhibitions include Mercer Union, Toronto in 2015, and CAG, Vancouver in 2016.

Bent Knees are a Give was produced with the generous support of Black Church Process, an initiative of Black Church Print Studio, Dublin.
 

Selected Works

Selected Works Thumbnails
2015 A lion with a thorn in his paw

Isabel Nolan
A lion with a thorn in his paw, 2015
polystyrene plaster bandage and papier mache
109 x 59 x 118 cm / 42.9 x 23.2 x 46.5 in   

Inquire
Hungry and Thirsty. Sorry and Angry. A flag for John Donne.

Isabel Nolan
Hungry and Thirsty. Sorry and Angry. A flag for John Donne, 2015
cotton and powder coated mild steel flag pole
dimensions variable

Inquire
I am wonderfully and 2015

Isabel Nolan
I am wonderfully and fearfully made, 2015
archival pigment print framed with clarity glass, edition of 3 + 1 AP
285 x 232 cm / 112.2 x 91.3 in    

Inquire
2015 Fresh disorder diminishing energy

Isabel Nolan
Fresh disorder diminishing energy, 2015
cotton and powder coated mild steel flag pole
285 x 232 cm / 112.2 x 91.3 in      

Inquire
Foot in Knee

Isabel Nolan
Bent (detail), 2015
set of 4 colouring pencil on paper
34.5 x 43 x 3 cm / 13.6 x 16.9 x 1.2 in framed

Inquire
2015 The thrall of gentle derangement

Isabel Nolan
The thrall of gentle derangement, 2015
cotton and powder coated mild steel flag pole
368 x 183 cm / 144.9 x 72 in 

Inquire
For ever and ever, and infinite and super infinite for evers 2015

Isabel Nolan
For ever and ever, and infinite and super infinite for evers, 2015
archival pigment print framed with clarity glass
73.4 x 110 cm / 28.9 x 43.3 in  

Inquire
Lion with thorn (after Lippi) 2015

Isabel Nolan
Lion with thorn (after Lippi), 2015
oil pastel and pencil on paper
56 x 43 x 3 cm / 22 x 16.9 x 1.2 in framed 

Inquire
Soft thinking in tall places 2015

Isabel Nolan
Soft thinking in tall places, 2015
cotton and powder coated mild steel flag pole
273 x 189 cm  / 107.5 x 74.4 in   

Inquire
Young John Donne I 2015

Isabel Nolan
Young John Donne I, 2015
oil pastel and pencil on paper
42 x 29 cm / 16.5 x 11.4 in  

Inquire
Jesus (after Bellini) torso 2015

Isabel Nolan
Jesus (after Bellini) torso, 2015
oil pastel and pencil on paper
42 x 29 cm / 16.5 x 11.4 in  

Inquire
Lucretia 2015

Isabel Nolan
Lucretia, 2015
oil pastel and pencil on paper
58 x 41.5 cm / 22.8 x 16.3 in   

Inquire
2015 A lion with a thorn in his paw

Isabel Nolan
A lion with a thorn in his paw, 2015
polystyrene plaster bandage and papier mache
109 x 59 x 118 cm / 42.9 x 23.2 x 46.5 in   

Hungry and Thirsty. Sorry and Angry. A flag for John Donne.

Isabel Nolan
Hungry and Thirsty. Sorry and Angry. A flag for John Donne, 2015
cotton and powder coated mild steel flag pole
dimensions variable

I am wonderfully and 2015

Isabel Nolan
I am wonderfully and fearfully made, 2015
archival pigment print framed with clarity glass, edition of 3 + 1 AP
285 x 232 cm / 112.2 x 91.3 in    

2015 Fresh disorder diminishing energy

Isabel Nolan
Fresh disorder diminishing energy, 2015
cotton and powder coated mild steel flag pole
285 x 232 cm / 112.2 x 91.3 in      

Foot in Knee

Isabel Nolan
Bent (detail), 2015
set of 4 colouring pencil on paper
34.5 x 43 x 3 cm / 13.6 x 16.9 x 1.2 in framed

2015 The thrall of gentle derangement

Isabel Nolan
The thrall of gentle derangement, 2015
cotton and powder coated mild steel flag pole
368 x 183 cm / 144.9 x 72 in 

For ever and ever, and infinite and super infinite for evers 2015

Isabel Nolan
For ever and ever, and infinite and super infinite for evers, 2015
archival pigment print framed with clarity glass
73.4 x 110 cm / 28.9 x 43.3 in  

Lion with thorn (after Lippi) 2015

Isabel Nolan
Lion with thorn (after Lippi), 2015
oil pastel and pencil on paper
56 x 43 x 3 cm / 22 x 16.9 x 1.2 in framed 

Soft thinking in tall places 2015

Isabel Nolan
Soft thinking in tall places, 2015
cotton and powder coated mild steel flag pole
273 x 189 cm  / 107.5 x 74.4 in   

Young John Donne I 2015

Isabel Nolan
Young John Donne I, 2015
oil pastel and pencil on paper
42 x 29 cm / 16.5 x 11.4 in  

Jesus (after Bellini) torso 2015

Isabel Nolan
Jesus (after Bellini) torso, 2015
oil pastel and pencil on paper
42 x 29 cm / 16.5 x 11.4 in  

Lucretia 2015

Isabel Nolan
Lucretia, 2015
oil pastel and pencil on paper
58 x 41.5 cm / 22.8 x 16.3 in   

Installation Views

Installation Views Thumbnails
1

Isabel Nolan, Bent Knees are a Give, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, 1st April - 16th May 2015

2

Isabel Nolan, Bent Knees are a Give, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, 1st April - 16th May 2015

3

Isabel Nolan, Bent Knees are a Give, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, 1st April - 16th May 2015

4

Isabel Nolan, Bent Knees are a Give, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, 1st April - 16th May 2015

5

Isabel Nolan, Bent Knees are a Give, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, 1st April - 16th May 2015

6

Isabel Nolan, Bent Knees are a Give, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, 1st April - 16th May 2015

1

Isabel Nolan, Bent Knees are a Give, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, 1st April - 16th May 2015

2

Isabel Nolan, Bent Knees are a Give, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, 1st April - 16th May 2015

3

Isabel Nolan, Bent Knees are a Give, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, 1st April - 16th May 2015

4

Isabel Nolan, Bent Knees are a Give, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, 1st April - 16th May 2015

5

Isabel Nolan, Bent Knees are a Give, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, 1st April - 16th May 2015

6

Isabel Nolan, Bent Knees are a Give, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, 1st April - 16th May 2015