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Recent Acquisitions at the Irish Museum of Modern Art

An exhibition of recent acquisitions to the Irish Museum of Modern Art’s Collection has lately opened to the public at IMMA. Recent Acquisitions to the IMMA Collection comprises approximately 30 paintings, drawings, sculptures, prints and installations which have been acquired by the Museum, either through direct purchase, donation or long-term loan over the past 3 years.

Works range from Rebecca Horn’s 'Take me to the other side of the Ocean', a sculpture of a pair of shoes under a mound of blue pigment, which is endlessly worked away by a pendulum, a reflection on the eternal conflict between time and beauty, to Ann Hamilton’s 'filament II', an installation featuring a silk organza curtain revolving on a circular rail in the centre of a room, which envelopes the viewer who ventures into it – a comment on public and private space. Both works have been purchased by the Museum. A work by the American artist Leon Golub, 'Burnt Man', refers to the brutality of war and represents the donation process to the Museum. Peter Doig’s 'Almost Grown', a landscape painting based on photographs and imagined places, has been given on loan to the Collection.

Shown alongside international artists are the works of important Irish artists. Louis le Brocquy’s 'A Picnic' is an important early work in which le Brocquy combines the influence of Degas with his own preoccupation with the human body as a reflection of the body’s inner state. This work is a significant precursor of le Brocquy’s later paintings exploring the human psyche. Four important paintings by Jack B Yeats are also shown for the first time at IMMA, including one of his best known works 'Confidence', a romantic scene with the dreamlike figure of a horse being lead through a mountainous landscape by his owner and his later work 'St. Stephen’s Green, Closing Time', a painting featuring two elderly people in the park at twilight. A study by the well known Irish artist Micheal Farrell for his painting 'Madonna Irlanda', a work which aims to question traditional representations of Ireland and its culture is also shown.

A variety of artistic backgrounds are represented in the exhibition which includes work by established artists, including a drawing by Henri Matisse, and emerging young figures like Paul Doran, Caroline McCarthy and Isabel Nolan. Isabel Nolan’s video installation 'Sloganeering 1-4' deals with the issue of personal identity, while Caroline McCarthy’s 'The Luncheon', a photograph of a sculpture made from wet toilet paper, comments on the nature of consumerism and representation, while referring to traditional aspects of art history. Apart from works by individual artists, Recent Acquisitions also includes an art work resulting from a group project by the West Tallaght Women’s Textile Group. 'The Dance of Life', Shamiana Panel was created by a group of Irish and South Asian women, and celebrates their different cultures.

The Collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art comprises approximately 4,000 works by 20th-century and contemporary Irish and international artists. It has been developed through purchase and donations, as well as long term loans and the commissioning of new works. The Museum’s acquisition policy, like its exhibition and education and community programmes, reflects the changing cultural landscape of the late 20th-century and the new millennium. The Museum not only buys the work of living artists but also accepts donations of works from the 1940’s onwards – a decade of significant social and cultural change, both in Ireland and worldwide.

Commenting on the exhibition Catherine Marshall, Head of the Collection at IMMA, said: “It is very gratifying to note that despite limited budgets, and at a time of change in the Museum’s short history, we can develop a varied and challenging collection that draws on the national and the international, the well-established and the new. The size of the Collection already exceeds initial expectations, without the continuing and generous support of lenders, donors and artists this would not be possible.”

Recent Acquisitions to the IMMA Collection continues until 27 October 2003.

Opening hours: Tue - Sat 10.00am - 5.30pm
Sun, Bank Holidays 12 noon - 5.30pm
Mondays, 18 April Closed


For further information and colour and black and white images please contact Patrice Molloy at Tel : +353 1 612 9900, Fax : +353 1 612 9999 Email : press@modernart.ie

25 March 2003


Irish Museum of Modern Art, Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, Ireland
Tel: +353-1-6129900, Email:
info@imma.ie