Exhibitions > Past Exhibitions
What We Call Love: From Surrealism to Now
Featuring modern and contemporary masterworks from the world’s leading collections by Abramović, Brancusi, Dalí, Duchamp Ernst, Giacometti, Oppenheim, Picasso, Warhol, Yoko Ono, and many more.
12 September 2015 – 7 February 2016
Admission: €8 full price, €5 concession (senior citizens and the unwaged), under 18’s and those in full time education are free.
Visitors are advised that this exhibition contains some adult themes and explicit imagery. Please speak to a member of staff for further information.
What We Call Love
Love in the 20th Century, according to the poet Arthur Rimbaud, had to be reinvented. Nowadays, in a world full of crisis and conflicts, tensed between opposite ideals, and submitted to increased individualism and intense consumption, love is seriously threatened and regularly challenged. Paradoxically, love in the 21st Century has never been so linked to individual identity and happiness.
What We Call Love explores how the notion of love has evolved within the 20th century. How have seismic sociological changes concerning sexuality, marriage and intimacy, alongside developments in gender issues, affected the way we conceive love today? How does visual art, from Surrealism to the present day, deal with love and what can these artistic representations tell us about what love means in our contemporary culture?
From Surrealism to Now
Focusing mainly on the now, this important exhibition will present a succinct selection of carefully chosen Surrealist works alongside key conceptual and contemporary pieces. It also integrates new commissions and other associated programmes in the forms of cinema and performance. Texts and interviews in the exhibiton catalogue from three leaders in their respective fields; Georges Sebbag on Surrealism, Eva Illouz on sociology and Semir Zeki on neuroscience will contribute to this reflection.
Love is a subject of great relevance in Ireland today, as our understanding and definitions of love expand with the changing face of contemporary society. Featuring a fantastic collection of masterworks by some of the most important figures in modern art - such as Constantin Brancusi, Salvador Dalí, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Alberto Giacometti, Meret Oppenheim, Pablo Picasso; iconic works by the most significant artists of recent times – Andy Warhol, Yoko Ono, Marina Abramović, Louise Bourgeois, Nan Goldin, Damien Hirst, Rebecca Horn, Carolee Schneemann, Wolfgang Tillmans - and new commissions by artists Lucy Andrews, Séamus Nolan, Garrett Phelan and Jeremy Shaw - What We Call Love invites the audience to consider what love means to them with a series of talks, events, film screenings and debates alongside the exhibition.
Curated by Christine Macel, Chief Curator at Centre Pompidou, with Rachael Thomas, Head of Exhibitions at IMMA, What We Call Love features almost 200 works, including over 30 works on loan from major collections such as Centre Pompidou, Paris; Tate, London; Museé Picasso, Paris; Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation, New York; Fondation Giacometti, Paris; British Council Collection; Musee d’art modern de la Ville de Paris; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art; Collection institute d’art Contemporain, Rhone-Alpes; Marina Abramović Archives; and from numerous private collections and leading gallerists worldwide.
Marina Abramović and ULAY, Sadie Benning, Louise Bourgeois, Constantin Brancusi, Brassaï, Victor Brauner, André Breton, Luis Buñuel, Cecily Brown, Miriam Cahn, Sophie Calle, Michele Ciacciofera, Dorothy Cross, Attila Csörgö, Salvador Dalí, Annabel Daou, Vlasta Delimar and Jerman, Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, Jean Dupuy, Elmgreen and Dragset, Max Ernst, VALIE EXPORT, Jean Genet, Jochen Gerz, Alberto Giacometti, Nan Goldin, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Douglas Gordon, Mona Hatoum, Damien Hirst, Jim Hodges, Rebecca Horn, Jesper Just, Kapwani Kiwanga, Ange Leccia, Ghérasim Luca, Vlado Martek, André Masson, Annette Messager, Tracey Moffatt, Séamus Nolan, Nadja, Henrik Olesen, Yoko Ono, Meret Oppenheim, Ferhat Ozgür, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Nesa Paripovic, Garrett Phelan, Pablo Picasso, Man Ray, Carolee Schneemann, Rudolf Schwarzkogler, Paul Sharits, Jeremy Shaw, Wolfgang Tillmans, Andy Warhol, Cerith Wyn Evans, Jun Yang, Akram Zaatari.
Felix Gonzalez-Torres, “Untitled” (The New Plan), 1991
What We Call Love is accompanied by an exciting programme of screenings, talks, events and live happenings. Bookmark this page for future updates.
A catalogue is published to accompany this exhibition, featuring five major essays from Christine Macel, Georges Sebbag, Eva Illouz, Semir Zeki and Rachael Thomas, as well as specific texts written by Christine Macel, Alicia Knock, Olivier Zeitoun, Victoria Evans, Poi Marr, Ben Mulligan and Seamus McCormack, published by IMMA and DAP Diffusion, New York. Buy from the IMMA Shop.
New commissions in this exhibition are part of the series New Art at IMMA, proudly supported by Matheson. Presented with the support of the French Embassy in Ireland and Official Hotel Partner The Dylan Hotel. Film series presented in collaboration with the Irish Film Institute. Kindly supported by RTE Supporting the Arts.
Free Guided Tours
Free guided tours run every Wed at 1.15pm and Sat and Sun, 2.30pm.
This informal series of guided tours provides an introduction to the exhibition themes by focusing on a select number of artworks that are among the highlights of this exhibition. Tours are led by IMMA Staff and include the following themes:
Tour last approximtely 30minutes and you don't need to pre-book, just meet at the main reception 5 minutes before the tour is due to start.
Talks and Events
Seamus Nolan, F**K IMMA
Elmgreen & Dragset
IFI Film Series
IMMA partnered with the Irish Film Institute on a programme of films selected to respond to the exhibition What We Call Love: From Surrealism to Now. The films chosen reflected how the surrealist tradition has incorporated themes of love into their experimental works, from the early days of cinema to the present.
Sat 23 Jan, 1.30pm, IFI
Sun 24 Jan, 1.30pm, IFI
Under The Skin
Learn More about this exhibition
Read the exhibition guide to What We Call Love.
Listen to the preview talk for the exhibition by Christine Macel (Chief Curator at Centre Pompidou) who explores how love is represented in art since the beginning of the twentieth century and is indicative of an evolution of the very concept of love over a period of 100years, taking you on a journey from Surrealism to now.
Listen back to a fascinating lecture on the The Neurobiology of Love delivered by Semir Zeki (Professor of Neuroesthetics at the University College London) at IMMA. In this lecture he discusses his pioneering research on the organisation of the visual brain and his experimental enquiries into how a visual stimulus triggers an affective, emotional state, similar to our experience of beauty, desire and love.
Love Blogs: A series of blogs commissioned for the IMMA Blog
Resource Blog: Let's talk about love we have gathered together all the resources from the exhibition in this blog, making a perfect introduction to the work, or if you have already visited, a place to delve deeper for further information.
RTE News previewed of the exhibition including short interviews with Christine Macel and Sarah Glennie, Director, IMMA.
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