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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.

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Artist Chantal Joffe has been invited to engage with Lucian Freud’s portraits of his mother, Lucie Brasch (1896-1989), an indomitable woman who left Berlin in 1933 to make a new life in England with her family. The investigation will centre around two of Freud’s most outstanding portraits of his mother, The Painter’s Mother Reading (1975) and Painter’s Mother Resting I (1976), which form part of the IMMA Collection: Freud Project (2016-2021). Freud produced thirteen paintings of his mother, as well as numerous drawings. He said that he could only paint Lucie after she became ill and was no longer interested in him, in the period following the death of his father, Ernst, in 1970.

Joffe likewise began to paint her mother, Daryll, after she began to lose her sight in her 70s. Daryll was herself an exile who arrived in England aged 23 years old. In this series of portraits, made in dialogue with Freud, Joffe considers issues of “aging, motherhood and invisibility”.

This exhibition will provide a focus for contemporary discussions of motherhood, focusing particularly on the complex relationship between mother and child over time. Both Freud and Joffe are drawn by the intensity of this bond, and especially the difficulty of seeing the real woman with adult eyes.

Lucian’s eldest child, the poet Annie Freud, was close to her grandmother Lucie Brasch, she will also contribute to the discussion around Lucie and Daryll. The writer Olivia Laing will also contribute a catalogue essay.

The exhibition is made possible by the IMMA Collection: Freud Project 2016-2021, a five-year loan of 52 works by Lucian Freud to the IMMA Collection by private lenders. This is the sixth exhibition to be presented as part of the project.

Lucian Freud

Lucian Freud 1922–2011

Lucian Freud (1922-2011) was one of the greatest realist painters of the 20th century. Renowned for his portrayal of the human form, Freud is best known for his intimate, honest, often visceral portraits. Working only from life Freud’s studio was intensely private and he mainly worked with those he was close to, often asking subjects to sit for hundreds of hours over multiple sittings to better capture the essence of their personality.
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Chantal Joffe

Chantal Joffe b.1969

Chantal Joffe lives and works in London. She holds an MA from the Royal College of Art and was awarded the Royal Academy Wollaston Prize in 2006. Joffe has exhibited nationally and internationally.
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