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Internationally renowned art historian and professor Isabelle Graw considers what constitutes painting today and looks at current measures of value in painting, from artistic to economic, through the lens of art history and critical theory.

This lecture draws on Graw’s new book The Love of Painting: Genealogy of a Success Medium, (February 2018) that aims to establish where painting can be seen today. Graw´s talk explores the current popularity of painting from a historical and medium specific perspective in which to address Freud´s work and persona as a model that has both potential and problems when considered from a present vantage point.

This lecture will be followed by a closing discussion, moderated by Christina Kennedy, Head of IMMA Collections and Led Curator of the IMMA Collection: Freud Project 2016 – 2021.


About the Artist

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. — View Artist »

About the Speaker

Isabelle Graw is a professor of art theory and art history at the Staatliche Hochschule für bildende Künste (Städelschule) Frankfurt am Main, where she co-founded the Institute of Art Criticism. She is an art critic and co-founder of Texte zur Kunst in Berlin. She has edited and contributed to many important books on the medium of painting, most notably Painting Beyond Itself: The Medium in the Post-Medium Condition (Sternberg Press, 2016) and Thinking through Painting. Reflexivity and Agency beyond the Canvas (Sternberg Press, 2012). Her forthcoming book The Love of Painting: Genealogy of a Success Medium aims to establish where painting can be seen today and to reconstruct the historical origins of its current popularity.

Additional Information

IMMA Collection: Freud Project 2016 – 2021

IMMA has secured a significant five-year loan of 50 works by one of the greatest realist painters of the 20th century, Lucian Freud (1922-2011). 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.

The Irish Art Research Centre, Trinity College Dublin, (TRIARC)

TRIARC was established in 2003 in response to the growing interest in Irish art at home and abroad. Since then, the centre provides postgraduate teaching and supervision and it supports new research and publications. The establishment of the centre was facilitated by the generous support of benefactors, enabling the appointment of dedicated staff, and the restoration of the Provost’s House Stables to provide facilities for education and research, including a visual archive and dedicated library on all aspects of Irish art, architecture and design.


About the Series

About the Series 1922–2011

IMMA/ TCD Talk Series / 18 October 2017 – April 2018

Marking the first year anniversary of the significant loan of 50 works by Lucian Freud (1922-2011), IMMA, in collaboration with the The Irish Art Research Centre,Trinity College, Dublin (TRIARC) invites leading artists, critics and cultural researchers to offer new perspectives on Freuds work and its critical reception today.

Keynote events rotate on a monthly basis between venues at IMMA and TCD, concluding with a major symposium in April 2018. Each session introduces a distinct topic on this seminal artist’s work.The schedule of speakers include: 18.10.2017 at TCD : Martin Gayford (Art Critic/Author UK) / 01.11.2017 at IMMA:Yvonne Scott (TRIARC TCD) / 06.12.2017 at TCD: Christina Kennedy (IMMA) / 24.01.2018 at IMMA : Noreen Giffney (Ulster University) / 07.02.2018 at TCD: Nathan O’ Donnell (Paper Visual Art-PVA) / 07.03.2018 at IMMA: Isabelle Graw (Städelschule, Frankfurt) / 10.03.2018 at TCD: Daphne Wright (Artist), Angela Griffith (TRIARC) TCD), Christina Kennedy (IMMA) and otherss


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IMMA Talks The Economy of Painting / Isabelle Graw Soundcloud