Visual Arts

Anne Madden

Born in London in 1932 to Irish and Anglo-Chilean parents, Anne Madden spent her first years in Chile but was raised in Co. Clare and in London, where she studied at the Chelsea School of Art. With the Irish painter Louis le Brocquy, whom she married in 1958, she moved to the village of Carros in the south of France. 

She painted a major work, Empyrius, on the vaulted ceiling of the International Contemporary Art Centre in Carros in 1999, and the centre’s main gallery is named after her and her husband. In 1965, she represented Ireland at the Paris Biennale. Her poured paintings from the 1960s were inspired by her childhood in the Burren in Co Clare.

Between 1970 and 1979 Madden painted a large series of vertical works entitled Megalith and Openings derived from prehistoric monuments. The artist has since developed a large body of work including the Pompeii and Garden series (1980 – 1990); Odyssey and Icarus series (1990 – 2000) and the Garden of Love series (2001-2003).

In 2004 she embarked on her Aurora b. series, their source a glowing solar phenomenon of coloured lights appearing in the night sky of the Northern Hemisphere, known as the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights.

The artist has held more than 50 solo exhibitions and her work is held by national museums and modern art collections worldwide. In 1993 Her biography, Louis Le Brocquy – Seeing his way, was published by Gill and Macmillan. In 2004 she was awarded an honorary degree from University College Dublin. In 2006, the documentary film Anne Madden – Artist and Muse, (Mind the Gap Films), was screened on RTE in July 2006. A major retrospective of her work was held by the Irish museum of Modern Art in 2007. The same year the artist was invited by IMMA to give the Winter Lecture entitled Painting: A Lifelong Affair.

She lives in Dublin.

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