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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.

To ensure the health and safety of the public, in line with current government restrictions, IMMA’s galleries will close from 24 December until further notice. 

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? * 

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

Ghosts from the Recent Past

List of Artists

List of Artists

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.
Artists include: Janine Antoni, Boyd & Evans, Gerard Byrne, Nina Canell, Helen Chadwick, Phil Collins, Joshua Compston, Barrie Cooke, Dorothy Cross, Vivienne Dick, Willie Doherty, Patrick Hall, Siobhán 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, Janet Stein, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Kara Walker, Robin Warren, Elinor Wiltshire, Bill Woodrow, Suné Woods.

Exhibition Guide 


Exhibition Guide

Listen Back 


Listen Back

Curator's Talk: Ghosts of the Recent Past with Janice Hough, Claire Walsh Soundcloud

Slow Looking Art Series: Phil Collins


Slow Looking Art Series: Janet Mullarney


Slow Looking Art Series: Mark O'Kelly


Slow Looking Art Series: Dorothy Cross


Slow Looking Art Series: Niamh McCann



Important Notice

To ensure the health and safety of the public, in line with current government restrictions, IMMA’s galleries will remain closed until further notice. We appreciate your patience during this time.