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Royal Hospital Kilmainham
Dublin 8, D08 FW31, Ireland
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What Is_?Series 1: 1970–Now

The What Is_? Programme provides an introduction to some of the key concepts and themes in modern and contemporary art for all audiences.

Series 1: 1970–Now

There is a growing interest in Contemporary Art, yet the ideas and theoretical frameworks which inform its practice can be complex and difficult to access. By focusing on a number of key headings, such as Conceptual Art, Installation Art and Performance Art, this series is intended to provide a broad overview of some of the central themes and directions in Modern and Contemporary Art.

This series represents a response to a number of challenges. Firstly, the inherent problems and contradictions that arise when attempting to outline or summarise the wide-ranging, constantly changing and contested spheres of both art theory and practice, and secondly, the use of summary terms to describe a range of practices, many of which emerged in opposition to such totalising tendencies.

Taking these challenges into account, this series offers a range of perspectives, drawing on expertise and experience from lecturers, artists,
curators and critical writers and is neither definitive nor exhaustive. The intention is to provide background and contextual information about the art and artists featured in IMMA’s exhibitions and collection in particular, and about Contemporary Art in general, to promote information sharing, and to encourage critical thinking, debate and discussion about art and artists. The series addresses aspects of Modern and Contemporary Art spanning the period from the 1970s to the present.

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.