This is the first public exhibition from the private collection of Dr Ian Rowan, a challenging and dynamic collection of contemporary British and Irish art. The show comprises 30 works by leading exponents of the genre, including Darren Almond, Michael Craig-Martin, Ian Davenport, Felim Egan, Tracey Emin, David Feeley, Barry Flanagan, Mark Francis, Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, Tom Hunter, Sarah Lucas, Elizabeth Magill, Martin Maloney, Fionnuala Ní Chiosáin, Chris Ofili, Richard Patterson, Simon Patterson, Marc Quinn, Fiona Rae, Sean Scully, Paul Seawright, Sean Shanahan and Sam Taylor-Wood.
Dr Rowan began by collecting early Irish modern art, only to find that over time a new interest in cutting edge contemporary practice beckoned. His collection, something of a rarity in Irish art circles, includes paintings, photographs, sculpture and graphic works, many of which have never been seen in Ireland before. Key works include Sarah Lucas’ Divine, 1991, a photographic self-portrait which interrogates the status and sexuality of the artist, and a recent neon installation, You forgot to kiss my Soul, 2001, by Tracey Emin, infamous for her My Bed installation for the Turner Prize exhibition in 1999. Recent works include The Outlaw, 2001, by Tom Hunter, whose photographic compositions re-examine famous paintings from art history while exploring notions of contemporary disenfranchisement. One of the most engaging aspects of the exhibition is the opportunity it affords visitors to experience for the first time what has been until now a private dialogue between the collector and his collection.
The exhibition is curated by Brenda McParland, Head of Exhibitions at IMMA. A catalogue, with an essay by curator and writer Virginia Button, accompanies the exhibition,
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