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IMMA Announces Appointment of New Director

The Chairperson and Board of the Irish Museum of Modern Art today (Monday 11 November 2002) announced the appointment of Enrique Juncosa, currently Deputy Director of the prestigious Reina Sofía National Museum of Modern Art (MNCARS) in Madrid, as the new Director of IMMA.

Born in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, in 1961, Enrique Juncosa has been Deputy Director of MNCARS since 2000, where he is responsible for exhibitions, the collection, education and publications. The MNCARS, which has a team of 300 people, organises over 30 exhibitions every year and has an acquisition budget of €10 million. Mr Juncosa has curated eight of these exhibitions at the Reina Sofía, including major shows of Warhol-Basquiat-Clemente, Panamarenko, Eva Lootz and Bhupen Khakhar.

Prior to moving to MNCARS, Mr Juncosa was Deputy Director of the highly-regarded Institute of Modern Art in Valencia (IVAM), where he curated exhibitions by Willem de Kooning, Michael Craig-Martin, Philip Taaffe, Terry Winters and many other leading artists. From 1992 to 1998, Mr Juncosa was visual art critic for El País, Spain’s most prestigious and largest-circulation daily newspaper. During this time he also worked as a freelance curator for shows by Barry Flanagan, Malcolm Morley and Miquel Barceló – in Spain and also in France, Germany, the UK and Norway.

Mr Juncosa is the great-nephew of the famous Spanish Modernist painter Joan Miró and, since 1992, has been a trustee of the Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation. He is also a noted poet, having had five books of poetry published in Spain. A new volume of poetry, with illustrations by the Irish-based artist Barry Flanagan, is being published in December.

Speaking at a reception to mark the announcement, IMMA’s Chairperson, Eoin McGonigal, SC, said that everyone associated with the Museum was delighted to have secured as its new Director someone of such obvious distinction and ability. “Enrique Juncosa has impressed us all with his curatorial flair and experience, the scholarly but accessible nature of his publications, his excellent and wide-ranging contacts with international artists and museums and his capacity to lead and work well with the existing team at IMMA”, he said.

Mr McGonigal also paid tribute to the management and staff of IMMA, and to its Acting Director, Philomena Byrne, for the exemplary manner in which they had, so successfully, upheld the work and ethos of the Museum over the past 18 months.

Mr Juncosa said he was thrilled to take over the direction of a museum like IMMA, which already had such a high international reputation and such a dedicated and professional staff. He added: “I would like to continue the Museum’s programme of international exhibitions and to develop its already very interesting collection of works by both Irish and international artists and its widely-praised education and community programme”. Mr. Juncosa also said he felt very lucky to work in a museum housed in such a fine historical building, mentioning that, coincidentally, the MNCARS was also housed in a former hospital.

Enrique Juncosa will take up the post of Director in February 2003.

For further information and images please contact Monica Cullinane Tel: +353 1 612 9900, Fax: +353 1 612 9999 Email : [email protected]

11 November 2002