Glen Dimplex Artists Award Exhibition opens at the Irish Museum of Modern Art
An exhibition of works by the four artists shortlisted for the £15,000 ‘Glen Dimplex Artists Awards 2001’ opens to the public at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on Friday 18 May. As in previous years, the artists – American film maker and sculptor Matthew Barney, British photographic artist Richard Billingham, Irish painter Elizabeth Magill and Belfast-based sound and installation artist Susan Philipsz – have been allocated individual spaces in which to represent their practice. Each presents a selection of new and recent works, ranging from painting and photography to film, video and sound pieces, some of which are being shown in Ireland for the first time. The presentation of the award, which is sponsored by the Irish-based company Glen Dimplex in assocation with the Irish Museum of Modern Art, will be made at a dinner at the Museum on Friday 25 May. The exhibition and dinner form part of a series of events taking place at the end of May to celebrate the Museum’s tenth anniversary.
Matthew Barney is best known for his ‘CREMASTER’ series of slow moving and hypnotic films, which manipulate different theatrical and cinematic genre to produce works of great richness and complexity. These visually stunning, yet challenging, works are populated by an extraordinary variety of mythical and real-life figures from satyrs and fairies to the Utah murderer Gary Gilmore. Each ‘CREMASTER’ instalment is accompanied by sculptures, photographs, drawings, artist’s books and video editions. Barney describes these as different stages or evolutions of the concept – sometimes expanding it, sometimes reducing it to a more concentrated form. Barney is represented in the exhibtion by photographic prints from all of his CREMASTER films, including ‘CREMASTER 1: Goodyear Chorus’, 1999, ‘CREMASTER 5: Elvålås’, 1997, and ‘CREMASTER 2: The Drone’s March’, 1999. Born in San Francisco in 1967, he now lives and works in New York.
Richard Billingham’s photographs present an intimate and compelling portrait of his famiy and the urban environment around his home. His early works chart the day-to-day existence of two figures in particular – his father, Ray, whom he describes as a “chronic alcoholic”, and his mother, Liz, who “hardly drinks but does smoke a lot” and “likes pets and things that are decorative.” Billingham has recently completed a number of video works and a series of urban landscapes taken around his home in the English West Midlands. The exhibition comprises a wide cross section of Billingham’s work including such well-known photographic works as ‘Flying Cat’, 1995, in which Ray is seen to throw the family pet across a dishevelled room, and the video ‘Liz Smoking’, 1998, whose succinct title tells us everything we need to know about the work’s bleak narrative. Born in Birmingham in 1970, Billingham now lives and works in Stourbridge, West Midlands.
Elizabeth Magill is a painter of great versatility and inventiveness, whose work has always drawn on a wide range of visual sources. While she has often integrated photographic materials and processes into her painting, her primary concern has always been an exploration of painting itself through the use of pattern repetition, geometry and the photomechanical. Her most recent body of work investigates the traditions of landscape painting, creating fictional landscapes that refer to the art and historical paradigm of the Romantic period while questioning our notions of landscape. Magill likes to think of her rendering of landscape as the creating of non-places – half imagined, vaguely located, yet strangely familiar. Works in her show include several new paintings from the artist’s studio and recent works such as ‘Fota Park’, 2001, and ‘Close’, 2000. Born in Ontario, Canada, in 1959, Magill was brought up in Cushendall, Co Antrim. She now lives and works in London.
Susan Philipsz’ work deals with the spatial properties of sound and with the relationships between sound and architecture. She is interested primarily in what she describes as “the emotive and psychological properties of sound”, and how it can be used as a device to alter a subjective response to memory and site. She has used sound, and more recently song, as a medium in public spaces to interject through the ambient noises of the everyday. Using her own voice, she attempts to trigger an awareness in the listener – to temporarily alter their perception of themselves in a particular place and time. In the past she has tested her work in a number of modern public buildings where their neutral backdrops have provided an ideal setting for exploring the communal effect her work has on a public audience. Her more recent work has sought to sustain the listeners attention over longer periods of time, with the pauses between the songs being as important as the singing itself. Philipsz is represented in the exhibition by a selection of recent works, including one of her most powerful recent works – a recording of the artist singing ‘The Internationale’, which she has presented in a number of locations, including in Ljubljana, Slovenia, during Manifesta 3 in 2000.
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 2001 award was open to Irish artists who have exhibited in Ireland or elsewhere from 25 November 1999 to 24 November 2000 and to non-Irish artists who have exhibited in Ireland in the same period. 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 final selection process is:
Polly Devlin, writer, art collector and Chair of IMMA’s International Council
Gavin Friday, composer and performer
Dr Margaret Downes, Chair, BUPA Ireland, and Director, Bank of Ireland
Fiona O’Malley, Board Member, IMMA
Brenda McParland, Head of Exhibitions, IMMA (Chair of panel)
The Glen Dimplex Artists Award Exhibition continues until 29 October 2001.
A catalogue, with texts by Annie Fletcher and Caoimhín Mac Giolla Léith, accompanies the exhibition (price £5.00).
Admission is free.
Opening hours: Tue – Sat 10.00am – 5.30pm
Sun, Bank Holidays 12 noon – 5.30pm
For further information and colour and black and white images please contact Philomena Byrne or Monica Cullinane at Tel : +353 1 612 9900,
Fax : +353 1 612 9999
30 April 2001