Exhibition Review: Imaginary Places and a Contemporary Sublime at the MAC


The MAC is currently running two exhibitions alongside one another: Peter Droig’s Imaginary Places, and Mary McIntyre’s A Contemporary Sublime. They will be on show from the 16th November until the 20th January.

Imaginary Places is the first major collection of Droig’s work to be shown in Northern Ireland following other exhibitions of his in the likes of Tate Britain and The Dallas Museum of Art. His exploration of landscape has been described as innovative, and this is certainly true in a few of his works on display. “Concrete Cabin II” is an extremely interesting work. It puts the viewer amidst trees that look out through a clearing to a block of flats that are shaped and coloured almost like Piet Mondrian painting. What is even more interesting is the development of this   painting from an etching on aquatint paper. It is also on display – entitled “concrete cabin” – and features a similar image, but more condensed and in black and white.

Another eye-catching work is another etching on paper called “ski lift.” It presents a greyscale, birds-eye view image of a mountain where one can see a gondola and people skiing along a slope. Droig has skilfully created an image that isn’t static, as you can almost see the silhouette people moving.

A Contemporary Sublime is a photographical exhibition, and all of the photos are on colour light photographic print. “The Lough V” shows a hauntingly still image, of a lone tree at the shoreline of a Lough, on a foggy day. The still and black reflection of the tree in the water is haunting. “Veil III” is almost a picture of infinity. It is a photograph of the water, again of a muggy, foggy day, and the waves are low, still and horizontal. They seem to go on forever, and it is nearly impossible to tell after some time what is the shoreline and what is the sky. It is easy to see how landscape painting influence McIntyre, as her work could be described as modern day landscape painting. What’s more is that McIntyre has chosen to display her painting alongside artists who have influenced her work including Jean Baptise-Camille Corot.

It is impossible to do these works of art justice in within a word-scape.  I would recommend going to the MAC to see these exhibitions, as they feature some truly wonderful works of art.


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