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Royal Hospital Kilmainham
Dublin 8, D08 FW31, Ireland
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About the Collection

The IMMA Collection is a unique resource which is made available to the public through a vibrant programme of temporary exhibitions and projects. Collection Exhibitions may explore the work of an individual artist, or address a theme or historic period.

Ghosts from the Recent Past explores how urgencies of the recent past continue to inhabit the present. Framed by key political events of the past 40 years, both in Ireland and further afield, the exhibition presents artworks from the IMMA Collection from the 1980s onwards. These works tell stories of colonisation and contested borders, of human relationships to the environment, of radical self-representation in the face of oppression and of love.

The exhibition looks at how artworks carry the language of resistances, waywardness, joys and subversions, which continue to resonate and agitate. Given the Irish context and this moment of global reckoning, the impact of contradiction, duality and paradox abounds. The placement of artworks in the galleries plays with these tensions, highlighting that opposing forces are not always easily disentangled: love from hate, fear from hope, protection from invasion. These forces are akin to lingering atmospheres or “ghosts” from the past which play an active role in structuring the conditions of the present.

Out of this complex inquiry, a simple but burning question arises – how can we care for a shared world?*

Featuring artworks from IMMA’s Collection together with international collections, the exhibition debuts works from the major donation of the Kerlin Gallery Collection to the museum in 2018. This exhibition will pave the way for IMMA’s 30th anniversary in 2021 in which the IMMA Collection will take centre stage.

List of Artists:
Janine Antoni, Boyd & Evans, Gerard Byrne, Nina Canell, Helen Chadwick, Phil Collins, Joshua Compston, Barrie Cooke, Dorothy Cross, Vivienne Dick, Willie Doherty, Patrick HallSiobhán Hapaska, Patrick Jolley, Isaac Julien, Michael Landy, Les Levine, Brian Maguire, Tim Mara, Mónica Mayer, Niamh McCann, Stephen McKenna, William McKeown, Tom Molloy, Janet Mullarney, Asako Narahashi, Isabel Nolan, Brian O’Doherty/Patrick Ireland, Mairead O’hEocha, Mark O’Kelly, Garrett Phelan, Sarah Pierce, Kathy Prendergast, Jack Pierson, Kathy Prendergast, Veronica Ryan, Margaret Salmon, Norbert Schwontkowski, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Kara Walker, Robin Warren, Elinor Wiltshire, Bill Woodrow, Suné Woods. 

*Ariella Aïsha Azoulay, Potential History: Unlearning Imperialism (Verso, 2019)

The Kerlin Gallery donation:

In 2018, IMMA received the donation of the Kerlin Gallery Collection through Section 1003 to join the National Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art. This donation comprises sixty works by twenty-six artists including paintings, sculpture, photography, film. It is a compilation of some of the most significant developments in Irish art practice of the 1990s and early 2000s. The range of works overlaps and reflects patterns of extraordinary social, cultural and political change in Ireland while also connecting to distinctive developments in contemporary international practice of the time.

While IMMA Collection had already held certain works by many of the artists, each of whom are leading figures in Irish art of this period, the Kerlin Gallery donation enables IMMA to more comprehensively chart the careers of those artists’ practices and evidence how they have reached the stature they now occupy.

New to the IMMA Collection are works by Jim Lambie, Maureen Gallace, Mairead O’hEocha. Tal R, Norbert Schwontkowski, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Tony Swain, all highly significant artists in their fields.

Artists in the donation are Gerard Byrne, Phil Collins, Dorothy Cross, Willie Doherty, Mark Francis, Maureen Gallace, Liam Gillick, Siobhán Hapaska, Roger Hiorns, Callum Innes, Jaki Irvine, Jim Lambie, Elizabeth Magill, Brian Maguire, Stephen McKenna, Isabel Nolan, Mairead O’hEocha, Kathy Prendergast, Tal R, Nobert Schwontkowski, William Scott, Paul Seawright, Seán Shanahan, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Tony Swain and Andrew Vickery.


Important Notice

To ensure the health and safety of the public, IMMA’s galleries will be closed from the evening of Friday 18 September until Saturday 10 October 2020. The grounds of IMMA and the RHK will remain open. Thank you for your cooperation.