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A day-long symposium on the work of Lucian Freud will take place in the Trinity Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin, on Saturday 7 September 2019. This symposium is part of an ongoing research partnership between the Department of the History of Art and Architecture in Trinity College Dublin and IMMA, in connection with the five-year project IMMA Collection: Freud Project 2016-2021.

The aim of the symposium is to explore and test out new ways to consider and critique Freud’s work, examining it in terms of adjacent cultural categories, conceived within a number of frameworks – period, subject, approach or medium. This symposium will showcase a range of new theoretical and historical approaches to Freud’s practice, with an intense focus on the body, its durational quality and its curious, usually implicit, relationship to certain strands of continental philosophy, particularly existentialism and phenomenology.

The programme will include two keynote talks. Jutta Koether is a visual artist whose work incorporates music, writing, performance into her abstract paintings; she will look at the existentialist model of artist/sitter in Freud’s work and its continuing resonance for contemporary artists today. Greg Salter is a specialist in British art after 1945 and a lecturer in History of Art at the University of Birmingham, who will be looking at ‘Lucian Freud’s Queer Affinities’.

Others taking part include Giovanni Aloi (School of the Art Institute of Chicago / Sotheby’s Institute of Art); Margarita Cappock (Dublin City Council Arts Office); Derrick R. Cartwright (University of San Diego); Barbara Dawson (Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane); Conor Linnie (Trinity College Dublin); Christina Mullan (Galway Mayo Institute of Technology-LSAD); Nathan O’Donnell (IMMA / Trinity College Dublin); and Ines Rüttinger (Curator at Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen, Germany).

These interests continue and expand upon the research objectives of the IMMA Collection: Freud Project, which sets out to shed new light on Freud’s practice, with a five-year programme of prolonged public engagement with his work. This international symposium is the second in a series of symposia, that builds upon previous talks and panel discussions delivered over the past two years as part of this signal partnership between Trinity and IMMA.

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 Keynote Speakers

Jutta Koether is a German artist who incorporates music, writing, and performance into her abstract paintings. According to The New York Times art critic Roberta Smith, Koether’s work treats painting as multipurpose. Since 1985, Koether has also worked as a reviewer and editor for many magazines and journals such as Spex, Texte zur Kunst, Flash Art and Artscribe. Koether has taught at many institutions, including Columbia University, the Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin, Yale University, and Bard College. Currently, she is a professor at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg. See more details here.

Greg Salter is a specialist in British art after 1945 and a lecturer in History of Art at the University of Birmingham. His research to date has focused on home and masculinity in this period. His first book, Art and Masculinity in Post-War Britain: Reconstructing Home is forthcoming with Bloomsbury, 2019. He is currently developing a new project on queer British art history after 1945 in a global context. See more details here.

Symposium Programme

All presentations, Neil Hoey Lecture Theatre, Trinity Long Room Hub

9.15 – 9.30am: Arrival, registration, tea/coffee and pastries

9.30 – 9.45am: Welcome, Angela Griffith (TRIARC, TCD)
Introductory remarks, Nathan O’Donnell (IMMA / TCD)

9.45 – 10.45am: Keynote #1: Greg Salter. ‘Lucian Freud’s Queer Affinities’
Chair: Nathan O’Donnell

10.45 – 12.15noon: Panel #1: Freud’s Networks

Margarita Cappock. ‘Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon, and Jasper Johns.’
Derrick Cartwright. ‘Lucian Freud’s Domestic Murals.’
Barbara Dawson. ‘Shock and Subterfuge: Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and the pursuit of the perfect image.’
Chair: Eve Patten (Trinity Long Room Hub, TCD)

12.15 – 1.15pm: Lunch [Ideas Space, Third Floor, Trinity Long Room Hub]

1.15 – 2.45pm: Panel #2: Freud’s Thematics

Giovanni Aloi. ‘Plants and Privacy in the Work of Lucian Freud.’
Nathan O’Donnell. ‘Lucian Freud and Language.’
Ines Rüttinger ‘Lucian Freud and the Animal: Human–animal relations and the question of the portrait in Freud’s oeuvre.’
Chair: Angela Griffith

2.45 – 3.45pm: Conversational panel: Freud and Ireland

Conor Linnie. ‘“frugal, ascetic, puritanical”: Lucian Freud and Patrick Swift in Post-War Dublin.’
Christina Mullan. ‘Lucian Freud: Fraught Peregrinations.’
Moderator: Christina Kennedy (IMMA)

3.45 – 4pm: Tea/coffee [Ideas Space, Third Floor, Trinity Long Room Hub]

4 – 5pm: Keynote #2: Jutta Koether. ‘In the Studio: Looking for Lucian Freud.’
Chair, with closing remarks: Annie Fletcher (IMMA)

This symposium is part of an ongoing Irish Research Council funded research partnership with TRIARC, the Department of the History of Art and Architecture in Trinity College Dublin, in connection with the five-year project IMMA Collection: Freud Project 2016-2021. It is supported by the Trinity Long Room Hub Research Incentive Scheme.

Download full programme here.

Ticket and Venue Details

This symposium is free, but ticketed. All attendees must have proof of booked ticket/s to gain entry. It is advised to arrive before the start time of the event, to ensure seating. Please note this event takes place at Trinity Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin.

Additional Resources 


Additional Resources

IMMA Collection Freud Project 2016-2021: Playlist Soundcloud


Important Notice


We would like to advise our visitors that our Main Reception area is closed for renovation from 22 April until mid-June.  A temporary reception is open on the ground floor next to the original main entrance. While we prepare to open our next exhibition Hilary Heron: A Retrospective on 24 May, there are two exhibitions to see Derry Film & Video Workshop and Self: Determination: Artists Commissions. IMMA’s gardens and café are open to the public.