© National Gallery of Ireland
Brian Fay, Irish, b.1968
Title: Rotation and Translation 9
Date: 2019-2021
Medium: Graphite on paper
Credit Line: Purchased, 2022
Object Number: NGI.2022.58
DescriptionThe Ether series (Rotation and Translation 9) and MJ Four Elements were created by Fay for his exhibition, ‘A mobile living thing’ at the Municipal Gallery, DLR Lexicon, Dún Laoghaire, in late 2021. Fay’s exhibition was the culmination of a research project focusing on four works on paper by Mainie Jellett, from between 1932-1939, in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Collection. Continuing his interests in the properties of time, entropy and the natural deterioration/transformation of all things. Fay made a series of new drawings responding to the physical properties of these works and to the life of Jellett herself. The title of the exhibition ‘A mobile living thing’ comes from Jellett’s own writings and Fay used it to consider Jellett’s four paintings as having a life and afterlife of their own. MJ Four Elements is based on a well-known photograph of Jellett that is divided into quarters, showing the mechanical process involved in the scaled-up reproduction of the original small image. The work is at once a portrait of Jellett and a drawing of reproduction of an original photograph that continues to deteriorate. The Ether Series is the result of a drawing process that merges aspects of Jellett’s and Fay’s artistic approaches. Fay began by mapping the areas of deterioration in one of Jellett’s watercolours. He then applied Jellett’s rotation and translation method to the composition, a painstaking process that produced a multi-layered drawing that merges abstraction and representation while referencing both the physical and conceptual properties of its source. The title of the work refers to the luminiferous ether and the work of Jellett’s uncle, the celebrated physicist, George Frances Francis Fitzgerald, who contributed to our understanding of the universe and the movement of light.
ProvenanceThe artist; Purchased, 2022
Exhibition HistoryBrian Fay A Mobile Living Thing, Municipal Gallery, Dublin, October 2 - December 5 2021

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