Dorothy Cross (born 1956) is an artist born in Cork, Ireland. Working with diverse media, which includes sculpture, photography, video and installation she represented Ireland at the 1993 Venice Biennale. Central to her work as a whole are themes of sexual and cultural identity, personal history, memory and the gaps between the conscious and subconscious
She attended the Crawford Municipal School of Art in Cork before undertaking degree studies at Leicester Polytechnic, England, from 1974 to 1977. She also studied at the San Francisco Art Institute, California from 1978 to 1979 and 1980 to 1982.
Exhibiting regularly since the mid-1980s, Cross came to mainstream public attention with her first major, solo installation, 'Ebb', at the Douglas Hyde Gallery in Dublin, Ireland. This was followed, in 1991, by 'Powerhouse', at the ICA in Philadelphia, the Hyde Gallery and Camden Arts Centre in London and Kerlin Gallery in Dublin. Like 'Ebb', several of the component parts that made up 'Powerhouse' were 'found' objects - many of which had been in her family's possession for years or were located from different environments. These were then incorporated into mixed media pieces for exhibit.
During the early 1990s she began producing sculptural works, utilising cured cowhide, cow udders and stuffed snakes, which explored the cultural and symbolic significance of sexuality and subjectivity across cultures. Virgin Shroud (1993), for example, is a veil made from a cow skin with the udders forming a crown.
She is perhaps best known for her public installation Ghost Ship (1998) in which a disused light ship was illuminated through use of luminous paint, in Scotman's bay, off Dublin's Dún Laoghaire Harbour. A recent series Medusae includes images of Chironex fleckeri, a type of jellyfish and was made in collaboration with her brother, Tom Cross, a zoologist.
The Irish Museum of Modern Art held a major retrospective of her work in 2005.
Notable group shows
- 1993 Venice - Biennial
- 1994 ICA London and CCA Glasgow - 'Bad Girls'
- 1995 Brighton Museum and Art Gallery - 'Fetishism: Visualising Power and Desire'
- 1996 San Antonio, TX - Artpace International Artist In Residence Program'
- 1997 Istanbul - Biennial
- 1998 Liverpool - Biennial
- 1998 Boston MIT List Art Center, Miami Museum of Contemporary Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - 'Mirror Images: Women, Surrealism and Self Representation'
Notable solo shows
- 1988 Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin - 'Ebb'
- 1991 ICA, Philadelphia, Hyde Gallery & Camden Art's Centre, London, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin - 'Powerhouse'
- 1991 Camden Art's Centre, London - 'Parthenon'
- 1996 Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol - 'Even: Recent Work by Dorothy Cross'
- 1997 Angles Gallery, Los Angeles
- 2000 Mimara Museum, Zagreb
- 2001 Frith Street Gallery, London
- 2002 Kerlin Gallery
- 2005 McMullen Museum of Art, Chestnut Hill - 'GONE: Site-Specific Works by Dorothy Cross'
Works in collections
- The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin
- The Norton Collection, Santa Monica
- Art Pace Foundation, Texas
- The Goldman Sachs Collection, London
- Tate Modern, London, including
- The Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery, Dublin, including
- Allen Randolph, Jody. "Dorothy Cross." Close to the Next Moment: Interviews from a Changing Ireland. Manchester: Carcanet, 2010.
- Dorothy Cross. Dublin: Irish Museum of Modern Art. A Charta Publication, 2005
- Lydenberg, Robin. Gone: Site Specific Works by Dorothy Cross. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005
- Kerlin Gallery: Dorothy Cross
- Come into the garden Maude part of the Medusae series.
- Aosdána biographical note