Dorothy Cross
Irish Contemporary Sculptor. Biography, Sculptures.

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Dorothy Cross (b.1956)

One of Ireland's greatest exponents of contemporary Irish sculpture, Dorothy Cross was born in County Cork. She studied at the Crawford College of Art (1973-4), Leicester Polytechnic, in Amsterdam and at San Francisco Art Institute, where she completed a scupture program and a Masters in fine art printmaking. Her early training as a jeweller has given her an interest in construction and a precision in execution. Working with a huge variety of media, such as bronze, steel, and wood as well as 'found' objects and cow hide, to create architectural or figurative compositions in the form of sculptures, assemblage, installations and video. Her art combines wit, surreal sensibility, and a serious symbolic or political intent. She often explores gender issues and historical narratives, reinterpreting them in a way that upsets convention.


Achieving fame in the 1990s with sculptural works (eg. Virgin Shroud, 1993) incorporating cow or snake hides, Cross represented Ireland at the 1993 Venice Biennale. In 1999, she won the 1999 Nissan Public Art Project, which allowed her to realise her public installation, Ghost Ship (1999) in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, Co Dublin - a project late shown at the 1st Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art.

Her more recent work explores the inherent voyeurism of video and photography. She has also collaborated with her zoologist brother Tom Cross, on images of the jellyfish Chironex fleckeri.

Dorothy Cross has exhibited extensively around the world, with solo exhibitions in Ireland, Europe and North America. Examples include: 'Medusae' (Tom Cross and Dorothy Cross) Natural History Museum, Dublin (2005); 'L'Air', Frith Street Gallery, London (2005); 'Gone', McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College, Boston (2005); 'H2O', Elaine L. Jacob Gallery, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan (2003); 'GTECH/ NO/ ZONE', Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei (2002); 'Shapeshifting: The Body Transformed', Wellcome Wing at the Science Museum (2002); 'Salve', Kerlin Gallery, Dublin (2002). In 2005, the Irish Museum of Modern Art staged a major retrospective of her work. Dorothy Cross is an elected member of Aosdana.

Her work is included in the collections of the Tate Modern Gallery, the Hugh Lane Gallery (Shark Lady in a Ball Dress, 1988), the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Goldman Sachs Collection London, Norton Collection, Santa Monica Art Pace Foundation, Texas, and others.

More Information About Visual Arts in Ireland

• For details of other contemporary sculptors from Ireland, see: Irish Artists: Paintings and Biographies.
• For more about postmodernist artists like Dorothy Cross, see: Irish Art Guide.
• For more about contemporary art, see: Homepage.

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