Loans and Donations from Maire and Maurice Foley at the Irish Museum of Modern Art
An exhibition of some 30 works from the collection of Maire and Maurice Foley opens to the public at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on Friday 16 June. The exhibition is drawn from 50 artworks, dating mainly from the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s given on long-term loan to the Museum by its former Chairman, Maurice Foley, and his wife Maire. Two of the seven works, acquired by the Museum with resources provided by the separate Foley Fund, will also be shown. Artists featured in the exhibition include Charles Brady, Felim Egan, Martin Gale, Dorothy Cross and Nick Miller.
The selection illustrates both the range and quality of the loan, and its particular richness in the work of Irish artists created in the last 30 years. It embraces painting, drawing, print making and sculpture and depicts portraits, landscapes, still life, abstraction and narrative. Works range from Rosaleen Davey’s surrealist interior Eleven Forty Seven PM, 1989, to Barrie Cooke’s tumultuous Lough Arrow Algae III, 1995, and from Tony O’Malley’s small, dark painting St Martin’s Gouache, 1978, to Nihilant, 1991-2, a large triptych by Richard Gorman.
A noted businessman and collector, Maurice Foley was appointed to the first Board of the Museum in 1989. He remained a member of the Board until March of this year and served as its chairman form March 1997 to March 2000. In addition to being dedicated collectors, he and his wife Maire have also commissioned many works and have bought not only from established figures but from younger, lesser-known artists. The GPA Awards for Emerging Artists in the 1980s, in which they were involved both personally and through Maurice Foley’s position as Vice-Chairman and Group President of the GPA Group, provided an important platform for many young artists of the time.
Welcoming the loan, IMMA’s Director Declan McGonagle said that the Museum was deeply indebted to Maire and Maurice Foley and their family for their support and their ongoing generosity. "The current loan is yet another example of Maurice Foley’s unstinting commitment to the Museum and its public service goals to which he made such an important contribution in his years as a Board Member and Chairman" he said.
The Maurice and Maire Foley Loan exhibition continues until 1 October. Admission to the exhibition is free.
A colour publication, with an essay by Dorothy Walker accompanies the exhibition. Price £3.50.