Skip links and go to Page Content

Arts and Entertainment in County Kildare

James McKenna (1933-2000) A Retrospective

An Archive Page StampA retrospective exhibition of the work of James McKenna will be opened by Brian Fallon (Art Critic) at the Riverbank Arts Centre at 3.00 pm on Sunday 15th of September 2002, and will continue until the 25th of October.

James McKenna spent the last eleven years of his life in County Kildare. Sadly, he died a year before the Riverbank Arts Centre opened its doors, too late for him to see its principal gallery named after him - the McKenna Gallery.

McKenna HorseMcKenna, artist, sculptor and playwright was a pioneering spirit who was instrumental in the foundation of both the Independent Artists group and The Sculptors' Society of Ireland. His contribution to the arts, and distinction as a sculptor were recognised when he was awarded membership of Aosdána in 1983. The works included in the show, reveal the versatility of the artist and include works in bronze, plaster, stone, and wood, as well as works on paper, exploring Irish myth, history and the human form.

This retrospective aims to represent, in a modest way, the breadth of James' talents as an artist, from some of his earliest pieces in the late 1950's to works produced shortly before his death in 2000. Much of James' work was too large or too fragile to be moved, but the works included in this exhibition serve to remind us that he was an unusual and original talent, and deserves to be remembered and treasured within the canon of Irish art. Des Egan (Poet), will give a talk entitled The Achievement of James McKenna on Thursday 19th of September at 8.00pm in the Riverbank Arts Centre.

McKenna StatueThe exhibition will be on view in both galleries, and is accompanied by a catalogue. Opening hours are 10.00 to 1.00, and 2.00 to 5.00, Monday to Saturday.

For further information, contact Catríona Fallon on (045) 448314, or e-mail us on

Tickets can be booked in person at the Riverbank, by calling (045) 448333, or by e-mail at