Family and Influences
W.B. Yeats’ interest in the visual arts was not just an early phase ending when he left art school, but rather a lifetime concern that affected him in many ways. Not only did artists and art critics have a shaping influence on his aesthetic but printing and sculptures and their creators provided him with scenes and symbols for his poetry.
Drawn from the permanent collection of the Crawford Art Gallery to celebrate the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of W.B. Yeats’ birth this exhibition explores the familial connections between the works of W.B. Yeats and his younger brother Jack Yeats.
Family and Influences views their shared common background and the recurrent themes that occur through both their works. It also draws from the literary influences W.B. Yeats benefited from and the political and social relationships he cultivated.
Resonances is a comprehensive response to the work of W.B. Yeats on the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of his birth. Drawn from both the Crawford Art Gallery permanent collection and the AIB collection it is inspired by the works of Yeats and the vibrant legacy it reveals.
The identification of exact sources and influences on Yeats ‘picture poems’ is a challenging problem and therefore it cannot be said that the works selected for this exhibition had a direct impact upon his work or were inspired by his. However, they do reflect an interaction of the arts as a basic principle and Yeats work reflects this by an increasing frequency of reference to the visual arts.
Art can never be divorced entirely from life, from experience, although it can concentrate on certain limited aspects of life and disregard others. For, although art is the creation of a superior world- superior to that of commonplace existence, it must take its elements from life. It is not so much the creation of an ideal world remote from life as one that becomes illuminated with meaning, “ I did not care for mere reality, and believed that creation should be deliberate”. Life and art became united and yet separate, each dwelling within the other.
Yeats poetical images frequently came from the pictorial imagery of the paintings he saw. The art works selected in Resonances engages with Yeats’ interest in dreams, mythology, spiritualism, mortality, nature and nationalism. Allowing for the texture of existence to remain commonplace.
This year provides us with a chance to learn about our great national poet. His anniversary provides a stimulus for art to be explored in conjunction with poetry – See more at: http://www.crawfordartgallery.ie/WBYeats_Family_and_influences.html#sthash.dQajBJUe.dpuf
Courtesy of Crawford Art Gallery Cork