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When the familiar becomes strange: Freud and the Contemporary

Wednesday 6 December 2017, 7.00pm – 8.00pm / Robert Emmett Lecture Hall, Trinity College Dublin.

Freud treated every sitter, subject and object with the same intense focus.  The emphasis the artist placed on the value of the live experience, of paying attention, of extended looking and intensity of time with the subject, became the means to take the artist to his inner world. Freud found ‘the harder you concentrate, the more things that are really in your head start coming out.”  His statement carries in it much that is relevant to contemporary art practice. 

This lecture explores Freud’s processes, mechanisms, motivations and how they link to contemporary life and conditions within and beyond the art context. Among the topics of discussion include: ‘The psychology of space’, ‘animism in objects’, ‘framings and settings’ and ‘the studio as site / counter-site’.

Topics will be explored through the work of Irish and international artists including Daphne Wright, Ellen Altfest, Marlene Dumas, Jenny Saville, William Sasnal, Amy Sillman, John Lalor,  Kathy Prendergast, Diana Copperwhite, Nick Miller, Niamh O’Malley, Mark O’Kelly, Laura Fitzpatrick, Bridget O’Gorman & Sue Rainsford,  Richard John Jones and others.   


Christina Kennedy is Senior Curator and Head of IMMA’s Collections.

IMMA/ TCD Talk Series / 18 October 2017 - April 2018   

Marking the first year anniversary of the significant loan of 50 works by Lucian Freud (1922-2011),  IMMA, in collaboration with the The Irish Art Research Centre,Trinity College, Dublin (TRIARC) invites leading artists, critics and cultural researchers to offer new perspectives on Freuds work and its critical reception today.

Keynote events rotate on a monthly basis between venues at IMMA and TCD, concluding with a major symposium in April 2018. Each session introduces a distinct topic on this seminal artist’s work.The schedule of speakers include: 18.10.2017 at TCD : Martin Gayford (Art Critic/Author UK) /  01.11.2017 at IMMA:Yvonne Scott (TRIARC TCD) / 06.12.2017 at TCD: Christina Kennedy (IMMA) / 24.01.2018 at IMMA : Noreen Giffney (Ulster University) / 07.02.2018 at TCD: Nathan O’ Donnell (Paper Visual Art-PVA) / 07.03.2018 at IMMA: Isabelle Graw (Städelschule, Frankfurt) / 10.03.2018 at TCD:  Daphne Wright (Artist), Angela Griffith (TRIARC) TCD), Christina Kennedy (IMMA) and others. Booking is essential per talk / booking lines open on a month to month basis.                              


IMMA has secured a significant five-year loan of 50 works by one of the greatest realist painters of the 20th century, Lucian Freud (1922-2011). Renowned for his portrayal of the human form, Freud is best known for his intimate, honest, often visceral portraits. Working only from life Freud’s studio was intensely private and he mainly worked with those he was close to, often asking subjects to sit for hundreds of hours over multiple sittings to better capture the essence of their personality.

The Irish Art Research Centre, Trinity College Dublin, (TRIARC) 

TRIARC was established in 2003 in response to the growing interest in Irish art at home and abroad. Since then, the centre provides postgraduate teaching and supervision and it supports new research and publications. The establishment of the centre was facilitated by the generous support of benefactors, enabling the appointment of dedicated staff, and the restoration of the Provost's House Stables to provide facilities for education and research, including a visual archive and dedicated library on all aspects of Irish art, architecture and design.

Irish Museum of Modern Art, Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, D08 FW31, Ireland
Tel: +353-1-6129900, Email:


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