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White Horse from the portfolio Alen MacWeeney

© Alen MacWeeney

White Horse from the portfolio Alen MacWeeney

Artist: Alen MacWeeney (Born in Dublin, Ireland, 1939)
Culture: Irish
Date: 1965–1966 (printed 1979)
Medium: Gelatin silver print
Image: 11 3/4 x 11 3/4 inches (29.8 x 29.8 cm)
Sheet: 19 7/8 x 16 inches (50.5 x 40.6 cm)
State: 33
Edition: 90
Classification: Photograph
Credit Line: Gift of James R. McNab, Jr.
Label Text:This work is part of Alen MacWeeney’s Yeats series, named for poet William Butler Yeats. In reference to this series, MacWeeney told an interviewer,

"I’d been living in New York for nearly four years, when a friend remarked that it was the centenary of W. B. Yeats’ birth. I wanted desperately to return to photograph in Ireland, and Yeats’ centenary became the germ of an idea that evolved into photographs about him and the Ireland of my imagination. This idea suggested to me a way back . . . . With no thought of interpreting the poetry of Yeats, but rather with the thought that photographing of the kinds of people, places, and subjects that inhabited his verse could well make a book, and myself possibly a living. Yeats was a heroic subject who wrote with unlimited passion and breath about his life and his country. I absorbed and infused his poetry and writing into my perception and way of seeing, deeply enhancing and enlarging my outlook."

White Horse is not per se a photograph as difficult to make as it was difficult to see its strange potential. The mere act of the horse turning its head away has created the suggestion of another creature altogether; the extraordinary shape of the animal and the brilliant, nearly overexposed light reflected by its body invite us to glimpse Yeats’ alarmingly magical Ireland.

Object number: 1984.55.14