IMMA announces a major international group exhibition in 2017
examining the role of spirituality in art
As Above, So Below: Portals, Visions, Spirits & Mystics
alongside landmark solo exhibitions from Nan Goldin (US),
Vivienne Dick (IRL), Jac Leirner (Brazil),
Rodney Graham (CA) and William Crozier (UK/IRL).
Today, Tue 14 February 2017, IMMA is pleased to announce highlights from the 2017 exhibition programme. Click here to watch the 2017 film with contributions from artist Vivienne Dick and IMMA Director Sarah Glennie.
At the launch in IMMA this afternoon Sarah Glennie, Director of IMMA said: “We are delighted to announce today that IMMA will be bringing the work of several leading International artists to Dublin audiences this year, including Rodney Graham (CA), Nan Goldin (USA) and Jac Leirner (Brazil) all of whom will have their first solo exhibitions in Ireland at IMMA. Through our landmark international group show As Above So Below: Portals, Visions, Spirits & Mystics we are also especially pleased to bring to IMMA the work of several 20th century masters including Hilma af Klint, Kandinsky, František Kupka and Sigmar Polke. Also featured are the works of cult artists James Lee Byars, Ira Cohen and Cameron, and some of the most influential artists living and working today, including Steve McQueen and Bruce Nauman among others. Many of whom have never exhibited in Ireland before.
“Throughout 2017 we will continue to develop new platforms in our programme through which we can support artists to make new work, realise their ambition and develop new thinking; whether through exhibitions, commissions across our programme or our artist residency programme. We saw in 2016 the valuable role contemporary artists can play in helping us to understand our times, and the opportunity for their work to create a space for reflection, debate and difference. We are committed to creating this important space within Irish life and to welcoming audiences, from across Ireland and beyond, into a dynamic and evolving experience of contemporary art and contemporary life. Our programme extends beyond the gallery space to encompass talks, performances, engagement and learning opportunities, research programmes and residencies and with the IMMA Collection: Freud Project remaining at IMMA through 2017, we look forward to sharing the work of these extraordinary artists with our audiences through the year.”
Opening just before Easter As Above, So Below is a large show with over 200 works, including an exciting series of new IMMA commissions, supported by Matheson, from Irish artists Grace Weir, Alan Butler and Eoghan Ryan and international artists Linder Sterling, Hayden Dunham, Nora Berman, John Russell and Stephan Doitschinoff, among others. These new works will address what spirituality means to people today, particularly in the increasingly secular times we are living through, while the wider exhibition considers the role played by certain spiritualist and alternative doctrines in the creation of abstract painting from its origins to the present digital age. It will trace and question the genesis of deep religious, mystical and occult beliefs that continue to shape the ideas of contemporary artists today. Glennie commented “I think these are questions we all grapple with in contemporary society and, much like with our 2015 exhibition What We Call Love, audiences can use the prism of contemporary art to consider what spirituality means to them.”
Many of the works in As Above, So Below explore relationships between artists; the power of collectives and the influence artists have on each other’s practice. This is a theme that we pick up again in the summer with solo exhibitions from two internationally significant lens-based artists Vivienne Dick (IRL) and Nan Goldin (USA). Goldin and Dick have been friends for over 40 years and have influenced each other’s work over that time, often appearing as subjects in each other’s photographs and films. Indeed it is through their friendship that Goldin first came to Ireland in the 1970s and we are particularly pleased to be presenting a series of Donegal photographs that have never been publicly exhibited before. These IMMA exhibitions will also mark the first major Museum exhibitions for both artists here in Ireland.
These new art projects are presented as part of an exciting ongoing initiative, New Art at IMMA, proudly supported by Matheson, which allows IMMA to continue to support artists’ vital work through a strand of programming that recognises and nurtures new and emerging talents, new thinking and new forms of exhibition-making. Tim Scanlon, partner at Matheson, said, "Nurturing new talent is central to what we do in Matheson. Our ongoing involvement with IMMA on the New Art at IMMA programme continues to be an exciting way for us to support new and emerging talent."
Another ongoing theme in IMMA’s programmes each year is the examination of the art historical from the position of the contemporary, as evidenced through our Collection exhibition, the Modern Masters series and upcoming project ROSC 50. 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the first ROSC; the first major series of exhibitions of international art in Ireland. ROSC had a significant impact on the development of contemporary art in Ireland, and for ROSC 50 (1967/2017) IMMA and NIVAL (the National Irish Visual Arts Library) are undertaking a collaborative research project to revisit the Irish art historical account of ROSC. In a year-long engagement commencing with a display in early May, ROSC 50 will examine the ambition, reception, controversies and legacy of the ROSC exhibitions. Unfolding over the course of 2017 the programme will involve talks, events, screenings, displays, presentation of material and a number of artist commissions.
Another key moment to re-examine the changing narrative of Irish art history will be the October retrospective of Anglo-Irish artist William Crozier (b. Glasgow 1930 d. Cork 2011). Crozier is perhaps best-known in Ireland for the lyrical landscapes made of the setting close to his home in West Cork from the mid-1980s. His early work, however, is imbued with a darkness and pessimism that reference contemporary political events and weave concerns with religion, violence and society. The exhibition is curated by Seán Kissane (IMMA) and is presented in association with West Cork Arts Centre who will present Crozier’s later landscape works over the summer. The IMMA exhibition of Crozier’s early work will open in October.
Also opening in October is IMMA Collection: Coastlines which throws a line around a display of diverse artworks and archival materials that explore similar ideas of geographical place and physical space, perception, representation and memory, as well as language and systems that map human experience. Featured works include the immense Tabernacle (2013) by Dorothy Cross, Folded/Unfolded (1972) by Ciaran Lennon, reworked in a new iteration for the IMMA galleries, and Aspen 5+6 (1967), the ground-breaking edition of the avant-garde ‘exhibition in a box’, edited by Brian O’Doherty in New York in 1967; the same year ROSC commenced in Ireland.
Another Collection highlight this year is sure to be the Hennessy Art Fund for IMMA Collection exhibition in July, which will take place in the Courtyard Galleries. This invaluable fund, supported by Hennessy Ireland, has permitted IMMA to start purchasing works for the Collection for the first time since 2011, with a particular focus on artists not already represented. The chosen artists for 2016, the first year of the fund, were Kevin Atherton, David Beattie, Rhona Byrne and Dennis McNulty. The chosen artists for 2017 will be revealed in July. The independent curator on this year’s Hennessy Art Fund selection panel is Linda Shevlin.
The IMMA Collection: Freud Project (2016 -2021) continues throughout 2017. Lucian Freud is one of the greatest exponents of figurative painting in the 20th century and the 50 works on loan to IMMA include a selection of Freud’s finest paintings, as well as numerous etchings. This important body of work, on loan to IMMA from a number of private collections, is the focus of several major programming initiatives for the next five years. The first exhibition has already proven immensely popular and we look forward to continuing to make this great work accessible to the public throughout the year. The current display will close at the end of October and a new contemporary intervention to the Freud Project, and how it relates to works in the overall IMMA Collection, will open in late November, furthering our ongoing investigation into the resonance of Freud’s work for contemporary art practice. We are also delighted to announce a new Freud Residency for 2017, which invites cultural practitioners to explore, contest, complement or radicalise the work currently on display, and a deepening partnership with NCAD and Trinity College Dublin which will deliver new research perspectives on Freud over the duration of the Freud Project.
As a museum IMMA has a unique onsite facility to provide studios and/or accommodation for 12 artists or cultural practitioners at any one time. Access to work space has been identified as a fundamental challenge for artists in Ireland and we have been exploring new ways to best use our invaluable resource. With the support of IMMA 1000 and a number of other fundraising initiatives, we are delighted to announce a series of new strands in our residency programme that will both create opportunities for in-depth research and support for Irish artists through dedicated residencies and bursaries. These will create an invaluable break from day-to-day financial pressures facing many artists in Ireland today by providing both a rent free space at IMMA, and a financial stipend to support living expenses for the duration of the residency. Time on supported residencies allows artists the space to think, research, test new ideas and make work without distraction; a vital support for the development of artists work. Crucially, the residency programme also stimulates dialogue and exchange with artists internationally, and another exciting new initiative for 2017 is a new international residency partnership between IMMA, Create (National Development Agency for Collaborative Art), Sweetwater Foundation and Hyde Park Arts Centre (Chicago) creating an exciting opportunity for exchange and dialogue between Irish and Chicago based artists.
Glennie continued; “Part of IMMA’s core mission is to support artists making the work they want to make, and we increasingly see contemporary art practice moving out of the gallery space and into the public realm, engaging with audiences in new and participatory ways. We really saw this in 2016 with our summer programme A Fair Land and several live performance art pieces including Listen, Hissen, Hessin, Jaki Irvine, Jonathan Meese, Tino Seghal at IMMA in the past and of course the IMMA Summer Party which has been so successful at opening up the entirety of the beautiful and historic IMMA buildings and grounds to artists and audiences alike. The IMMA Summer Party will return again on Sat 15 July 2017 with distinct Before Dark // After Sunset programmes. Before Dark will make the most of the beautiful gardens and historic grounds of the Royal Hospital with performances, readings, screenings and food, while After Sunset will explore the night time charms of the Great Hall and Baroque Chapel with a programme of live and electronic music into the small hours. Tickets will go on sale in May. We are also delighted to announce a new live art performance night on Saturday 29 July as part of the expanded programme around As Above, So Below.”
As always IMMA’s exhibition programme will be accompanied by a rich and varied programme of live performance, events, talks, and learning programmes which will provide audiences of all ages exciting opportunities to enjoy our programme, opening up conversations and bringing the audience deeper into the thinking and making of contemporary art. A particular highlight this year will be the ongoing examination into the social, political and economic landscape that shaped ROSC and its subsequent impact on contemporary art developments in Ireland, which will culminate in a major symposium in November 2017, our ongoing provision of programmes for people living with dementia through the AZURE initiative and the launch of a new digital digest that will develop new content about our programmes, giving people new ways to find out more about the work, and to personally connect with art and artists at IMMA.
A full programme of events is available on www.imma.ie
– ENDS –
Additional Information – IMMA Exhibition Highlights 2017
For additional information on each exhibition please click the hyperlink to reach the exhibition page.
Duncan Campbell, The Welfare of Tomás Ó Hallissy
25 November 2016 – 7 May 2017
Commissioned by IMMA, The Welfare of Tomás Ó Hallissy (2016) is a major new work by Duncan Campbell (Turner Prize, 2014). Campbell’s work is underpinned by extensive research, and this new film uses anthropological studies of rural Kerry, including Paul Hockings and Mark McCarty’s 1968 UCLA documentary The Village (IFI Irish Film Archive), as a starting point to investigate and reframe modern Ireland. As in The Village, this new film is set against a visit by two American anthropologists to the village of Dún Chaoin. Campbell combines footage from Hockings and McCarty’s film with newly scripted material. Echoing and revisiting key scenes from the documentary Campbell looks at ethics and misconceptions that frame the relationship between the anthropologists and the villagers and how the societal shifts they explore still resonate today.
Jac Leirner, Institutional Ghost
14 February 2017 – 5 June 2017
Considered one of Brazil’s most important contemporary artists, this solo exhibition from Jac Leirner comprises of exciting recent and new work made in response to the architecture of IMMA. Leirner works across disciplines including sculpture, painting, installation and works on paper. Since the mid-1980s, Leirner has collected the temporary and incidental products of everyday life, tapping into what she has described as the ‘infinity of materials’. Stickers, rulers, plastic bags, business cards, cigarette ends and even bank notes make their appearance in her work, removed but not entirely dislocated from their original function. By repurposing these everyday materials into visually compelling sculptures and installations, Leirner creates new and unexpected associations that provide a sharp statement on the unfolding of art in recent decades.
As Above, So Below: Portals, Visions, Spirits & Mystics
13 April 2017 – 27 August 2017
Featuring an exciting selection of modern masterworks, contemporary art and new commissions, IMMA presents a major international exhibition that looks at the role of spirituality in visual art. In particular, it considers the role played by certain spiritualist and alternative doctrines in the creation of abstract painting from its origins to the present digital age. The arc of this exhibition spans a hundred years from the abstract masterworks of Kandinsky, af Klint and Kupka to contemporary work by Steve McQueen and Bruce Nauman and new commissions by Alan Butler and Linder Sterling among others. As Above, So Below resists becoming a comprehensive survey that traces the role of art and spirituality however. Instead, it presents perspectives on spirituality from a range of unique viewpoints in over 200 works, many of whom have never exhibited in Ireland before. The exhibition traces and questions the genesis of deep religious, mystical and occult beliefs that continue to shape the ideas of contemporary artists today. Transcending the limitations of what is perceived as spiritual, it embraces the occult, the otherworld, human consciousness, mysticism and ritual, creating a space to reflect and explore these gateways to wonder.
Admission is €8/5. Children, Students and IMMA Members are always free, and everyone is free on Tuesdays. Booking will open on 13 March on www.imma.ie.
ROSC 50 ‑ 1967 / 2017
5 May — 18 June 2017
ROSC was the first major series of exhibitions of international art in Ireland. They took place in a range of venues approximately every four years between 1967 and 1988. In 2017, to mark the 50th anniversary of the first ROSC, IMMA and NIVAL (the National Irish Visual Arts Library) are undertaking a collaborative research project to revisit the Irish art historical account of ROSC. ROSC 50 will examine the ambition, reception, controversies and legacy of the ROSC exhibitions, which had a significant impact on the development of contemporary art in Ireland. This programme will unfold over the course of 2017 and will involve talks, events, screenings, displays, presentation of material and a number of artist commissions.
IMMA Collection: Freud Project 2016-2021
Until October 2017
IMMA has secured a significant five-year loan of 50 works by one of the greatest realist painters of the 20th century, Lucian Freud (1922–2011). Renowned for his portrayal of the human form, Freud is best known for his intimate, honest, often visceral portraits. IMMA Collection: Freud Project features a selection of 30 of the artist’s finest paintings, and 20 works on paper. The works, mainly dating from 1970 onwards, explore several of the artist’s key themes such as Portraiture, Self-Portraiture, Still-life, Animals and Nature, works that reflect his interest in the people and the natural world. During this unique five-year project IMMA will present a series of different and exclusive Freud related exhibitions, each year. All 50 works are on display until the end of October 2017. The current display will then close at the end of October and a new contemporary intervention to the Freud Project, and how it relates to works in the overall IMMA Collection, will open in late November, furthering our ongoing investigation into the resonance of Freud’s work for contemporary art practice.
Time-slotted entry is €8/5. Children, Students and IMMA Members are always free, and everyone is free on Tuesdays. Book online.
IMMA Collection: A Decade
Until 7 May 2017
IMMA Collection: A Decade provides a snapshot of how the National Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art has developed over the past 10 years. IMMA’s remit is to collect the art of now for the future and to keep it in the public domain for future generations. A changeover in the displays from March will include the Janet Mullarney’s My Minds i (2016), on loan from the artist, and Alice Maher’s The Music of Things (Sleep) 2009.
Hennessy Art Fund for IMMA Collection
Until 7 May 2017
The Hennessy Art Fund for IMMA Collection supports the acquisition of works by Irish or Irish based artists who are not yet in the IMMA Collection. Works are sought that signal a moment of achievement within an artist’s practice. The chosen artists for 2016, the first year of the fund, were Kevin Atherton, David Beattie, Rhona Byrne and Dennis McNulty, and the exhibition remains open until 7 May 2017. This year’s independent curator on the Hennessy Art Fund panel is Linda Shevlin. The chosen artist(s) for 2017 will be revealed in the summer, with a new exhibition in the Courtyard Galleries in July.
Vivienne Dick, 93% STARDUST
16 June 2017 ‑ 15 October 2017
Irish artist Vivienne Dick is an internationally celebrated film-maker and artist. A key figure of the ‘No Wave’ movement in New York in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Dick has gone on to develop an extraordinary body of work which has been shown in cinemas, films festivals and art galleries around the world. Dick’s work is marked by an interest in individual transgression, urban street life, kitsch and pop culture, social and sexual politics, female representation and philosophy. Including selected works from 1977 to the present, the exhibition serves as an introduction to the breadth of Dick’s practice which encompasses video, Super-8 and 16mm film. This hybrid of media is indicative of the crossover of forms in Dick’s films. They do not sit easily in the usual distinctions of documentary, fiction, video art or music video, yet owe something to each.
Nan Goldin, Sweet Blood Call
16 June 2017 ‑ 15 October 2017
Nan Goldin is known for intensely personal, spontaneous, sexual, and transgressive photographs. This exhibition presents pivotal works from Goldin’s oeuvre including drawings, portraits of women as family, friends and lovers, as well as a collection of evocative and previously unseen work from Ireland. In 1979 Goldin presented her first slideshow in a New York nightclub; her richly coloured, snapshot-like photographs were soon heralded as a ground-breaking contribution to fine art photography. The Ballad of Sexual Dependency—the name she gave her ever evolving show—eventually grew into a forty-five minute multimedia presentation of more than 700 photographs, accompanied by a musical soundtrack. This is the first solo exhibition at IMMA by Nan Goldin.
William Crozier: A Retrospective
October 2017 – Spring 2018
Best-known in Ireland for the lyrical landscapes he made close to his home in West Cork from the mid-1980s, William Crozier (b. Glasgow 1930 d. Cork 2011) began to exhibit in the early 1950s and his bleak views of the British landscape from that time are imbued with a darkness and pessimism that is immediately apparent. Crozier’s time spent in Paris in the 1940s, and his encounter with the Existential writings of Jean-Paul Sartre, gave a voice to this post-war malaise and became a touchstone for the work he would make over the next fifty years. In the early 60s the human figure enters the work, but is often interred in the blasted landscape or, later in the 70s it is flayed and skeletal. Reference is made to contemporary political events such as the Northern Troubles in major works like Crossmaglen Crucifixion (1975) that weave concerns with religion, violence and society. The exhibition is presented in association with West Cork Arts Centre who will exhibit Crozier’s later, landscape works, during the summer .
23 November 2017 – Spring 2018
Since the early 1980s, Rodney Graham (b.1949 Canada) has shown himself to be a distinctive artist whose diverse practice encompasses many things – a painter, photographer, sculptor, video-maker, actor, performer, producer, historian, writer, poet, sound engineer and musician. Defying easy categorisation, his works are informed by psychology, literature and story-telling. His cyclical narratives are layered with puns and references as various as Lewis Carroll, Sigmund Freud, Raymond Roussel and Kurt Cobain, and are all infused by a sense of humour that betrays Graham’s place in the post-punk scene of late 1970s Vancouver. Avant-garde experimentation has always informed Graham’s practice demonstrated here with a survey of film works and an important presentation of photographic light boxes. Astute, contained and profound, Graham’s work has a strong contemporary relevance. This major exhibition includes work made from 1993 through to the present, and is organised in partnership with the Baltic Centre, Gateshead.
IMMA Collection: Coastlines
October 2017 – Spring 2018
The Winter display from the IMMA Collection throws a line around a display of diverse artworks and archival materials that explore similar ideas of geographical place and physical space, perception, representation and memory, as well as language and systems that map human experience. Featured works include the immense Tabernacle (2013) by Dorothy Cross, Folded/Unfolded (1972) by Ciaran Lennon, reworked in a new iteration for the IMMA galleries, and Aspen 5+6 (1967), the ground breaking edition of the avant-garde ‘exhibition in a box’, edited by Brian O’Doherty in New York in 1967, the same year as ROSC commenced in Ireland. Read more about this exhibition, which includes work by Dorothy Cross, Clare Langan, Ciaran Lennon, Richard Long, Brian O’Doherty, Noel Sheridan, Jesús Rafael Soto, Donald Teskey, Bridget Riley, Timothy Drever/Robinson and Alexandra Wejchert, among others.
IMMA is the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Ireland’s leading national institution for the presentation, production and collection of contemporary and modern Art. IMMA was the third most visited free attraction in Ireland in 2015 with 485,000 visitors, and saw a further increase of visitors in 2016 to over 584,000. IMMA presents a dynamic programme of exhibitions, commissions, talks, films, live events, and engagement and learning programmes from its home in Royal Hospital Kilmainham. IMMA is funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and supported by Matheson, Hennessy, Goodbody, Dean Dublin and our Corporate and Individual members and patrons.
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