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Magnus Modus



Magnus Modus, a large scale, seven metre tall, free-form sculpture made of multiple layers of laminated olive ash wood that is on permanent collection in the new Courtyard in the refurbished National Gallery of Ireland. The latest addition to the Magnus Series, a series that challenges the perception that function demands an explicit use, Magnus Modus is commissioned by the Office of Public Works (OPW) on behalf of the National Gallery of Ireland under the Per Cent for Art Scheme, as a result of winning an OPW-initiated by invitation competition.


Magnus Modus is the third large scale installation of the Magnus series. Assembled and designed in a large warehouse, the meticulously crafted curved sculpture responds to the question of whether art can transcend history while simultaneously addressing the complex relationship between form and function. It encircles and engages the viewer, whilst expanding the creative language of collaboration between man and material. Resting upon a small Kilkenny lime stone base, the Magnus Modus delineates space in its slender aspect, stationed on a tiny footprint, reaching upwards and then outwards.


As the sculpture ascends, it becomes lighter and reacts to subtle changes in atmosphere. It creates surrounding spaces, shadows and delicate lines of movement, thereby transforming the viewer into an actor by its responsive presence. 



“Magnus Modus is the culmination of all the pieces created during the past 15 years and the inspiration that went into designing them. This commission by the National Gallery gave me the opportunity to explore ideas around pure sculpture and translate them into a full scale piece. I wanted to create a sculpture that is very seductive in form and yet perfectly imperfect, as in nature where the supposed imperfections are the thing that create the unique character, the results of atmospheric shifts that ultimately alter and positively influence the material. Magnus Modus is the very reflection of my search for effortless design harmony”
Joseph Walsh


Please download the Magnus Modus Press Release

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