In an upcoming installation for Philadelphia Contemporary, artist Jane Irish will expand on her years of painted explorations of colonialism, opulence, the violence and futility of American conflicts overseas, and the anti-war activists who resist them. Working in partnership with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, Fairmount Park Conservancy, and the Friends of Lemon Hill, Irish will transform the historic Lemon Hill mansion, filling it with a floor-to-ceiling installation of paintings and ceramics. Irish envisions that the two floors of Lemon Hill will serve as antipodes—hemispheric opposites, each filled with her dialectical imagery of past and present, east and west, and war and peace. Its interiors coated with Irish’s swirls of painted vignettes, Lemon Hill will become a site where visitors consider how activists might serve as an antidote for past sins, and art’s ability to foresee the wildest scientific futures.
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 in the 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; Delaware Center for Contemporary Art; Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans; Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinatti; the Utah Museum of Fine Arts; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Baltimore Museum of Art. 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.