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Minister of State Martin Mansergh launches IMMA’s 2010 Programme

The most extensive showing to date of the Museum’s own Collection; an exhibition based on the work of American composer Morton Feldman and the many celebrated artists in his circle; a series of displays marking important new donations to IMMA, and a special exhibition promoting engagement with the visual arts by those with disabilities are all part of a busy and wide-ranging programme for 2010 at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, announced today (Wednesday 27 January) by the Minister of State with responsibility for the Arts, Dr Martin Mansergh, TD. Plans for the coming year also include solo exhibitions by such leading international artists as Francis Al˙s, Carlos Garaicoa, Jorge Pardo and Anne Tallentire; an intriguing show exploring the life of works within a collection, a development of the What is…? lectures series introducing concepts of contemporary art practice and a new initiative designed to enhance primary schools pupils’ enjoyment of the Museum’s Collection.

Speaking at the launch of the 2010 programme, Dr Martin Mansergh, TD, said: “The vital role which arts and culture plays in both fostering and demonstrating our national spirit of innovation and creativity cannot be overstated.”  Dr Mansergh added:  “This year’s IMMA programme is ambitious, imaginative and wide ranging - all characteristics which are now synonymous with our Irish Museum of Modern Art.  I am delighted to have this opportunity to show my support for the level of initiative and sheer hard work which the IMMA 2010 programme represents.  I congratulate the Chairperson, Eoin McGonigal, SC, Board Members, Director Enrique Juncosa and all the staff at IMMA for all their achievements to date.”

Commenting on the programme IMMA Director Enrique Juncosa said: “We are very pleased to announce the programme for 2010, which includes a great variety of exhibitions and other events: by now a kind of IMMA trademark. This year’s programme is probably a bit more experimental than usual, presenting such leading international artists as Francis Al˙s and Jorge Pardo. I would particularly like to highlight the exhibition about the American composer Morton Feldman, entitled Vertical Thoughts. Feldman was not only one of the most influential composers of the second half of the 20th century, but was also a close friend of artists such as Philip Guston, Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, Cy Twombly, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, whose work will be presented in the show."

Exhibitions

The new temporary exhibitions programme gets underway on 17 February with exhibitions by Cuban-American Jorge Pardo and Irish artist Anne Tallentire. Widely regarded as one of the most inventive artists of his generation, Pardo follows his participation in IMMA’s 2006 Lunar Reggae show with an exploration of the place of art within new media. His highly conceptual virtual retrospective takes the form of photomural wallpaper, covering the entire gallery space and incorporating every aspect of the exhibition. Anne Tallentire, much praised for the originality of her work, presents recent projects and related pieces focusing on how the ordering, or disordering, of things can signify everyday social and cultural determinants. Juxtaposing action, object and image she employs a range of media from text to photography and film. The exhibition includes a number of collaborative projects, another regular feature of Tallentire’s work.

An exhibition by leading Belgian-born experimental artist Francis Al˙s follows on 26 February, inspired by his personal observations from the many cities to which his compulsive wanderings have taken him. Al˙s works in a variety of media, and at IMMA presents his major series of paintings, Le Temps du Sommeil, which now numbers 111 works; some still being works in progress. The series travels to Tate Modern in June, the first stage in a major international retrospective of Al˙s’s work.

From 31 March Vertical Thoughts focuses on the work of the influential 20th-century American composer Morton Feldman and the many celebrated visual artists with whom he was closely associated. In 1967 Feldman curated an exhibition entitled Six Painters in Houston, Texas, and Vertical Thoughts takes its inspiration from that, presenting the work of such legendary figures as Philip Guston, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Piet Mondrian, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and many others not featured in the 1967 show. The exhibition also includes music scores, record covers, photographs and documents, as well as Oriental rugs, which influenced the composer’s work. A film and music programme will accompany the exhibition.

The Latin flavour continues on 9 June with exhibitions by Cuban artist Carlos Garaicoa and Spanish painter Ferran García Sevilla. Employing a multi-disciplinary approach embracing architecture, narrative, history, and politics, Carlos Garaicoa uses his native city of Havana as a laboratory to construct provocative commentaries on a range of contemporary issues. These include architecture's ability to alter the course of history, the failure of modernism as a catalyst for social change and the decay of 20th-century utopias. Ferran García Sevilla’s eclectic style draws on his world travels, and on comic books, urban graffiti, philosophy and Eastern cultures, resulting in sensuous open spaces in which everything, including iconography and ideas, blends together. His raw, colourful, primitive canvases are often peppered with caustic, hand-scrawled commentaries on life and politics.

Collection

The Museum's Collection takes centre stage from 20 October, when all of the galleries will be devoted to the first of a two-part exhibition of works from IMMA's own Collection. This will be the first time that the entire Museum has been given over to the Collection, in an ambitious project leading up to and continuing into IMMA's 20th anniversary year in 2011. Part one of the exhibition, entitled, The Moderns, will trace important artistic events and developments from the early 1900s to the 1970s, presenting some 100 artists through approximately 250 works. In addition, key pieces from other public and private collections will help to form the historical and contextual thread of the exhibition.
 
Another Collection exhibition, entitled What happens next is a secret, opened yesterday, 26 January. This addresses the intriguing question of what happens when works become part of a collection and are subsequently shown in different contexts. During the course of the exhibition works will be removed, pointing to the often hidden nature of museum collections, while replacements will create new associations. Works from the Collection are also featured in Altered Images, which aims to stimulate engagement with the visual arts by the general public and particularly by those with disabilities. A joint project between Mayo County Council, South Tipperary County Council and IMMA, as part of the Museum’s National Programme, the exhibition has already met with an extremely positive response when shown in Clonmel and Ballina in 2009.
 
Meanwhile, the carefully-planned growth in the Collection continues with the acquisition in 2009 of 52 prints by the celebrated American-born artist Mary Farl Powers, generously donated by the artist’s family, and other donated works, including those by Lynda Benglis, Alan Phelan and a joint work by Seamus Heaney and Felim Egan.

This most welcome trend continues in 2010 with the gift of several works from the personal collection of artist Brian O’Doherty and art theorist Barbara Novak. The collection ranges across American art of the 20th century, particularly that of the 1960s and ‘70s, and includes the work of such celebrated artists as Edward Hopper, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg. An exhibition from the collection will open on 8 September. A further gift of some 30 fine art prints by the Graphic Studio Dublin, being made to mark the studio’s 50th anniversary, will also be celebrated with an exhibition, again opening on 8 September, highlighting the role of fine art printing in the development of contemporary Irish art.

From 14 January to 27 February William Hogarth’s famous prints, A Harlot’s Progress, from the Madden Arnholz Collection at IMMA, are being shown as part of City of Women, at The Lab, Foley Street, Dublin. Loans from the Collection will also travel to the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut; the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Musée de la Ville de Strasbourg and the Sprengel Museum, Hannover. Meanwhile, the five-year loan of 22 works by Irish artists to the Irish Embassy in The Hague continues until 2012.

Education and Community

The Education and Community programme continues to create access for all sectors of the public, and to work on specific projects to animate IMMA’s exhibitions and provide in-depth exploration of IMMA’s Collection throughout the year.

New initiatives include a series of themed art packs designed for children at primary school level which will be published throughout 2010 and 2011. Each pack will feature twelve A4-size images of artworks from the IMMA Collection, including written information on the artists and ideas stemming from the artworks. The contents are unbound so that the images can be used as a poster or as a visual resource in the classroom.

There will also be a special programme alongside the Altered Images exhibition to enable groups and individuals with disabilities to access the artworks through a variety of multi-sensory devices. To coincide with the exhibition, the Museum’s Gallery or Mediator staff have been trained to deliver tours using audio description, as a means of enhancing visitors’ experience further.

IMMA’s Talks and Lectures strand continues in 2010 with a diverse range of artist’s and curator’s talks, lectures and seminars, beginning on 16 February with a panel discussion in conjunction with the Jorge Pardo exhibition and a gallery tour by Anne Tallentire. The development of the very popular What is… series of introductory lectures, specifically designed for adults and third-level students, will continue to explore developments in contemporary art practice. Forthcoming talks will deal with installation art, relational art and public art. An information booklet which includes an overview of the topic, the presenter’s text, a reading list, glossary and resources list, has been produced to accompany each talk.

In addition to the new art packs and What is… booklets, publications will include Museum21, comprising the papers presented at IMMA’s 2008 international symposium of the same name, and the Winter Lecture presented by the distinguished Irish artist Anne Madden in 2007.

National and Artists’ Residency Programme

In addition to the exhibitions at IMMA, the Collection will also be shown in a number of arts centres and other locations around Ireland, as part of IMMA’s National Programme, an area in which the Museum has led the way as a truly national institution over the past 13 years. In April an exhibition of work from the Weltkunst Collection on loan to IMMA since 1994 takes place at the Crawford Art Gallery, Cork. This significant collection of British sculpture and drawings of the 1980s and ‘90s will return to the Weltkunst Foundation in 2010 and this will be the last showing of works from this collection.

In 2010 the programme will continue to develop its commissioning strand by supporting artists’ interventions in response to exhibitions such as Drawing: A performative action at the Cavan County Museum taking place in November. Exploring the physical nature of drawing the exhibition will include work from the IMMA Collection in a variety of media from traditional works on paper to performance work. Further projects with County Arts Offices will also be much in evidence in the coming year.

The Artists’ Residency Programme will host 15 artists, comprising a diverse group of individuals coming together to live and work at IMMA. Artists from Ireland, England, Scotland, Spain, Germany, USA, Mexico, Canada/Hong Kong and Japan will participate in 2010. 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 in the Process Room for a two-week period during their time at IMMA.

For further information and images please contact Monica Cullinane or Patrice Molloy at Tel: + 353 1 612 9900; Email: press@imma.ie

27 January 2010

Irish Museum of Modern Art, Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, Ireland
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