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An incredibly well regarded artist during her lifetime, her work is no longer well known and has not been on exhibition since a 1976 retrospective at the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, Dublin the year after her untimely death. This exhibition seeks to bring new work to light and to reinstate Frömel as a modern Irish master. This exhibition will tour to F.E. McWilliam Gallery and Studios, Co. Down.

This exhibition will be the first contemporary retrospective of Gerda Frömel, an artist who was born in Czechoslovakia in 1931 as the daughter of German parents but who moved to Ireland in 1956. She first exhibited in the Irish Exhibition of Living Art in 1957, an association which continued till 1975. She exhibited at several other prestigious exhibitions during her career including the Dawson Gallery and the 1970 Oireachtas Art Exhibition. She took several commissions including the well-known piece for P.J.Carroll and Son, Dundalk, (now Dundalk Institute of Technology) and also worked in stained glass for churches in Ireland and Germany.

About the Artist

Gerda Frömel 1931–1975

In 1948 Gerda Frömel enrolled in the Academy of Fine Arts, Stuttgart and later went on to study in the Academy of Fine Arts Darmstadt and of Munich, where she studied metalwork and sculpture. While at art school, Frömel met the sculptor Werner Schürmann who she married in 1955. Following the birth of their first child, the couple moved to Ireland 1956. IMMA has included Frömel’s work in landmark exhibitions such as The Moderns (2010-2011) and a major retrospective of her work in 2015.
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Talks and Events

Preview Lecture | Gerda Frömel – Her life and works 1955-1975
Thursday 9 April 2015
Exhibition Curator Seán Kissane (IMMA) presents a lecture on his research for the first contemporary retrospective exhibition of works of Gerda Frömel presented at IMMA, and addresses how this presentation attempts to reinstate Frömel as a modern Irish master.

IMMA Modern Master Series Symposium | Gerda Frömel
Friday 17 April 2015
Join a range of scholars, writers and enthusiasts on Gerda Frömel’s work who will critically assess key developments of the artists’ short yet prolific career. Speakers will consider what Frömel’s story can teach us about the broader history, record and practice of sculpture in Ireland. Chaired by Paula Murphy (Senior Lecturer, School of Art History, UCD), papers and contributions will be presented by Riann Coulter (F.E Mac William Gallery, Banbridge), Jason Ellis (Sculptor and Conservator), Sean Kissane (Curator, IMMA), Sarah Kelleher (Lecturer, UCC), Livia Hurley (Lecturer and Director/co-founder of Graph Architects), Killian Schurmann (Gerda Frömel Estate) and Christina Kennedy (Senior Curator, Collection, IMMA). Listen to full recordings of the symposium speakers here

What is Scultpure…? | Sinead Hogan
Saturday 9 May 2015

In conjunction with the exhibitions, Karla Black and Gerda Frömel at IMMA, Sinead Hogan (Lecturer, IADT) presents What is Sculpture…? This talk considers new definitions of sculpture throughout art history and explores how contemporary forms of ‘expanded sculpture’ demands that the viewer question the very object-nature of art. Listen to a recording of the event here

Closing Conversation | Frances Morris
Post War Art and Existentialism
Sunday 5 July 2015
To mark the final day of the Gerda Frömel exhibition at IMMA, renowned art historian and curator Frances Morris (Director of Collection, International Art, Tate Modern, UK) reflects on her extensive research on post war art and examines how this time of vast turmoil and vigorous creativity continues to influence artistic practice of the last decades. Conversation moderated by Seán Kissane (IMMA) Listen to a recording of the talk here

Exhibition Catalogue

A fully-illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition, with essays by Seán Kissane, Curator: Exhibitions, IMMA; Riann Coulter, Curator, F.E McWilliam Gallery and Studio; Sarah Kelleher, CACSSS Postgraduate Scholar, University College Cork; and Jason Ellis, Sculptor and conservator. Catalogues may be purchased at the museum or from our online shop.

Additional Resources

IMMA Modern Irish Masters: Gerda Frömel – a digital resource for Frömel’s work, providing access to the rich imagery and information uncovered by IMMA curator Seán Kissane.

Aidan Dunne of The Irish Times wrote a great piece about Gerda Frömel in the 17 April issue, Arts & Ideas section.

Click here to download Exhibition Guide (pdf).

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.