This is the first showing in Ireland of the slide installation Background, 1991-94, by the internationally-acclaimed Irish artist, James Coleman. Background is one of a trilogy of pioneering works by Coleman from the 1990s, acquired by IMMA through funding from the Heritage Committee of the National Cultural Institutions in 2004. This work, to be presented in the Great Hall at IMMA, completes the trilogy, following the successful showing of I N I T I A L S, 1993-94, in 2006 and Lapsus Exposure, 1992-94, in 2007. It is a forerunner to a major exhibition of Coleman’s work in a collaboration between IMMA, Project Arts Centre and RHA Gallagher Gallery in 2009.
James Coleman was born in Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon, in 1941. By the mid-60s Coleman had already begun creating works using photography and video, and later developed a number of live performed works in Ireland, Portugal and Holland. Since the 1970s, Coleman has exhibited extensively in international museum and galleries, including the Dia Center for the Arts, New York (1994-95), Kunstmuseum Luzern, Lucern (1995), Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (1996), Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona (1999), Kunstbau Lenbachhaus, Munich (2002), Sprengel Museum, Hannover (2002), and Museu do Chiado, Lisbon (2004-05). In 2003, Coleman developed a unique project at the Louvre in Paris for the exhibition Léonard de Vinci: dessins et manuscrits. Coleman has also participated in many international group exhibitions and recently in Documenta 12 in Kassel, where he premiered his new work Retake with Evidence, 2007.