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Glen Dimplex Artists Award Exhibition opens at the Irish Museum of Modern Art

An exhibition of works by the five artists shortlisted for the £15,000 Glen Dimplex Artists Award 2000 opens to the public at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on Thursday 20 April. As in previous years, the artists –
sculptors Maud Cotter and Petah Coyne, film and photographic artist Clare Langan and film, video and photographic artists David Phillips and Paul Rowley – have been allocated individual spaces in which to represent their practice. The exhibition brings together a number of new works, not previously exhibited in Ireland, and some earlier pieces closely related to the work for which the artists were nominated. The presentation of the award, which is sponsored by the Irish-based company Glen Dimplex in association with the Irish Museum of Modern Art, will be made at the Museum on Tuesday 30 May.

Maud Cotter is one of Ireland’s most innovative artists, working with such diverse media as steel, glass, perspex, cardboard, wax and latex. The Irish landscape has always been central to Cotter’s concerns together with a focus on the reciprocal relationship between the body and the structures we build around it, as seen in her well-known honeycomb works. She is represented in the exhibition by five sculptures ranging from small, intricate wall-mounted works of glass, textile and wax, such as Filling Empty Space, to a monumental free-standing piece entitled Flesh, the product of her recent preoccupation with delineating and containing space. Born in Wexford in 1954, Cotter now lives and works in Cork.

Petah Coyne is best known for her suspended sculptures, usually made of wax or horsehair, which are characterised by a combination of great mass and extreme fragility. Coyne uses hair in two ways – as large intricate wall drawings and as sculptures in which creatures, such as stuffed birds and Madonnas in prayer, are enveloped. These magical creations reflect two important influences – her Catholic upbringing and her interest in Japanese literature. She has chosen to represent her practice with selected works from her recent Fairy Tales series, including a new work fabricated on site during
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the exhibition. A number of photographs created by the unusual method of moving in the opposite direction to the subject, resulting in part-blurred / part-focused images, will also be shown. Coyne was born in Oklahoma City in 1953. She now lives and works in New York

Clare Langan’s work has evolved through an interweaving of two main sources, personal experience and the resonance of the physical environment. Her colour images are achieved by photographing through a variety of different handmade filters, including plastic tubes and gel. Langan describes her subject matter as “man’s brief fragile existence in the face of the apparently limitless force of nature.” She is represented by two bodies of work. Forty Below, comprising film and photographs shot in Ireland and Iceland, in which the landscape is dominated by the elements as the Ice Age returns and a single figure appears overshadowed by the hostile environment, “where time and place merge and the division between earth and sky become unclear.”. The second work is a new film work entitled Floodlight, which is projected onto the ceiling of the gallery. Langan was born in Dublin in 1967, where she continues to live and work.

American David Phillips and Dublin-born Paul Rowley work as collaborators in film, video and photography. Their installations juxtapose original and appropriated images, utilising a combination of contemporary and historical technologies to focus on time and location within suggested narratives of displacements. Their recent projects have concentrated on exploring perceptions of memory, unravelling the processes through which memories become altered. For this exhibition Rowley and Phillips are presenting three separate but linked video installations Kimpo, Esther and Carbon – 12, which they describe as depicting the “dislocation of the subject within actual and perceived institutional structures … presenting individuals in conflict and dialogue with their environments.” David Phillips was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1970, and moved to San Francisco in 1994; Paul Rowley was born in Dublin in 1971 and is currently based in San Francisco;

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The Glen Dimplex Artists Award, sponsored by the Irish-based company Glen Dimplex in association with the Irish Museum of Modern Art, is designed to mark a significant level of achievement or development in the work and practice of exhibiting artists. The 2000 award was open to Irish artists who have exhibited in Ireland or elsewhere from 1 January to 22 November 1999 and to non-Irish artists who have exhibited in Ireland in the same period. All shortlisted artists are paid a fee of £1,000. The £15,000 award will be presented to the winning artist at a dinner following the final jury meeting on 30 May. The award was first made in 1994. Since 1998 an additional non-monetary award for a sustained contribution by an Irish artist to the visual arts in Ireland has also been made.

The jury panel for the 2000 awards is;
Brenda McParland (Chair of panel), Head of Exhibitions, Irish Museum of Modern Art.
Lisa Corrin, Chief Curator, Serpentine Gallery, London.
Aileen MacKeogh, Director, Dun Laoghaire School of Art and Design .
Dr Margaret Downes, Chairman, BUPA Ireland: Director, Bank of Ireland.
Dr Paula Murphy, Lecturer, History of Art Department, UCD.

The Glen Dimplex Artists Award Exhibition continues until 18 June 2000.

Admission is free.

Opening hours: Tue – Sat 10.00am – 5.30pm
Sun & Bank Holidays 12 noon – 5.30pm
Closed Monday, Friday 21 April

For further information please contact Philomena Byrne or Onagh Carolan at
Tel: +353 1 612 9900 Fax: +353 1 612 9999

12 April 2000