Celebrating 20 years of the organisation Business to Arts, and the visual art collections of its members, the exhibition 10,000 to 50: Contemporary Art from the Members of Business to Arts reflects the collecting and support of the Irish private and public sector for contemporary visual art in Ireland over two decades. It includes exciting examples of Irish-based visual art practice, as well as documenting the commissioning of artworks and ongoing corporate support at community, national and international levels for the presentation and promotion of contemporary art.
Over 10,000 artworks from the collections of Business to Arts’ member companies were considered from which a final selection of 50 was made. Most of the works are by Irish or Irish-based artists and largely comprise paintings, works on paper and sculpture, reflecting the prevailing tendency of corporate collectors towards more traditional forms of presentations. There are a few notable exceptions, which include mixed media and audio visual work.
The selection includes works by artists such as Gerard Byrne, Declan Clarke, Maud Cotter, Gary Coyle, Dorothy Cross, Paul Doran, Blaise Drummond, Mark Francis, John Gerrard, Patrick Graham, Tjibbe Hooghiemstra, Ronnie Hughes, John Kingerlee, Lennon, Mary Lohan, Stephen Loughman, Elizabeth Magill, Peter Maybury & Mark McLoughlin, Janet Mullarney, Isobel Nolan, Kathy Prendergast, Nigel Rolfe, Patrick Scott, Paul Seawright and many others. A specially commissioned new artwork, a photographic ‘portrait’ of the workplace by Irish artist Ronan McCrea, is also being shown.
As well as providing audiences with the opportunity of experiencing artworks that are often behind the scenes in corporate settings, the exhibition aims to inspire enduring relationships between the business community, IMMA, and Irish and international contemporary artists, by introducing a wider business public to the excitement and rewards of supporting contemporary art. By collecting art, and especially by commissioning artists to make new work within the workplace and beyond, companies encourage innovation and creative entrepreneurship. This exhibition seeks to acknowledge those who have already supported the arts and to encourage companies to draw on the ideas and creativity of contemporary art and to support artists in society.
The exhibition is co-sponsored by Anglo Irish Bank and KPMG, Image Now are design partners and The Irish Times are media partners.
A series of talks, events and projects, both curator and artist-led, examining the potential for artworks in new situations and corporate support of more ephemeral art projects, will take place during the exhibition.
A publication, with texts by Christina Kennedy and art critic Gemma Tipton, reflects on the nature of corporate support of the visual arts and the ways by which companies acquire and commission artworks, and includes a documentation of Ronan McCrea’s new artwork.
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