Jane Irish’s art invites confrontations between worlds that rarely collide. Sumptuous period interiors, executed in egg tempera on large-scale linen canvases, expose viewers to their lingering memories of colonialism and orientalism, while her ceramic vases subtly mesh décor with anti-war ideology. Irish has infused her art with implicit, but subdued activism since 2005, when she organized the exhibition Operation Rapid American Withdrawal in Philadelphia with other artists, activists and Vietnam War veterans. Their poetry and visages permeate her work, combined with on-site studies from her own travels to Vietnam and France. Through manipulation of depth and angle, her illusions become both visual and thematic, entrancing and yet inexorably linked to larger questions of political conquest.
Jane Irish received her MFA from Queens College, CUNY, and has exhibited in New York and Philadelphia since 1983. Irish has had a solo exhibition at Morris Gallery, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and has been included in exhibits at the Walker Art Center, MN; Institute of Contemporary Art, PA; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Baltimore Museum of Art; Delaware Center for Contemporary Art; Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans; Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinatti; and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. She has been the recipient of several prestigious grants, including a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, a Painters and Sculptors Grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, a Painting Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts, and a Painting Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
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