David Ireland

A Solo Exhibition

Opening June 24, 2023 

Exhibition run: June 24 – December 16, 2023


THE CONDITION WHERE ART WOULD DISAPPEAR brings out some of David Ireland’s most iconic works to explore questions surrounding conceptual art and the issues artists confront when deep in studio work. The rooms of the House will be populated with works that will, for the first time since 500 Capp Street’s public opening, reconstruct what was in these spaces when Ireland was working and living at 500 Capp Street from 1974 to 2004. These iconic tableaux will illuminate how Ireland navigated between the correlation of work and site and will cast light on the point in his work where the studio became the central object of the art itself. On view will be such treasures as Marcel B. (1980-1994), a cascade of sardine cans that serve as a pun-like homage to fellow artist Marcel Broodthaers; Ireland’s sculptural tribute to Yves Klein; and his South China Chairs (1979), arranged as they were with the well-known Broom Collection with Boom (1978/1988) between them.

Ireland would also be known to say, “You can’t make art by making art.” This statement has become one of Ireland’s best-known quotes and it’s often used to summarize the philosophy that guided his Zen-like, interdisciplinary practice. Concerned with formal and material invention and in happenings outside the sphere of marketable art, his work explores complex questions of creativity, the role of the artist, and the meaning of art. To Ireland, it all boils down to what an artist is willing  to step into or away from, so that they can form their own artistic experience, even if it means forgetting all the accumulated meaning, history or original purpose of a known object, process or site. He would mention that it would take a certain amount of strength or belief, to what is known as “the leap of faith” to value what’s most important to a practice in the studio: an unrelenting commitment to the process of discovery.

THE CONDITION WHERE ART WOULD DISAPPEAR is generously sponsored by Geoffrey De Sousa, with additional support by Suzanne Hellmuth and Jock Reynolds, Anglim/Trimble Gallery and in kind contribution by Small Works and Rico Duenas.