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    Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

    Two major solo exhibitions – Voyages by Irish modernist master Mary Swanzy (1882 – 1978) and Rebuilding the Future by the German artist Wolfgang Tillmans – open at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) on October 26.

    Pre-dating Evie Hone and Mainie Jellett by several years, Mary Swanzy can arguably be identified as Ireland’s first ‘modernist’ painter. However, her experimentation with a wide range of styles, along with her reluctance to participate in large exhibitions led to her being critically side-lined and although one of the most iconic and recognisable of modern Irish artists, there has not been a substantial retrospective of her work since 1968.

    Wolfgang Tillmans has shown his work in previous group exhibitions at IMMA but this is his first solo exhibition at the museum, and his first solo project in Ireland. The exhibition includes new works from the artist who had a major show at Tate Modern last year. Both exhibitions will run until February 17.

    Mary Swanzy / Young Woman with a White Bonnet c.1920 / Oil on Canvas / 99 x 80 cm / Private Collection / Courtesy Pyms Gallery, London

    Wolfgang Tillmans / Elephant Man, 2002 / © Wolfgang Tillmans / courtesy Maureen Paley, London


    Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

    Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian

    Sunset Sunrise, a retrospective of Iranian artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian opens at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on August 9. Now in her mid-nineties this is her first solo exhibition in Ireland. More than 70 works are on display with 1970’s sculpture,  jewellery, embroidery, collages and drawings fresh from the artist’s studio in Iran.

    Farmanfarmaian was one of the first Iranian students to study in the US after World War II. Between 1945 and 1957 she worked alongside iconic American artists such as Jackson Pollock, Frank Stella, Louise Nevelson and Andy Warhol.  In 1957 she returned to Iran and was abroad when the Islamic Revolution broke out in 1979. This marked an exile until 1992.  Now firmly re-established in her native country she is considered one of the most important Iranian artists working today. The Monir Museum opened in 2017 and is the first museum in Iran dedicated to a female artist.
    Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian said“The Irish and the Iranians share a love of poetry in their cultures. My poetry is in my art, and I am honoured to share it in this IMMA exhibition”.  The opening is to be performed by international curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, co-director, Serpentine Galleries, London.


    Monday, October 23rd, 2017

    The Irish Museum of Modern Art is  extending its inaugural Lucian Freud exhibition until next January 7.  The museum is celebrating a successful first year of IMMA Collection: Freud Project with a two-week period of free entry to coincide with the October mid-term and Halloween Bank holiday. The exhibition features 50 works by Lucian Freud (1922 – 2011) on a five-year loan from a number of private collections.  All have been on display for the past year.

    This is the first instalment of a five-year educational and cultural initiative where IMMA will present a series of different Lucian Freud related exhibitions. A new exhibition  The Ethics of Scrutiny  will open in early February. This, and subsequent exhibitions, will include works and new commissions by other modern and contemporary artists in response to Freud.


    Saturday, October 14th, 2017

    Winged Figure by William Crozier

    The Edge of the Landscape, the William Crozier exhibition on view at the West Cork Arts Centre in Skibbereen in July and August, has just opened at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) in Dublin.

    Best-known in Ireland for the lyrical landscapes made close to his home in West Cork from the mid-1980s, this exhibition of 30 works presents William Crozier’s early work, inspired by the Existentialist movement.

    The show, which runs to next April, is supported by the Crozier Circle: Mareta and Conor Doyle, Celtic Ross Hotel, Kelly’s Resort Hotel and other donors.


    Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

    Sarah Glennie

    Sarah Glennie is to leave the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) to take up a new position of Director of the NCAD (National College of Art and Design).  Glennie took up the post of Director of IMMA in 2012 and has overseen exhibitions by artists including Nan Goldin, Lucian Freud, Etel Adnan, Stan Douglas, Karla Black, Hito Steyerl and Helio Oiticia. She will begin her new directorship in January 2018.

    Irish Culture Minister Heather Humphreys thanked Glennie for years of service and said: “IMMA is in a very strong place as a result of her directorship, with significantly increased visitor numbers, greater opportunities for Irish artists, a strong international reputation.”

    Sarah Glennie said: “While I am very sad to be leaving IMMA I am excited by the great opportunity to contribute further to the development of creativity in Ireland as the director of such a significant institution as NCAD which is in a unique position to inspire and nurture creative talent in Ireland”. The search for a new director at the IMMA will begin in the coming weeks.


    Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

    Hilma af Klint, Altarpiece, No 1, Group X, Series Altarpieces, 1915 , Oil and metal leaf on canvas, Photo: Albin Dahlström / Moderna Museet.

    Leading international artists Rodney Graham, Nan Goldin and Jac Leirner  will have their first solo exhibitions in Ireland at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) in Dublin this year.   At the launch of IMMA’s 2017 exhibition programme today director Sarah Glennie said: “Through our landmark international group show As Above So Below: Portals, Visions, Spirits & Mystics we are also especially pleased to bring to IMMA the work of several 20th century masters including Hilma af Klint, Kandinsky, František Kupka and Sigmar Polke. Also featured are the works of cult artists James Lee Byars, Ira Cohen and Cameron, and some of the most influential artists living and working today, including Steve McQueen and Bruce Nauman among others. Many of whom have never exhibited in Ireland before.”

    “We saw in 2016 the valuable role contemporary artists can play in helping us to understand our times, and the opportunity for their work to create a space for reflection, debate and difference. We are committed to creating this important space within Irish life and to welcoming audiences, from across Ireland and beyond, into a dynamic and evolving experience of contemporary art and contemporary life.”

    Opening just before Easter As Above, So Below is a large show with over 200 works, including an exciting series of new IMMA commissions, supported by Matheson, from Irish artists Grace Weir, Alan Butler and Eoghan Ryan and international artists Linder Sterling, Hayden Dunham, Nora Berman, John Russell and Stephan Doitschinoff”.

    Among the other projects in 2017 is a William Crozier Retrospective which is due to open next October, a show by Irish artist Vivienne Dick from June 16 to October 15 and ROSC 50 from May 5 to June 18 which will examine the ambition, reception, controversies and legacy of the ROSC exhibitions, which had a significant impact on the development of contemporary art in Ireland.   These exhibitions took place in a range of venues approximately every four years between 1967 and 1988.


    Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

    Palestinian artist Emily Jacir is leading a student workshop at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) in conjunction with her current exhibition Europa  which runs to February 26.   “To Be Determined (for Jean)” is based around an exchange with students from the International Academy of Art Palestine, Ramallah, where she teaches. They are working at IMMA with students from colleges around Ireland including Limerick School of Art and Design; Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Centre for Creative Arts and Media; the National College of Art and Design Dublin and Dublin School of Creative Arts, Dublin Institute of Technology.

    The workshop is taking place over two consecutive weeks during which the nine students are travelling to sites around the country including the Falls Road in Belfast, Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin and the city of Derry with artist Willie Doherty.  The colleagues Jacir has invited to contribute are people she has been working with for decades like Willie Doherty, Conor McGrady, Gerard Byrne, Shane Cullen, and David Lloyd. Most of them have worked in Palestine.

    The initiative offers an opportunity for IMMA to develop its relationship with third level partners, to test out a model for international collaborative student research focusing on  exhibitions and exhibiting artists, and to promote its potential as a site for research.

    Emily Jacir, a sketch in the Egyptian Museum, April 24, 2003, Cairo 2003, video, photo: courtesy of the artist, © Emily Jacir

    Emily Jacir, Crossing Surda (a record of going to and from work), 2002, two-channel video installation, photo: courtesy of the artist. © Emily Jacir



    Sunday, April 17th, 2016
    Dorothy Cross, Parachute, 2005, Dimensions variable, Parachute and gannet, Collection IMMA, Purchase 2005

    Dorothy Cross, Parachute, 2005, Dimensions variable, Parachute and gannet, Collection IMMA, Purchase 2005

    A new fund designed to support the future of contemporary art in Ireland  has just been launched by IMMA, the Irish Musem of Modern Art.  The private fundraising initiative is a reaction to the devastating cuts experienced by the arts sector in recent years.  Initially IMMA 1000 is to be a three year fundraising programme from 2016–2018. The fund launches with 60,000 which IMMA plans to double in year one through donations of 1,000 each from 60 individuals.

    IMMA Director Sarah Glennie said; “IMMA 1000 is a new fund specifically created to support our work with Irish artists in the drastically altered social and economic environment we find ourselves in today. Severe cuts in arts funding since 2008 have had a devastating effect on supports available directly to contemporary artists, and as a result artists simply cannot afford to live and work in Ireland, creating a huge concern for the future of Irish art, and contemporary Irish culture.”

    “Artists tell us about ourselves, they challenge us; they create space for difference, debate and imagination. Their voice is an essential part of a vibrant and dynamic society and it is essential that we value artists and create a sustainable base for them in Ireland. With IMMA 1000 we want to create a support infrastructure for working Irish artists today, securing the ecosystem for the future.”

    The fund will help support artists to live and work in Ireland through bursaries and the IMMA residency programme; support artists’ income through commissions and exhibition and support the work of artists through purchase for the IMMA collection. IMMA has been supported in this initiative by Goodbody Stockbrokers.


    Thursday, March 24th, 2016

    Solo exhibitions from Irish artist Patrick Hennessy and Italian artist Carol Rama opened today at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA). Born in the same decade both were neglected by the official art circles of their time. One a realist painter the other not faithful to any particular movement Hennessy and Rama explore human sexuality, gender and identity while challenging the political and social culture of their time.

    Patrick Hennessy De Profundis is the first major exhibition of his work since 1981. Re-examining and repositioning Hennessy’s work as part of the IMMA Modern Irish Masters Series this exhibition reflects on what Hennessy’s work might mean to audiences today. At a time when gay men were subject to social and legal persecution for the simple fact of their sexual orientation, Hennessy and his lifelong partner Henry Robertson-Craig bravely chose to exhibit works that clearly marked them as homosexual. They have almost no peers in Irish art, but Hennessy’s late work demonstrates an engagement with the emerging international queer-art movement of the 1970s. The Hennessy show runs to July 24.

    The Passion According to Carol Rama is an exhibition of almost 200 works – the largest exhibition of the artist’s work to date. It comes to Dublin following exhibitions in MACBA, Barcelona, Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, and EMMA, Finland. Ignored for decades by official art history, Carol Rama is now recognised as essential for understanding developments within contemporary art. Her influence can be seen in the work of a later generation of artists such as Cindy Sherman, Kara Walker, Sue Williams, Kiki Smith and Elly Strik. Rama was belatedly recognised in 2003, receiving the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale, one of the most prestigious international art exhibitions. Divided into four thematic sections this exhibition is a guide through Rama’s many creative moments.  This exhibition runs to August 1.

    Carol Rama  (1918-2015) Appassionata, 1939. Private Collection. © Photo: Studio Dario & Carlos Tettamanzi © Archivio Carol Rama, Torino

    Carol Rama (1918-2015) Appassionata, 1939. Private Collection. © Photo: Studio Dario & Carlos Tettamanzi © Archivio Carol Rama, Torino

    Patrick Hennessy (1915-80) Kassim by the Sea, 1978. Image courtesy of Whytes, © The Artist’s Estate

    Patrick Hennessy (1915-80) Kassim by the Sea, 1978. Image courtesy of Whytes, © The Artist’s Estate



    Tuesday, March 8th, 2016
    Reflection (Self Portrait), 1985 (oil on canvas), Freud, Lucian (1922-2011) / Private Collection / © The Lucian Freud Archive / Bridgeman Image

    Reflection (Self Portrait), 1985 (oil on canvas), Freud, Lucian (1922-2011) / Private Collection / © The Lucian Freud Archive / Bridgeman Image

    A landmark Lucian Freud project for Ireland was announced today by the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA).   The gallery has secured a long term loan of 50 works by the world renowned artist, regarded as one of the greatest figurative painters of the 20th century.  IMMA director Sarah Glennie said: “From September 2016, the IMMA Collection: Freud Project will be presented in a new, dedicated Freud Centre in the IMMA Garden Galleries for five years. With this extraordinary resource IMMA will create a centre for Freud research with a special programme of exhibitions, education partnerships, symposia and research that will maximise this exciting opportunity on offer in Ireland.”

    The museum announced highlights of its 2016 exhibition programme today. It will include solo exhibitions by Patrick Hennessy and the Italian artist Carol Rama. Artists will take over the courtyard in the summer for a project entitled A Fair Land in collaboration with Grizedale Arts.  In the Autumn there will be an exhibition of artist Emily Jacir, whose work explores various histories of migration, resistance and exchange through the telling of very personal stories. In a new invited curators initiative Indian curator Sumesh Sharma and Irish curator Kate Strain will present projects at IMMA that reflect their individual practices and bring new curatorial perspectives into IMMA’s programme.