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51 Louis Le Brocquy HRHA 1916-2012 ADAM Colour inverted Aubusson Tapestry, 78" x 55" (200 x 140cm), Atelier Rene Duche, signed by the artist on a label verso, edition 5 of 9, dated 1999.

Provenance: exhibited Taylor Galleries, Dublin, Nov/Dec 2000.

L e Brocquy designed his first tapestries in 1948, leading a few years later to a fruitful collaboration with the Tabard workshop in Aubusson, France which was to continue over many decades. Although the artist was first drawn to the Garden of Eden as a subject for his tapestries in 1951-52, he returned to it again nearly fifty years later when he created two entirely new works, ‘Adam’ and ‘Eve’. When they were first exhibited, in 2000, le Brocquy wrote: “As we enter the third millennium, it is perhaps not inappropriate for us to reflect on our origins beyond the Christian era, to the imaginative legend of Adam and Eve in the garden of nature, of the awakening of human consciousness, the birth of the mind.”

In both ‘Adam’ and ‘Eve’ the artist has successfully retained much of the quivering ambiguity found in his oil paintings, where he teased the human figure out of the surface and just at the point when the features began to solidify, he let go again. Le Brocquy’s Adam and Eve are fluid ‘presences’; he conveys their aura rather than precise physical features, so that they become the timeless ‘everyman’ and ‘everywoman’.

The artist has always understood that this medium required a bold, graphic approach. Each figure stands out from a dark background, dramatically illuminated by an ethereal light. The body is reduced to a few simple shapes, pared down to essentials. Le Brocquy overlays these core shapes, moving from dark to lighter tones so that the figures seem to pulsate with life. This sense of energy is reinforced in the abstracted garden, where leaves and fruit flutter in the wind. The garden stimulates the senses, as you can almost hear the rustle of the trees, smell the fruit, and feel the wind. These tapestries don’t set out to illustrate a legend; they aim to imaginatively convey the sense of being alive.



Dr Frances Ruane HRHA, May 2019

€30000 - €50000

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