The first showing in Ireland of the slide installation Background, 1991-94, by the internationally-acclaimed Irish artist, James Coleman, opens to the public at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on Friday 1 August 2008. 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.
Coleman has been associated for over 30 years with a range of media that dominate large areas of current art practice. He uses photography, projected still images with soundtracks, film, video and performance, as powerful means of conveying his reflections on the meaning of image and language. Communication, subjectivity and the use of media are central concerns in Background. Using the slide-tape format, Coleman continues his investigation of the psychological, social and historic conditioning of perception.
Commenting on the showing of the final part of the trilogy and on the major exhibition in 2009, Christina Kennedy, Senior Curator: Head of Collections, IMMA, said, “With Background we complete the presentation of this important triumvirate of works by James Coleman, one of the most respected artists in the world today. They pave the way for the first major exhibition of his work in Ireland in 2009 that will range across his career from the early 1970s onwards, and will include a number of works which will be shown in Ireland for the first time”.
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.
James Coleman, Background, 1991-94, continues until 31 August 2008.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10.00am-5.30pm except Wednesday 10.30am-5.30pm Sundays and Bank Holidays 12 noon-5.30pm Late Opening from 5 June to 18 September on Thursday evenings until 8.00pm Monday Closed
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