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Minister O’Donoghue Announces IMMA Programme for 2007
Exhibitions by such celebrated artists as Lucian Freud, Georgia O’Keeffe, Alex Katz and Anne Madden; a display of sculptures by Joan Miró and Alexander Calder, two of the towering figures of 20th-century art; a large-scale exhibition showcasing important new acquisitions by the Museum’s rapidly-growing Collection, and a significant expansion of its education and community activities are all part of rich and exciting programme for 2007 at the Irish Museum of Modern Art announced today (Tuesday 23 January) by the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Mr John O’Donoghue, TD. Plans for the coming year also include a further strand of solo exhibitions by leading artists from Ireland, Germany, Poland, India and Pakistan; a display from IMMA’s Collection of rare and valuable Old Master prints, and newly-devised programmes to increase the Museum’s involvement with the youth sector.
Speaking at the launch of what he described as the Museum’s most ambitious programme to date, Minister O’Donoghue said: "The range and depth of the exhibition programme for 2007 conveys a keen eye and unerringly refreshing vision. It is also a significant contribution to the overall cultural life of the country and to its potential as a destination for cultural tourists”. The Minister added that progress in developing the Museum’s Collection was equally impressive. “The policy implemented in recent years by the Museum’s Director, Enrique Juncosa, of identifying significant gaps in the Collection and then working tirelessly to fill them has yielded impressive results, in the form of a number of highly-significant acquisitions, such as the 50 works from the PJ Carroll Collection and the James Coleman trilogy”.
“In recognition of this, I was pleased last November to secure an additional €1.7 million to facilitate the Museum’s proposal to expand its National Collection through the acquisition of key works by William Scott, Louis le Brocquy, Howard Hodgkin and Sean Scully. Such acquisitions benefit not just the Museum itself, but also other locations throughout Ireland via IMMA’s National Programme and also through touring exhibitions like the Irish Art of the Seventies and Louis le Brocquy shows, which will go on show in the Crawford Gallery in Cork in March”.
The Minister went on to say that he was particularly pleased to announce a further expansion in the Museum’s education and community activities. “Ever since the Museum’s foundation in 1991, IMMA’s work in this area has provided ample evidence of the important benefits which can flow from a close and effective relationship between both the arts and education and the arts and the community. These programmes have made, and continue to make, an immeasurable difference to the lives of hundreds of people. 2007 will see a newly-designed programme for the youth sector, involving widespread consultations with national organisations serving young people. In addition, IMMA will be working with the Heritage Council and The Ark children’s cultural centre to develop further strategies for children and young people across the arts and education sectors”.
The 2007 temporary exhibition programme gets underway on 28 February with Alex Katz: New York, a large-scale exhibition of the work of one of the most influential American artists of the past 50 years. Comprising some 40 paintings and aquatints, it focuses mainly on the artist’s relationship with his native city, the first exhibition to concentrate mainly on that aspect of his work. Also opening on 28 February, Thomas Demand: L’Esprit D’Escalier presents an overview of Demand’s recent work, comprising 20 large-scale photographic works, questioning the photograph’s traditional role as a record of reality. A new architectural installation, specially-commissioned for IMMA, is also being shown.
These shows will be followed on 6 March by a survey of the extraordinary career of the legendary American artist Georgia O’Keeffe, whose paternal grandparents left Cork for the US in 1848. Comprising some 30 works from 1918 to 1977, the exhibition deals with the central concern of her art – the transformation of nature into abstraction through landscape paintings, flower studies and other works. In April IMMA’s courtyard will be the setting for an exhibition of sculpture by two of the giants of 20th-century art – the Spanish artist Joan Miró and the American sculptor Alexander Calder.
An exhibition by the British artist Lucian Freud, arguably the most important figurative painter working today, opens on 6 June. This will feature some 50 paintings and 20 works on paper and etchings, several being completed just months prior to the exhibition and being shown for the first time in a public venue. All of the artist’s favourite subjects are represented, including family, friends, lovers and fellow artists. A major retrospective of the work of Anne Madden, one of Ireland’s most highly-regarded painters can be seen from 27 June. Spanning her entire career, it brings together up to 60 works from the 1950s to date, including some of her best-known canvases and a number of recent works direct from the artist’s studio.
The coming year will also feature solo exhibitions by a number of other leading international artists, several being shown for the first time in Ireland. The Pakistani artist Shahzia Sikander, presents her first solo museum show in Europe from 28 March, while an exhibition of the work of the Indian multi-media artist Nalini Malani opens on 11 July. The latter part of the year features an exhibition by the distinguished Polish artist Miroslav Balka, from 14 November, and a display of paintings and sculptures by the German artist Thomas Scheibitz, also opening on 14 November. There will also be a performance by the innovative Japanese sound artist, Ryoji Ikeda on 5 October.
Irish artists are also prominent. In addition to the Anne Madden show, the temporary exhibition programme will present an exhibition of drawings by Patrick Hall, one of this country’s most prominent artists, from 10 October; also a general overview of the work of James McKenna, the distinguished Irish sculptor who died in 2000, from 28 November.
Following the very significant growth in the Museum’s Collection in the last number of years, there will be particular interest in the Recent Acquisitions exhibition opening in April, which will include works by Cecily Brennan, Dorothy Cross, Barry Flanagan, Mark Manders, João Penalva, William Scott, Donald Teskey and many other leading artists.
April will also see the most comprehensive showing for some time of IMMA’s very fine collection of Old Master prints, the Madden Arnholz Collection, donated to the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in 1988 by Clare Madden. The exhibition will draw on Flemish, Dutch, Italian and German prints by such masters as Brueghel, Dürer, Altdorfer, and Aldegrever from the 16th-century, by Rembrandt, Callot, and Cuyp from the 17th-century and Hogarth, Goya and Daumier from the 18th and 19th-centuries.
The pioneering work of the Irish artist James Coleman, widely regarded as one of the most outstanding artists working in new media, returns to the Great Hall for the month of August. Lapsus Exposure, 1992-94, is the second in his trilogy of works acquired by the Museum through funding from the Heritage Committee in 2004.
In addition to the exhibitions at IMMA, Irish Art of the Seventies and Louis le Brocquy: A Celebration of the Artist’s Ninetieth Year, both shown to great popular acclaim at IMMA last year, will go on show in the Crawford Gallery in Cork this March.
Education and Community
The year ahead will see a number of new initiatives in education and community programming. Arising from the Museum’s participation in the Mapping Arts Project – a long-term action-research project with local youth service providers – a newly-designed programme for the youth sector will explore how IMMA can become more accessible to younger people.
In March a seminar with Creative Engagements, the initiative designed by the National Principals and Deputy Principals Association to increase post-primary students engagement with the arts, will be held at IMMA.
Work continues in association with the Education Faculty at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) in preparation for the implementation of the revised Leaving Certificate syllabus, while the findings of the 2006 survey of art teachers will inform programmes for second level schools in 2007. The annual primary school programme is being enhanced, with the assistance of increased funding from the Department of Education and Science in association with IMMA’s National Programme.
In terms of new publications, a new book addressing outreach work in museums is in development following on from the Access All Areas symposium in November 2006, and the papers presented at the 2004 Curating Now symposium will be published in 2007.
A number of new partnerships have been forged for the Talks and Lectures series. In February IMMA will collaborate with Poetry Ireland, when the American artist Alex Katz will be interviewed by poet Theo Dorgan. A further strand of talks and seminars will take place throughout the year addressing artists’ practice, in conjunction with IADT (Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art and Design) and with the NCAD (National College of Art and Design) post-graduate centre.
The Museum’s unique National Programme will again take IMMA’s assets and expertise to 14 locations around the country in 2007. Projects, based around works from the Collection, take a variety of forms arising from the Museum’s engagement with the venue in question and input from the local community. These will include exhibitions in the Galway Arts Centre and in Galway University Hospital, a display or paintings by Robert Ballagh in Ballinakill, Co Laois, and exhibitions from the McClelland Collection in An Daingean, Co Kerry, and in Omagh, Co Tyrone. With the continued support of the Department of Education and Science, the Museum will again work with all 14 centres in developing an appropriate primary school programme.
The Museum’s Artists’ Residency Programme, creating access to the processes involved in making art and providing an added layer of experience to that available in the galleries, will host 15 artists from as far afield as Finland, Spain, the USA and Brazil. A full programme of talks and studio visits is, as usual, being arranged around the residencies all of which are free and open to the public. The programme will again participate in VISIT, a city-wide open studio event which created significant public interest in 2006 and will also strengthen its strand with invited artists. Research in the field of partnerships and international residencies will continue in 2007.
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23 January 2007
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Irish Museum of Modern Art, Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, Ireland
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