Personae, the 2017 Butler Gallery Collection Exhibition, will include seven works on loan from the IMMA Collection. This group incorporates a seminal sculpture by Louise Bourgeois, self-portraits by Chuck Close and John Coplans, prints by Alex Katz and Paula Rego, and a photographic portrait by Thomas Ruff. The theme of Personae runs through the exhibition which focuses on portraits, figures or other forms that either readily reveal or camouflage an identity. Narratives indisputably evolve upon viewing works as diverse as the openness and glamour of Diane Arbus’s Girl in a shiny dress, NYC 1967 to the enigma of Jackie Nickerson’s portrait of a young bride in the Oman, whose upper body is covered by a transparent veil barely revealing her identity.
The works from IMMA have been selected in response to, or in sympathy with, the works chosen for this exhibition from the Butler Gallery Permanent Collection. The IMMA selection adds freshness and maintains currency in the viewing of beloved works in the ever-evolving Butler collection in Kilkenny.
The Butler Gallery has an outstanding resource in its fine permanent collection. Established in 1943, the collection has continued to flourish through gift, loan and purchase. The gallery has an ongoing commitment to make sure this collection is exhibited and enjoyed by the public. Including loans from the Sir Basil Goulding Collection and from private collections, the Butler Gallery Collection is an eclectic catalogue of diverse genres that can be read and appreciated on many levels.
The exhibition is supported by the Arts Council, OPW, FÁS, The Heritage Council and Kilkenny Local Authorities.