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.
Very few artists spent as much time in the studio as Lucian Freud (1922–2011). The studio was his world. Now in its fourth year, the IMMA Collection: Freud Project is dedicating a six-month period to the investigation of the theme of the artist’s studio, exploring its role and function in the production of art. The Artist’s Studio presents the work of Lucian Freud with a new research and activation space in the Freud Centre.
The studio, in all its forms, exerts a fascination as the physical and conceptual site of an artist’s work. The IMMA Collection: Freud Project provides the framework for an investigation of the timeless subject of the relationship between the artist and their studio. The basement of the Freud Centre is a new site for research, functioning as a reading, screening and seminar room. This is the home for a public exploration of the role and function of the studio as the space of production. This project maps out and builds on existing ways of thinking about the studio, focusing on international contexts as well as the contemporary situation in Ireland.
A series of core research questions inform and steer the various activities taking place. What are the uses of the studio? What are the limits of the studio? What are other possibilities for the studio? How do we value studio versus non-studio practices and how do we make space for alternatives within the Museum? Using Freud’s work, and his intense focus on the interiors of his studios as a prompt, this project explores and makes visible the alternative forms of research and learning that can take place in the environment of the Museum.
This research project is rooted in the IMMA Collection: Freud Project, which presents 29 paintings and 16 works on paper in this exhibition. Freud is widely recognised as one of the greatest realist painters of the twentieth century, renowned for his intimate, honest, often visceral portrayal of the human form. He changed the way we see portraiture and the nude in art. The works in this exhibition, mainly dating from 1970 onwards, explore several of the artist’s key themes such as portraiture, self-portraiture, still-life, animals and nature. They include portraits of his family, other artists, an art writer, his art dealer, business people and his doctor. The loans also reflect his friendships and contacts within the racing world, his love of horses and dogs, his interest in the physical and psychological relationships between human and animal sitters, his studio and garden.
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 fifth exhibition to be presented as part of the project.
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