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Minister Cullen launches IMMA’s 2009 Programme
Major exhibitions by such leading artists as Hughie O’Donoghue and James Coleman; the first European exhibition devoted to the jewellery of the iconic American artist Alexander Calder; a series of intriguing displays from the Museum’s own Collection, and an exhibition featuring many of the finest works from MoMA’s photographic collection are all part of an exciting and wide-ranging programme for 2009 at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, announced today (Wednesday 4 March) by the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Mr Martin Cullen, TD. Plans for the coming year also include solo exhibitions by three acclaimed American artists Elizabeth Peyton, Terry Winters, and Lynda Benglis, French artist Philippe Parreno and Irish artist Alan Phelan, and a number of new partnerships and initiatives under IMMA’s Education and Community Programme.
Speaking at the launch of the programme Minister Cullen said: "The Irish Museum of Modern Art is widely admired for the range and relevance of its exhibitions, for the innovative use of its growing Collection and for its popular education and community initiatives. What is particularly striking about the 2009 programme is the breath of modern art available. The 2009 calendar includes an innovative collaborative display to mark Seamus Heaney's 70th birthday, a magnificent collection of photographs from the Museum of Modern Art in New York and new events and research projects with both Irish and international partners. I am delighted to see this ongoing development in the Museum's programme and the ever increasing public engagement with its work." Minister Cullen added: "IMMA attracts more than 400,000 visitors each year and 40% of its visitors are from overseas. This also demonstrates the important value of the Museum to our cultural tourism infrastructure."
Commenting on the programme IMMA Director Enrique Juncosa said: "This year has a special American flavour. We are not only presenting surveys of American artists of different generations, but we are working for the first time with two leading American institutions. The Calder Jewellery exhibition travels to Dublin from the Metropolitan Museum and Picturing New York is in its totality a loan from MoMA, who have organised this exhibition at our request. Both projects underline, somehow, the position that IMMA now enjoys internationally. We are also organising exhibitions of the work of three major Irish figures: Seamus Heaney, James Coleman and Hughie O'Donoghue, which I am sure will arouse lots of interest, with both local and international audiences."
Owing to budgetary constraints this year, the Museum is introducing an admission charge for two overseas exhibitions – Calder Jewellery and Picturing New York. The full charge will be €5.00, with concessions at €3.00. Under-18s will be free, as will those in full-time education, those on IMMA programmes and IMMA Members. Admission will be free for all visitors on Fridays.
Explaining the need to introduce the charges, Enrique Juncosa said that he very much hoped that visitors would understand the position that the Museum finds itself in, facing – like many other public bodies – an unexpected reduction in its funding following the sudden economic downturn. “I am confident that, under the circumstances, IMMA’s many faithful visitors will be prepared to contribute in this way, rather than see a reduction in the exciting range of international art, which the Museum is committed to making available to Irish gallery goers.”
The first new Collection display of 2009, Exploring a new Donation opens on 10 March and marks the gift of 25 major works by leading Irish artists from the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s from the prestigious Bank of Ireland Collection. The exhibition explores the manner in which the donation broadens and enhances the reading of the Museum’s existing works, as well as expanding the context within which more recent artistic developments can be viewed.
From 14 April Artists/Heaney/Books: An Exhibition, will form part of Seamus Heaney’s 70th-birthday celebrations, focusing on the poet’s collaboration with a variety of visual artists, including Barrie Cooke, Felim Egan and Martin Gale, alongside an extensive display of the poet’s books, and artworks from IMMA’s Collection by many of the artists concerned.
Opening on 14 May an extensive exhibition, Between Metaphor and Object: Art of the 90s from the IMMA Collection, will present a range of sculptures and installation pieces from the 1990s, emphasising the diversity of practice that is represented in the IMMA Collection from this period, by artists such as Tony Cragg, Barry Flanagan and Antony Gormley. The exhibition will incorporate a number of pieces from the renowned Welkunst Collection, on loan to IMMA since 1995, which will return to the Welkunst Foundation in 2010.
Works being installed in the grounds of IMMA in 2009 include an outdoor sculptural sound work by Michael Klein, Slattery’s Lamp, 2004, in the guise of a street light; the Iran do Espirito Santo piece, Correcoes D, 2008, and an Edward Delaney sculpture kindly donated by Agnes Toohey.
In addition, IMMA’s presence outside the Museum continues with the five-year loan of 22 works from the IMMA Collection to the Irish Ambasssador’s Residence, The Hague, which was inaugurated in November 2007. As part of the National Programme, Exquisite Corpse, will be exhibited in the Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast, from 15 October to 28 November, to coincide with the Belfast Festival.
Again in 2009, new events and research projects are being developed with both Irish and international partners. A research project, with St Patrick’s College (NUI) and Poetry Ireland, will explore children’s critical thinking in relation to the visual arts and the written word. Other projects are being developed with a cross section of organisations, including the Council of National Cultural Institutions, The Ark, Dublin Institute of Technology and the Department of Education and Science.
Other new initiatives include the first two of a series of art packs, designed for primary school children, featuring 12 images of artworks from the IMMA Collection, accompanied by written information about the artist and ideas and themes stemming from the artwork. Also, a new series of workshops for families are being organised during the Easter, summer and Halloween school breaks.
Work on the Studio 8 youth programme and the three-year project exploring online learning, both initiated in 2008, will continue in 2009, with each involving very active partnerships with a wide range of museums and educational institutions across Europe. The former will host a visit of the five partner museums in Ireland in April and the latter will go live in the autumn.
The Talks and Lectures Programme continues in 2009 with a diverse range of artist’s and curator’s talks, lectures and seminars, starting with a series of seminars in association with the James Coleman exhibition. The programme will also include a new lecture series, What is…?, introducing aspects of contemporary art in association with IMMA’s Collection, and the annual Winter Lecture delivered by Hughie O’Donoghue.
The launch of the publications based on the international symposia, Curating Now, Access All Areas and Museum21, will take place on Culture Night, 25 September.
The Artists’ Residency Programme will host 21 artists who represent a diverse group of individuals coming together to live and work at IMMA. Irish artists Fergus Byrne, Allan Hughes, Eithne Jordan and Linda Quinlan, will participate in the programme, alongside, artists from Australia, Canada, Sweden, France, The Netherlands, Greece, Belgium, England and Scotland. The aim of the ARP is to generate a creative space for artists at a crucial point in their career and for the participating artists to leave IMMA with new experiences and networks that will enable them to further their practice. Each artist will also show their studio work
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4 March 2009
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