San Francisco, CA, August 03, 2016 — The third exhibition at the David Ireland House since the 500 Capp Street Foundation restored and opened the late conceptual artist’s home to the public earlier this year, The Echo (September 9, 2016 through January 14, 2017) invites viewers to explore a new thematic installation of Ireland’s work inspired by his interest in the tension between a physical place and the translation of that site through memory. The presentation also debuts an important new gift of artwork to the house, Delection (1980), given to the foundation by Bay Area-based collectors Randi and Bob Fisher.
Featuring new sculptures, photographs, and works on paper on view alongside the home’s most iconic permanent pieces and architectural features, the exhibition was conceived of by the foundation’s curator and head of programs Diego Villalobos and co-curated with Bob Linder, who is co-owner and director of CAPITAL gallery in San Francisco and an instructor at the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI). With this presentation, Linder joins 500 Capp Street’s in-house team as a newly appointed curator.
“Linder was a student of Ireland, and Villalobos was a student of Linder,” says Carlie Wilmans, Executive Director of the 500 Capp Street Foundation. “Together they form a powerful lineage directly from Ireland and will collaborate on exhibitions and programs that illuminate the historical importance of his practice and put his work in dialogue with other contemporary artists.”
“500 Capp Street is more than just an art foundation or an artist’s house,” says Linder. “It’s a link to the past, a response to the present, and an inspiration for the future of the Bay Area art community. I’m excited by this opportunity to explore, catalogue, and create exhibitions, and to continue establishing a challenging program that involves visiting artists who share or build upon the Ireland’s material and conceptual sensibilities.”
“Skellig” Photo Series at Heart of New Show
Showcased in the home’s Accordion Shop space, a number of Ireland’s “Skellig” Painted Photographs from 1994 form the centerpiece of the exhibition. The series of altered photographs, first exhibited at the Ansel Adams Center for Photography in San Francisco, resulted from the artist’s travels in Skellig Michael, a remote island off the southwest coast of Ireland.
While exploring Skellig’s cragged landscape—once home to early Christian monks in the time between the 6th and 8th centuries—Ireland recorded having an epiphany: that the lives of monks and their unwavering faith are akin to those of artists and their commitment to art. In his own words, the hand-painted Skellig pictures “help to heighten the viewer’s impression of silence, isolation, and contemplation.”
Linder notes, “The Skellig works both conceal and reveal aspects of the island’s past in a way that’s similar to how the walls and objects of 500 Capp Street retain an observable history of Ireland’s artistic life there.”
“The exhibition takes its title from a notion of Ireland’s interest in history and memory, and the slippage—or the echo—that occurs when a concrete place or moment is measured, imagined, and materialized as an object in his art process,” says Villalobos. “It also highlights how Ireland’s experiences as a world traveler influenced his relationship to place.”