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Engagement and Learning > Talks, Lectures & Events


Wednesday 6 December 2017, 7.00pm – 8.00pm / Robert Emmett Lecture Hall, Trinity College Dublin.

When the familiar becomes strange: Freud and the Contemporary

Freud treated every sitter, subject and object with the same intense focus. The emphasis the artist placed on the value of the live experience, of paying attention, of extended looking and intensity of time with the subject became the means to take the artist to his inner world. Freud found, 'the harder you concentrate, the more things that are really in your head start coming out.'
This lecture explores Freud’s processes, mechanisms and motivations and how they may link to contemporary art and life through the perspectives of a number of contemporary artists. This is an ongoing investigation over the duration of the Freud Project that will involve further contributions from Irish and International artists who work in diverse media, in response to Lucian Freud’s practice and what about it resonates for them. The lecture reflects on affinities, methodologies, potential influences, the return to figuration in contemporary art practice, critique and resistance.

Topics will be explored through the work of Daphne Wright, Ellen Altfest, Marlene Dumas, Jenny Saville, John Lalor, Kathy Prendergast, Diana Copperwhite, Nick Miller, Niamh O’Malley, Mark O’Kelly, Laura Fitzgerald, Bridget O’Gorman & Sue Rainsford, Richard John Jones and others.


Christina Kennedy is Senior Curator: Head of Collections at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) since 2008.  Prior to that she was Head of Exhibitions at Dublin City Gallery the Hugh Lane (DCGHL) for 10 years. She has curated and co-curated many exhibitions, edited publications and contributed texts to numerous catalogues, notably: Beyond the White Cube: A Retrospective of Brian O’Doherty/Patrick Ireland, DCGHL, 2006; The Studio, co-curated with Jens Hoffmann, DCGHL, 2007;  Tacita Dean, DCGHL, 2007;  The Burial of Patrick Ireland, IMMA, 2008;  The Moderns: The Arts in Ireland from 1900s - 1970s, IMMA, 2010-2011, co-curated with Enrique Juncosa, (co-edited publication); Postwar American Art: the Novak/O’Doherty Collection, IMMA 2010;  Hello Sam by Brian O’Doherty, National Gallery of Ireland as part of Dublin Contemporary, 2011; Changing States: Contemporary Irish Art & Francis Bacon’s Studio, Bozar Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, co-curator, 2013, Art as Argument : Brian O’Doherty and the Novak O’Doherty Collection, Kunstmuseum Bayreuth, 2013. Patrick Scott: Image, Space, Light, IMMA 2014; Lucian Freud Project at IMMA 2016-2021, Lead Curator.

Key early projects include: archaeological team member for the removal of Francis Bacon’s Studio from London to DCGHL, 1998;  curatorial coordinator of Francis Bacon in Dublin exhibition, 2000.  

IMMA/ TCD Talk Series / 18 October 2017 - April 2018    

Marking the first year anniversary of the significant loan of 50 works by Lucian Freud (1922-2011),  IMMA, in collaboration with the The Irish Art Research Centre,Trinity College, Dublin (TRIARC) invites leading artists, critics and cultural researchers to offer new perspectives on Freuds work and its critical reception today.

Keynote events rotate on a monthly basis between venues at IMMA and TCD, concluding with a major symposium in April 2018. Each session introduces a distinct topic on this seminal artist’s work.The schedule of speakers include: 18.10.2017 at TCD : Martin Gayford (Art Critic/Author UK) /  01.11.2017 at IMMA:Yvonne Scott (TRIARC TCD) / 06.12.2017 at TCD: Christina Kennedy (IMMA) / 24.01.2018 at IMMA : Noreen Giffney (Ulster University) / 07.02.2018 at TCD: Nathan O’ Donnell (Paper Visual Art-PVA) / 07.03.2018 at IMMA: Isabelle Graw (Städelschule, Frankfurt) / 10.03.2018 at TCD:  Daphne Wright (Artist), Angela Griffith (TRIARC) TCD), Christina Kennedy (IMMA) and others.  Booking is essential per talk / booking lines open on a month to month basis.                               


IMMA has secured a significant five-year loan of 50 works by one of the greatest realist painters of the 20th century, Lucian Freud (1922-2011). Renowned for his portrayal of the human form, Freud is best known for his intimate, honest, often visceral portraits. Working only from life Freud’s studio was intensely private and he mainly worked with those he was close to, often asking subjects to sit for hundreds of hours over multiple sittings to better capture the essence of their personality.

(External) The Irish Art Research Centre, Trinity College Dublin, (TRIARC)  

TRIARC was established in 2003 in response to the growing interest in Irish art at home and abroad. Since then, the centre provides postgraduate teaching and supervision and it supports new research and publications. The establishment of the centre was facilitated by the generous support of benefactors, enabling the appointment of dedicated staff, and the restoration of the Provost's House Stables to provide facilities for education and research, including a visual archive and dedicated library on all aspects of Irish art, architecture and design.


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