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Between Metaphor and Object: Art of the 90s from the IMMA Collection
An exhibition from the IMMA Collection, featuring sculptures and installation works from the 1990s, opens to the public at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on Thursday 14 May 2009. Between Metaphor and Object provides new perspectives on the diversity of practices represented in the IMMA Collection from this period, explores its particularities, and considers them in the context of international trends of the decade. Central to the exhibition are a number of key works from the Weltkunst Collection, which is on loan to IMMA since 1994. This significant collection of British sculpture and drawings of the 1980s and ‘90s will return to the Weltkunst Foundation in 2010. The exhibition acknowledges the vision and generousity of this loan.
The Weltkunst Collection epitomises what is popularly referred to as ‘New British Sculpture’, a term used to describe the quite disparate work of young sculptors who emerged in the late 1970s and ‘80s and who showed renewed interest in using traditional materials after the dominance of Minimalist and Conceptual practices. The principal artists associated with this movement and featured in the exhibition are Barry Flanagan, Shirazeh Houshiary, Anish Kapoor and Alison Wilding. Other key Weltkunst artists included in the exhibition are Avis Newman, Lucia Nogueira, Julian Opie, Jacqueline Poncelet, Rachel Whiteread and Richard Wentworth. Work by Irish artists using a variety of materials include a totemic cast resin sculpture by Eilís O’Connell, a work by Siobhán Haphaska of lacquered fiberglass, basalt and moss playfully pitching the organic with the mass produced and a bronze installation by Michael Warren in homage to Eileen Gray. The exhibition also includes other works of the 1990s from the IMMA Collection by artists such as Kiki Smith, Ann Hamilton and Maud Cotter whose presence references a central focus of the period on issues of identity, gender and the politics of the body and Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, whose works imply stories which must be imagined by their audience.
Commenting on the exhibition Christina Kennedy, Senior Curator: Head of Collections, IMMA, said “Rather than addessing an overarching theme, each of the works in this exhibition operates as a sort of microcosm of each artist’s practice. However, the exhibition title Between Metaphor and Object takes its cue from the figurative and metaphoric imagery and titles of many of the Welkunst works and invites us to consider how we look at and engage with a work of art. It calls attention to the range of readings that can accrue around a work of art and the idea of the continuous flux that such engagement elicits between symbolism and objecthood in the mind of the viewer.”
Admission is free.
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12 May 2009
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Irish Museum of Modern Art, Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, Ireland
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