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Minister Announces IMMA Programme for 2006

Large-scale exhibitions by such leading artists as Howard Hodgkin, Barry Flanagan and Michael Craig-Martin; a wide-ranging exhibition of Irish art from the 1970s, including works from the important PJ Carroll Collection, and a major symposium on access policies and programmes in contemporary art museums are all part of an exciting and diverse programme for 2006 at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, announced today (Wednesday 25 January) by the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Mr John O’Donoghue, TD. Plans for the coming year, the 15th anniversary of IMMA’s foundation, also include a series of shows by prominent international artists, receiving their first solo exhibitions in Ireland; the first showing in this country of one of three film works by the acclaimed Irish artist James Coleman, acquired by the Museum in 2004, and an extension throughout the school year of IMMA’s primary school programme.

Speaking at the launch of the programme at IMMA, Minister O’Donoghue said he was particularly pleased to announce this year’s programme, designed to mark IMMA’s 15th anniversary. “The 2006 programme looks set to build on the Museum’s considerable success over recent years. The Howard Hodgkin, Barry Flanagan and Michael Craig-Martin exhibitions will continue the excellent standards, in content and presentation, seen in the Jasper Johns, Laurie Anderson and Tony O’Malley exhibitions, which struck a real chord with Irish and international visitors and helped raise IMMA’s visitor numbers for 2005 to the highest level in its history.

“The growing strength of IMMA’s Collection will be seen in the Irish Art of the Seventies exhibition, which will include works from the recently-acquired PJ Carroll Collection, and in the eagerly-awaited film work by James Coleman, one of this country’s most highly-respected artists. In addition, it is particularly appropriate that an international symposium on increasing access to museums and their activities should be staged by the Museum in this its anniversary year, given its outstanding record in this vital area”, he said.

Commenting on the programme IMMA’s Director, Enrique Juncosa, said: “The second consecutive increase in our budget, and our collaboration with major foreign museums, has allowed us to develop an even more ambitious programme of exhibitions for 2006, which includes joint projects with both Tate Britain and Tate St Ives. In 2006, we are also going to use the magnificent grounds at IMMA in spectacular ways for the Barry Flanagan and
Michael Craig-Martin shows. I should also like to highlight Inner Worlds Outside, a major exhibition built around the Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection, which we have on loan. This will be shown in Madrid and London, helping to promote our Collection abroad. Finally, the international symposium on access at the end of the year will underline the importance that we place on our education and community programmes”


The temporary exhibition programme begins on a strong note, with 3 x Abstraction, which opens today. Organised by The Drawing Center in New York, where it received the Best Show Award from the International Critics’ Association, it presents some 90 rarely-seen works by three artists from different generations who pioneered the development of modern abstraction – Hilma af Klint, Emma Kunz and Agnes Martin.

This will be followed on 22 February by a major retrospective of the work of Howard Hodgkin, one of Britain’s leading post-war painters. The exhibition brings together some 50 works from the 1960s to date, which in their bold colouration and technical mastery epitomise the qualities which had made Hodgkin one of the most popular painters of his time. Following its showing at IMMA, the exhibition will travel to Tate Britain in London and the Museo Nacional Centro de Reina Sofía (MNCARS) in Madrid.

Large-scale shows of a number of other leading artists will be staged later in the year. Starting on 28 June there will be a comprehensive survey of the work of the distinguished British-born sculptor Barry Flanagan, now resident in Ireland and well-known to all IMMA visitors from his magnificent hare sculpture outside the main entrance. This show will feature installation works and bronze sculptures – some located in the grounds – from the 1960s onward. It will coincide with a display of eight sculptures by the artist in O’Connell Street, organised by the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane.

A substantial retrospective of the work of the internationally-acclaimed painter and installation artist Michael Craig-Martin opens on 4 October. Only the second retrospective of his work, it will include sculptures, wall drawings, text pieces, neon works and paintings. Beginning with Craig-Martin’s early use of ready-mades in the 1970s, it will trace his growing interest in painting in the 1990s leading on to today’s increasingly complex site-specific wall paintings.

A further three prominent international artists will present their first one-person exhibitions in this country at IMMA in the coming year – the Portuguese artist João Penalva (opening 14 June), whose work, encompassing painting, installation and performance, is often process-based, involving language and narrative; the German photographer Candida Höfer (opening 12 July), whose exquisitely-composed photographs will present the results of a working visit to Dublin, and Iran do Espírito Santo (opening 8 November), one of Brazil’s most interesting contemporary artists, best known for his sensual minimalist works dealing with structure, design and space.

An exhibition of recent work by Irish artist Orla Barry, whose practice is based on written and spoken language, can be seen from 8 March. Her new film, Portable Stones, will receive it first Irish showing as part of the exhibition.  Garrett Phelan’s innovative radio artwork, Black Brain Radio, which went on air last week in a collaboration with Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, continues until 18 February.

To mark the 90th birthday of the distinguished Irish artist Louis le Brocquy in November, a display of works from the artist’s own collection will be shown starting on 9 May and continuing into 2007.

There will be considerable public interest in the Magnum Ireland exhibition opening on 19 April, which presents some 140 photographs taken in Ireland since the 1950s by some of Magnum’s most celebrated photographers, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Elliott Erwitt, Eve Arnold, Martin Parr and many others. Another group show, Emotional Rescue, will feature works by 15 cutting-edge artists, whose practices address current issues, such as ecology, technology, popular culture and globalisation.


This year will also be important in terms of the development and presentation of IMMA’s Collection. From 9 May until early 2007, Irish Art of the Seventies presents works from the Museum’s Collection, including important new acquisitions from the PJ Carroll Collection. The exhibition will focus on historic works from the period, by artists, such as Tony O’Malley, Maria Simonds-Gooding, Robert Ballagh and Michael Warren. Inner Worlds Outside brings together works by leading Modernist artists, including Joan Miró, Paul Klee and Philip Guston, and by less well known
artists from the Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection, held by IMMA since 1998. Works from prestigious private collections in Europe, the US and Latin America will also be included. The exhibition is being shown at Fundación “la Caixa” in Madrid and at the Whitechapel gallery in London prior to its opening at IMMA on 25 July.

August will see the first showing in Ireland of I N I T I A L S  by James Coleman, widely recognised as one of the outstanding artists working in new media today. The presentation of this eagerly awaited film work in IMMA’s historic Great Hall, a major event in the Irish visual art calendar, is one of a number of new initiatives to mark the Museum’s 15th anniversary. I N I T I A L S is part of a trilogy of film works by Coleman – already shown to enormous critical acclaim in a number of museums in Europe and the USA – which were acquired by the Museum via the Heritage Fund in 2004. The remaining works will be shown in 2007, and again in 2008, as part of a major exhibition of the artist’s work.

Another new development to mark IMMA’s first 15 years is the publication of a series of books in which leading artists in the Collection are given their own voice in interviews, essays and artist’s statements. The first will present an artist’s statement by Louis le Brocquy, followed by an interview with Michael Craig-Martin, who in addition to having a number of works in the Collection is the subject of a major exhibition this year.

IMMA’s association with the Saint Patrick’s Festival continues with the showing of a film work by Irish artist John Byrne in March. Would You Die for Ireland is a humorous piece, which examines notions of patriotism and nationalism; while in November the Museum’s Education and Community and Collection Departments join with Focus Ireland to present an exhibition on the theme of home.

The Collection will continue its travels abroad. There will be an exhibition of non-figurative works from the Collection at the Oriel Mostyn Gallery in Llandudno, Wales, and a number of paintings by Tony O’Malley will travel to Tate St Ives, as part of the Tony O’Malley exhibition there in the Spring.

Education and Community

IMMA’s Education and Community Department continues its busy schedule of programmes to increase access to and engagement with the Museum’s activities. The first event takes place today, with a seminar exploring
drawing from a range of different perspectives.
Presented in association with the Dublin Institute of Technology, is has been organised to coincide with the 3 x Abstraction exhibition.

Following on the success of the Curating Now symposium in 2004, a further symposium on Education, Community and Access to Contemporary Art will be held in November. Presentations are being invited from major international museums and from smaller institutions exploring the role and place of museums in the community and their function as places of learning. A publication based on the proceeding of the symposium will be published in 2007.

The Primary School Programme, so vital to the development of a widespread engagement with the visual arts in the future, will run throughout the year rather than concentrating on the Spring term as before and will focus on four contrasting exhibitions 3 x Abstraction and Drawings and Works on Paper from the IMMA Collection (the latter continuing from 2005), Howard Hodgkin and Michael Craig-Martin. The programme will continue its collaboration with the Department of Education and Science’s Disadvantaged Area Scheme, both at IMMA and throughout the country in conjunction with the National Programme.

National and Artists’ Residency Programmes

IMMA’s unique National Programme will take the Museum’s resources and expertise to 14 locations around the country in 2006, from Mayo to Waterford and from Cavan to Kerry. The range of projects varies greatly, and their design and implementation involves an engagement with local communities to evoke a series of different responses in each venue. With the continued support of the Department of Education and Science, the Museum will again work with six of these centres in developing an appropriate primary school programme.

The Museum’s Artists’ Residency Programme, creating access to the process of making art and providing an extra layer of experience to that available in the galleries, will host 23 artists from as far afield as Poland, the Czech Republic, the US, Argentina and Japan in the coming year.

For further information and images please contact Monica Cullinane or Patrice Molloy at Tel: +353 1 612 9900; Email: [email protected]

25 January 2006

Important Notice


We would like to advise our visitors that our Main Reception area is closed for renovation from 22 April until mid-June.  A temporary reception is open on the ground floor next to the original main entrance. While we prepare to open our next exhibition Hilary Heron: A Retrospective on 24 May, there are two exhibitions to see Derry Film & Video Workshop and Self: Determination: Artists Commissions. IMMA’s gardens and café are open to the public.