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Spring Opening. Exhibition Press Release

IMMA opens six new exhibitions, with solo exhibitions by Irish artists Les Levine, Fergus Martin, Janet Mullarney and Walker and Walker

Opening on 15 February 2019, IMMA is delighted to announce the opening of six new exhibitions for its spring programme. Four are solo exhibitions by Irish artists Walker and Walker, Les Levine, Fergus Martin and Janet Mullarney.

Two group exhibitions are also opening on the same date. From the IMMA Collection the exhibition A Fiction Close to Reality explores how the past inhabits the present through stories and cultural traditions passed down from generation to generation. Featured artists include Bassam Al-Sabah, Geta Brătescu, Nalini Malani, Dennis Oppenheim, Mary Farl Powers and Betsabeé Romero. The second group exhibition, Process 1000/1, presents new work and research developed by artists Jenny Brady, Neil Carroll and Dragana Jurišić, 2018 awardees of the inaugural IMMA 1000 residencies, while working and living at the museum.

Nowhere without no(w) is the first solo exhibition at IMMA by Irish artists Walker and Walker. The twin brothers have collaborated since 1989, becoming one of Ireland’s most captivating and valued artists, with an established international reputation that includes co-representing Ireland at the Venice Biennale in 2005. Walker and Walker’s work is primarily grounded in the elusiveness of language and the new exhibition showcases a number of pre-existing works from their extensive 30 year career, alongside a suite of new works responding to their ongoing research into language, its meaning and its construction. Walker and Walker work in a wide range of forms and media and the exhibition encompasses film, sculpture, drawing and installation; featuring materials as diverse as steel, neon, a pearl and a flower that blooms once a year.

Resurrection (1972-2016) is a new work by the world-renowned artist Les Levine. In 2010 Levine donated an 80-piece photographic work to the IMMA Collection entitled The Troubles: An Artist’s Document of Ulster (1979), in memory of his parents Muriel McMahon and Charles Levine. The work was produced from photographs he had taken while in Belfast and Derry in 1972. Revisiting the series in 2015 Levine was struck by the sheer number of images of children. This process resurrected the intense feelings that he had experienced while documenting Northern Ireland and resulted in this revision of the original work. Selecting a number of these images of children, Levine has attributed a question to each photograph. Each image is also surrounded with contact sheets of all the photos he took in 1972, providing extra context for the viewer while they consider the questions and arrive at their own answers.

Solo exhibitions by Fergus Martin and Janet Mullarney are presented as part of the Then and Now series – a curatorial approach to exploring works in the IMMA Collection where artists are invited to place their early work among their current practice.

The exhibition of works by Fergus Martin presents work from the 1990s to the present. Through painting, sculpture and photography, Martin creates geometric forms that give shape to his preoccupation with space, colour, tension and materials, reflecting the world around him. Martin states

“I would like the works in the exhibition to have a real and material presence, to contain my feelings about the weight and density of things, their expansion and contraction, containment and release, their different speeds, as well as their fragility and impermanence”.

The exhibition includes a selection of works by Martin from IMMA’s Collection, presented alongside recent works Tree (2014), Sky (2016) and a new work shown here for the first time, Screw Protruding Tubes (2019).

The exhibition of works by Janet Mullarney, from the early 1980s to 2018, demonstrates the remarkable multiplicity of her career. Although the works presented are diverse in scale, form and materials, they clearly belong to the distinctive world of Mullarney’s imagination. Her underlying concerns with the strangeness, darkness and fragility of the human condition also form a connecting thread. Mullarney’s desire for the exhibition is to create,

“an environment of textures, dimensions and thoughts conceptually leading to a path concerning the enigma of humanity, and to the ambiguity of our intentions and self-knowledge, that I believe universal.”

This exhibition provides the opportunity to showcase the recent acquisition by IMMA of Mullarney’s sculptures All Ears (1995) and Domestic Gods I (1997).

A Fiction Close to Reality was developed in response to themes within the adjoining display of Mullarney’s work. In both exhibitions artists explore inner worlds as well as ideas of memory and inherited narratives. Featured artists include Bassam Al-Sabah, Geta Brătescu, Nalini Malani, Dennis Oppenheim, Mary Farl Powers and Betsabeé Romero. The works presented create a dialogue between materialisation and erasure. From the traditional Mexican patterns appearing as shadows reflected on the wall in Betsabeé Romero’s work Amarillo al Cubo (2010), to the continually emerging and dissolving figures of Nalini Malani’s video animation Stains (2000). A display of prints and sculptures by Mary Farl Powers demonstrates her interest in lifecycles and decay, while Bassam Al-Sabah’s work explores the unreliability of memory as the result of trauma and exile. The exhibition will be expanded to include works by Caroline McCarthy and Richard Wentworth in May 2019.

IMMA’s Residency is one of the many programmes that activates the museum and Royal Hospital of Kilmainham site as a participatory campus of ideas and shared knowledge for audiences, artists and creative practitioners. Marking the culmination of the 2018 awardees of the inaugural IMMA 1000 residencies, Process 1000/1 presents new work and research developed by artists Jenny Brady, Neil Carroll and Dragana Jurišić. The exhibition includes work realised over the duration of the artists’ time living and working at IMMA and brings together a diverse range of practices from film to painting to photography.

– Ends –

For further information and images please contact

Monica Cullinane E: [email protected] T:+353 (0)1 612 9922#

Patrice Molloy E: [email protected] T:+353 (0)1 612 9921

Associated Events Talk & Preview

Walker and Walker, Nowhere without no(w) Thursday 14 February 2019, 5.30pm, Lecture Room / Booking Advised

In association with the exhibition opening Nowhere without no(w) by Irish artist duo, Walker and Walker, the artists will be joined in conversation with Caoimhín Mac Giolla Léith, writer and Senior Lecturer in Modern Irish at University College Dublin, to discuss their exhibition. The Spring opening preview and reception follows.

IMMA Collection: Then and Now, Janet Mullarney Artists’ Conversation / Janet Mullarney & Helen O’Leary Saturday 16 February 2019, 3pm, Lecture Room / Booking advised

In association with the opening of the solo exhibition by Janet Mullarney as part of the IMMA Collection: Then and Now series, Mullarney discusses key developments of her longstanding career and the influence of her time spent in Italy. Mullarney is highly regarded as one of Ireland’s most significant artists working today, recognised for making small to large sculptures juxtaposed with theatrical backdrops, lighting schemes and drawings, in which to reveal the power and imagination of the artists mind. Fellow artist Helen O’Leary, moderates this discussion, reflecting on shared artistic experiences and interests that span Mullarney’s practice.


Walker and Walker, Nowhere without no(w) A new publication will accompany the Walker and Walker exhibition and will include contributions by Fergus Daly, Brian Dillon, Jörg Heiser, Caoimhín Mac Giolla Léith; Rebecca O’Dwyer, and Rachel Thomas, Head of Exhibitions, IMMA. The publication is edited by Rachel Thomas and assisted by Victoria Evans, Assistant Curator, IMMA. The catalogue is available to purchase from the IMMA Shop. Price €15.00.