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    Tuesday, August 29th, 2023
    On left: Jo Baer, Snow-Laden Primeval (Meditations, on Log Phase and Decline rampant with Flatulent Cows and Carbon Cars), 2020,
    On right: Anne Madden Death of Ann Lovett (1968-1984) 2020-21

    Continuing a programming strand that champions the practices of long-established female artists solo exhibitions by Jo Baer and Anne Madden will run at IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art) until next January 21. Coming Home Late: Jo Baer In the Land of the Giants, brings together a series of recent paintings inspired by the artist’s stay in the archaeologically rich countryside of Co. Louth between 1975 and 1982. Born in 1929, Baer was one of the key figures of the Minimalist painting movement in New York in the 1960s and early 1970s culminating in an acclaimed solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1975. That same year Baer abandoned left New York to become chatelain of Smarmore Castle in Co. Louth. Over the next seven years, her practice gradually shifted towards a ‘radical figuration’, also known as ‘image constellations’ that combine figural elements, text, images, and symbols. The series of six works completed between 2009 and 2013, presented alongside two additional paintings dating to 2020, was fuelled by Baer’s continued research into Irish Neolithic artefacts and myths.

    Seven Paintings by Anne Madden (b.1932) is a series made during the Covid-19 pandemic. Madden’s themes explore the transformative forces and cyclical nature of life and experience. Ideas of the empyrean, the subterranean and of the emergence from darkness to light have informed all of her work. The present series continues to excavate the human imprint through themes of death, rebirth, liminality and hubris, and draws on ancient forms and mythologies that give potent shape and expression to the anarchic forces and uncertainties of today. The paintings reference Antigone, Ariadne and Daphne, archetypal women whose voices are not silenced, in spite of their fate, and who connect with existential, feminist perspectives today. In their midst is Ann Lovett – a young girl of our time. Death of Ann Lovett (1968-1984),recalls the teenager’s tragic death in childbirth in a religious grotto in rural Ireland and the surrounding hypocrisy, silence and the failure of the social system, an event which continues to resonate deeply in Irish society.