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Bookings for this event will be available from Friday, 9 August 2024.

Join guests Brenda Moore-McCann (author, writer, art historian) and Christina Kennedy (Head of Collections, IMMA) for a conversation that draws on their ongoing research projects on the work of Brian O’Doherty. The topic of their discussion focusses on the Casa Dipinta/Painted House Museum – one of the most extensive examples of Brian O’Doherty/Patrick Ireland’s unique wall paintings and signature Rope Drawing installations, recorded for the first time in this beautifully presented publication.

Brian O’Doherty’s Rope Drawing installations, which he began in the early 1970s, are ephemeral in nature and exist on public view for only months at a time. Casa Dipinta/Painted House is therefore an important permanent site for this aspect of the artist’s work. In the case of the wall paintings, only a few exist outside of Todi, the largest of which is in Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh, Co. Cork, titled One, Here, Now: The Ogham Cycle (1996), while smaller wall paintings are held in private collections in Italy and Ireland.

From this context our guests reflect on the importance of this book, which provides a valuable record of the artist’s house as an evolving artwork created over a period of fifty years. In essence La Casa Dipinta is a kind of biography representing the artist’s life, art and thinking. At the same time, it represents the fusion of two ancient cultures, Irish and Italian, through the Celtic language of Ogham and a unique form of contemporary abstract art.

This conversation is followed by a Drinks Reception and Book Launch that also marks the recent donation by the author of her archives to the IMMA Collection that significantly expands its holdings of Brian O’Doherty’s work.


About Speaker

Brenda Moore-McCann
Brenda Moore-McCann is a medical doctor who graduated from UCD in 1970. She worked in a variety of medical posts for twenty years including acting as Medical Director of Family Planning Services , Dublin, from 1980-1990. She was awarded a B.A. Mod in Art History & Classical Civilisation from TCD in 1996 and a Ph.D. in 2002. She is the author of the first monograph of the internationally renowned Irish artist and critic Brian O’Doherty (aka Patrick Ireland), also a UCD medical graduate, entitled Brian O’Doherty/Patrick Ireland: Between Categories, published in 2009. She is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine at Trinity College Dublin where she devised and taught a Humanities module on perception to first and fourth year medical students until 2019. She is currently a member of the Advisory Board of The Blood Project at Harvard School of Medicine, where she directs Art Interpretation, Humanities Section of the interdisciplinary site (www.thebloodproject.com).

Christina Kennedy
Christina Kennedy is Senior Curator: Head of Collections at the  IMMA since 2008. Prior to that she was Head of Exhibitions at Dublin City Gallery the Hugh Lane (DCGHL) for 10 years. She has curated and co-curated many exhibitions, edited publications and contributed texts to numerous catalogues, notably: Beyond the White Cube: A Retrospective of Brian O’Doherty/Patrick Ireland, DCGHL, 2006; The Studio, co-curated with Jens Hoffmann, DCGHL, 2007; Tacita Dean, DCGHL, 2007; The Burial of Patrick Ireland, IMMA, 2008; The Moderns: The Arts in Ireland from 1900s – 1970s, IMMA, 2010-2011, co-curated with Enrique Juncosa, (co-edited publication); Postwar American Art: the Novak/O’Doherty Collection, IMMA 2010; Changing States: Contemporary Irish Art & Francis Bacon’s Studio, Bozar Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, co-curator; 2013; Patrick Scott: Image, Space, Light, IMMA 2014; Lucian Freud Project at IMMA 2016-2021, Lead Curator.

Kennedy is editor of the 2022 publication The Narrow Gate of the Here and Now: IMMA 30 Years of the Global Contemporary, which documents the museum-wide Collection exhibition that celebrated IMMA’s 30th birthday (1991-2021); she is curator of the upcoming three-year exhibition from the IMMA Collection which opens in January 2025.


About Book

La Casa Dipinta/The Painted House: An Evolving Artwork The Brian O’Doherty/Patrick Ireland Museum in Todi, Italy
By Brenda Moore-McCann, with photographs by George Tatge & Fionn McCann. Text in Italian and English,
Published by Fabrizio Fabbri, 2023, Perugia, Italy ISBN 978-88-6778-195-9.With thanks to IMMA & the City of Todi.

This is the first book about a unique museum in Italy by the internationally renowned Irish artist Brian O’Doherty/Patrick Ireland. It is primarily a guide to the art that adorns the internal walls of the Casa Dipinta/Painted House Museum, which it contextualises in terms of contemporary art, and the artist’s wider practice. It also provides the reader with a glimpse into the life and broader creative activities of the artist, and those of his art historian/writer/artist wife, Barbara Novak. It further outlines how the Museum represents an immersive ‘anti-white‘ cube space which O’Doherty had so cogently critiqued in his 1976 series of essays, Inside the White Cube: The Ideology of the Gallery Space.

The Casa Dipinta/Painted House Museum is the most extensive example of O’Doherty/Ireland’s unique wall paintings and signature Rope Drawing installations. However, his installation practice since the early 1970s has been ephemeral with works on public view for 3 to 4 months. Thankfully, IMMA holds in the National Collection two such Rope Drawings, donated by the artist, that will be iterated in the three year exhibition from the IMMA Collection beginning in January 2025.

The Casa Dipinta/Painted House Museum, therefore, is an important permanent site for this aspect of his work. In addition, only a few wall paintings exist outside of Todi, the largest of which is in Ireland, One, Here, Now: The Ogham Cycle (1996). It, however, is only on view intermittently at the Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh, Co. Cork. A couple of smaller wall paintings are held in private collections.

The book is a record of the house as an artwork that evolved over a period of fifty years. In this sense La Casa Dipinta is a kind of biography representing the artist’s life, art and thinking. But at another level, it represents the fusion of two ancient cultures, Irish and Italian, through the Celtic language of Ogham and a unique form of contemporary abstract art.

Consisting of four chapters and an introduction, the beautifully produced book is fully illustrated in colour by leading Italian and Irish photographers George Tatge and Fionn McCann. La Casa Dipinta was first launched in Todi in September 2023 by the Sindaco/Mayor of Todi, Antonino Ruggiano.

Price: €24 / Available from the IMMA Shop and all good bookshops. Copies will be available for purchase on the evening.