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Minister Deenihan's Visit - Twenty and Anglo Irish Bank Donation

PRESS RELEASE – 25 May 2011

Minister Deenihan welcomes donation of significant Anglo Irish Bank artworks to IMMA

The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan, TD, today (Wednesday 25 May 2011) welcomed the donation of 18 important artworks from Anglo Irish Bank to the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA). The gift includes works by such leading artists as Sean Scully, Stephen McKenna, Edward Delaney, Nick Miller and Elizabeth Magill.

Speaking during an advance visit to IMMA’s Twenty exhibition, Minister Deenihan said: “This very generous donation represents the ideal birthday present for the museum, which opened its doors exactly 20 years ago today. In that time the museum has done an extraordinary job of building up the scale and scope of its collection, which now comprises more than 2,350 works. In the past five years alone some 400 works have been added to the collection, with a further 600 pledged over the coming years”. The Minister went on to say that the donation would complement perfectly the works by younger-generation artists, recently purchased with funding from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and being shown as part of Twenty, the centrepiece of IMMA’s anniversary celebrations.

Mike Aynsley, Group Chief Executive of Anglo Irish Bank, said: “A decision was taken by the Bank that it would be appropriate to begin the process of reducing the Bank’s art collection and making these pieces available for public viewing. I am delighted to present these pieces to IMMA, one of our most innovative national cultural institutions. I am confident that IMMA, as Ireland's leading national institution for the collection and presentation of modern and contemporary art, will ensure that visitors to the museum will have the opportunity to appreciate these pieces.”

Commenting on the donation, IMMA Director Enrique Juncosa said: “The gift of 18 works by such distinguished and well loved artists will provide a tremendous stimulus for new and exciting exhibitions from our collection, from large-scale shows like The Moderns to more focused exhibitions such as Twenty. It will also greatly extend the choice of work available for the many exhibitions which we organise all around Ireland each year as part of our unique National Programme and for our frequent loans to sister institutions abroad.”

The donation comprises works by Sean Scully, Elizabeth Magill, Barrie Cooke, Mark Francis, Stephen McKenna, Nick Miller, Edward Delaney, Cheung Eun Mo, Charles Brady and Kim en Joong.

Twenty: Celebrating 20 Years of the Irish Museum of Modern Art presents 20 younger-generation Irish and international artists, whose work is increasing prominent in the global visual arts arena. Many of the works are being shown for the first time, having recently been acquired with  funding from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. These include Orla Barry, Stephen Brandes, Nina Canell, Fergus Feehily, John Gerrard, David Godbold, Paddy Jolley, Nevan Lahart, Niamh McCann and Willie McKeown. The new works echo the museum’s acquisition 20 years ago of works by leading younger artists of the day, many of whom went on to have a close and mutually beneficial relationships with IMMA in the intervening years. In addition to the opening of Twenty, the anniversary celebrations on Friday 27 May include poetry readings, artists’ talks, open studios, electro music/video performances and cutting-edge fashion.

For further information and images please contact Vanessa Cowley or Patrice Molloy at Tel: + 353 1 612 9900; Email: .

25 May 2011

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