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Art & Art History

David Ireland

David Ireland

Monday, February 25, 1991–Tuesday, February 26, 1991
Gallery 400 Lecture Room
400 South Peoria Street

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David Ireland (born 1930) is an artist constantly tampering with the vocabulary and value system of art. His ideas are based on the simple belief that art occurs in the process of life itself. Ireland’s transformation of his Victorian home at 500 Capp Street in San Francisco (1975-78) has become his most celebrated “performance.” His everyday tasks, such as polishing floors and sanding trim, were executed with a respect and finesse that elevated his actions firmly to the realm of art. He also created numerous sculptures and tableaux from the debris that surrounded him, including Broom Collection with Boom (1978-88), a sculpture made from old brooms left by the previous owner of the house, a visual metaphor for the passage of time. Sweepings from the doorstep, preserved in glass jars, are displayed on shelves in his living room. Raw, inelegant, and sometimes humorous, these works attest to Ireland’s conviction that art can be made from life’s most unremarkable materials and the simplest, untrained acts. Ireland received a BA from the California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, and an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute.