Rowan Gillespie on
David Norris on
20 years of IMMA Eamonn Maxwell on
Christina Kennedy on new Irish art
Enrique Juncosa on his favourite moments
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As the Irish Museum of Modern Art comes of age, it reflects upon the last 20 years, from its infancy to its arrival on the international stage
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THE IRISH TIMES irishtimes.com
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05/09/2011 22:41 21/09/2010 16:28
Twenty 27 May - 31 October 2011
Twenty of Ireland’s young international contemporary artists have come together to celebrate IMMA’s birthday through photography, painting and sculpture.
inside IMMA at 20 magazine ... bout eight months ago The Irish Times newspaper included a supplement on an exhibition at IMMA called The Moderns. It went on to become the best in the State, but when that little magazine came out no one could have guessed that. IMMA reached the age of 20 last month, and, amidst the whirlwind of triumphant historic visits and headclutching financial headlines, the museum found time to blow out some candles. This magazine is part of that reflection.
02 Look back Enrique Juncosa chooses the high points of twenty years at IMMA
05 Birthday bash Alistair Beamish reviews a series of art performances to celebrate IMMA’s birthday
07 Solo at 80 Barrie Cooke, the best almost-Irish Irish painter we have
09 Fond memories Outgoing Museum Director Enrique 10 13
What’s on the horizon for the Irish Museum of Modern Art:
>> Twenty (running until October 31) >> Barrie Cooke (running until September 18)
>> Out of the Dark Room >> Gerard Byrne >> Apichatpong Weerasethakul
>> Susana Solano (opens September) >> Liam Gillick (opens September)
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>> Rivane Neuenschwander (opens October in New Galleries)
Juncosa looks back on his time as head of IMMA and to his future Art now Christina Kennedy Christina Kennedy shares her wisdom on new Irish Art and the exhibition ‘Twenty’ The next 20 years As IMMA has gone from fledgling museum to international big hitter, we speak to collectors and fans about where next for the museum. Taking shape Rowan Gillespie takes us on a journey around the public sculptures of our own dirty old town On the film circuit Gerard Byrne is the Irishman the curators rave about. We find out why. Art film pioneer Winning the Palme d’Or at Cannes is all in a day’s work for Apitchatpong Weerasethakul. Picture perfect A large collection of photography is earmarked for the State Look and learn Helen O’Donoghue explores IMMA’s education programmes. Wish you were here? IMMA shows Johanne Mullen the State’s contemporary art collection Collecting the new A speed guide to one person’s favourites
November >> Michael Klein
IMMA at 20 Designer: Jane Matthews. Contributors: Mary Cremin, Hilary Murray, Christina Kennedy, Johanne Mullan, Philomena Byrne, Helen O’Donoghue, Enrique Juncosa, David Kronn, Rowan Gillespie. Printed by Polestar Chantry, UK. Cover: John Gerrard Dust Storm (Manter, Kansas), 2008. Realtime 3D projection. Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art. Purchase, 2010. Image courtesy of the artist and Thomas Dane Gallery, London. This work is currently on display in the exhibition ‘Twenty’ at IMMA. RIGHT Eva Rothschild, Stalker (2004), Wood, plexi 300 x 300 x 300 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art Purchase, 2005, Image courtesy the artistand Douglas Hyde Gallery. Photograph by Rory Moore. Published by the Irish Museum of Modern Art. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electrical or mechanical, including photocopy recording or any other information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publishers. All art photography by Denis Mortell, unless otherwise stated. We apologise if, due to reasons wholly beyond our control, any of the sources have not been listed. Every effort has been made to acknowledge correct copyright of images and text where applicable. Any errors or omissions are unintentional and should be notified to the Publisher, who will arrange for corrections to appear in any reprint.
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Enrique Juncosa, outgoing Director of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, reminisces on the highlights of his time in Dublin, and selects his favourites from his predecessor’s reign.
efore I arrived, Declan McGonagle was at the helm, and in a relatively short period of time he had overseen enough fine projects to entice me here from the Reina Sofía in Madrid. The museum began its journey on 25 May 1991 as a hive of activity, saluting the history of the Royal Hospital, and signalling its new life as a museum of modern art. The opening exhibition included works from Mondrian, Picasso, Miró, Braque, Dubuffet, Sol LeWitt, Elsworth Kelly, Richard Serra and Richard Deacon. Two of the earliest donations to IMMA came quickly: the collections of Gordon Lambert and O’Malley Roeloffs really kick-started the nation’s very own modern art collection as it is today. 1994 was a year of brilliant initiatives which shaped the museum and gave it European significance. IMMA collaborated with Tate Liverpool and Malmö Konsthall to assemble an Antony Gormley exhibition—the most comprehensive of Gormley’s works based on the human body to date— and began IMMA’s tradition of working with international galleries to share the costs of putting on big exhibitions. Later in the year From Beyond the Pale, the most wide-ranging project undertaken by IMMA up to that time, included pivotal figures of 20th-century arts, including Picasso, Duchamp, Warhol and Beuys, and leading contemporary artists such as Cindy Sherman, Jeff Koons, Kiki Smith and Jimmie Durham. The same year also saw the start of the The Glen Dimplex Artist’s Award, designed to mark a significant level of achievement in the work of Irish artists or non-Irish artists exhibiting in Ireland. Amongst the RIGHT Louis le Brocquy, winners were such distinguished 2000 © Perry Ogden (by kind permission) figures as Matthew Barney, Willie BELOW Dorothy Cross Doherty, Siobhan Hapaska and Ghost Ship, 1999 Paul Seawright. The Museum DVD, 10 minutes also set up its Artists’ Residency Collection Irish Museum of Programme and National Modern Art Programme in this extraordinary Purchase, 2003 year. The National Programme has taken IMMA’s collection of artworks, resources and expertise to up to ten locations around Ireland each year, for the past 17 years. The Artists’ Residency Programme meant a constant presence of Irish and international artists living and working at the Museum, and has hosted some 270 artists. In Autumn 1996 Louis le Brocquy was given the first retrospective of his work in Ireland since 1966, which comprised more than 90
paintings, including early works, group portraits, head studies, the procession series and human presences. It celebrated his significance as Ireland’s leading artist, and it is wonderful that he still is still with us today at the age of 94. A year later, another landmark exhibition gripped the city. Over a hundred works by Andy Warhol from the collection of the Warhol Museum in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania (the most comprehensive single-artist museum in the world), attracted 130,000 visitors to Kilmainham. In 1997, the £40,000 Nissan Art Project began, designed to give artists the opportunity to realise major new temporary works for the public domain and some beautiful projects that I am often told about came from it. For Dublin (1997) by Frances Hegarty and Andrew Stones posted quotations from James Joyce’s Ulysses in neon lettering on buildings around the city. Dorothy Cross’s GHOSTSHIP glowed and faded from view in Scotsman’s Bay in Dun Laoghaire in 1999. The sponsorship was increased to £100,000 for the millennium year, making the project one of the largest visual arts sponsorships in these islands. That year’s winner was
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Highlights BELOW Joan Miró, Personnage, 1974. Bronze, Edition 2 of 4, 200 x 160 x 180 cm. Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art. Loan, Successió Miró, 2003. Photograph © Denis Mortell for IMMA
LEFT Chiharu Shiota performing Breathing from Earth in 2001 in the Chapel at IMMA. © Irish Museum of Modern Art.
Dan Shipsides’ Bamboo Support, an elaborate construction of bamboo scaffolding on the façade of the Carlton Cinema site in O’Connell Street. In October 2001 a three-day performance art event was curated by the celebrated artist Marina Abramović and presented works by 23 artists from 16 countries which she saw as defining a new “territory” in the field of performance art. It brought to Ireland some of the world’s leading exponents of current performance art practice, ranging from Chiharu Shiota’s stunning installation in the Chapel, where the artist slept under a threaded mesh of wool and light, to Nedko Solakov’s two artists who endlessly follow each other around the gallery space, one painting the walls white and the other changing them to black. It really opened people’s eyes to some of the possibilities contemporary art offers.
When I began as director here in 2003, my plan was to bring a good number of international artists to Dublin by virtue of giving them solo exhibitions which will allow visitors to ask their significance and achievements. We also made it a condition that we would publish welldesigned, highly researched, useful publications to accompany everything, so that when the show in question ended, IMMA would still have something that could proudly sit on the shelf of every museum in the world about what it had done. Louise Bourgeois, one of the most revered and influential artists of recent times, came to IMMA in November 2003. An extraordinary group of life-size sewn fabric busts, a series of cell-like vitrines (housing curious scenes of torture and ecstasy), and a small group of totemic figures which reinterpreted in fabric Bourgeois’s very earliest sculptures, and won over the Irish audience immediately. We also hosted exhibitions by Vik Muniz (readers might have seen his film, Wasteland, about his
project on the rubbish mountain outside Rio de Janeiro), and Michael Craig Martin, who I wanted to reclaim as an Irish artist. I longed to do something in the cobbled courtyard here at IMMA, such an elegant space but because of its size it is so expensive to use. My chance finally came with an exhibition of sculptures by two great friends Joan Miró and Alexander Calder. One of the Miró’s remains on the lawn to the left as you come up the drive (pictured, top right). In February 2006, we hosted a significant retrospective of Howard Hodgkin, one of Britain’s leading post-War painters, which we co-produced with Tate. It was his third and most complete retrospective to date. In March 2007 we were the first in Ireland to host a large scale Georgia O’Keefe exhibition. This legendary figure of 20thcentury American art was renowned not only for the stylized beauty of her work but also for remaining true to her own vision amid the many shifting artistic trends of the time. Later the same year we produced a major exhibition of the work of the celebrated British artist Lucian Freud, regarded by many as the most important figurative painter working today. It was one of best attended solo exhibitions in our history. It presented some 50 paintings and 20 works on paper and etchings from the last 60 years, several completed just months prior to the exhibition and others being shown for the first time in a public venue. The exhibition was particularly strong in portraits of mature men, many connected to horse racing; in littleknown, small-scale works; and in that triumph of Freud’s art – nudes depicting “the body in the round”. In 2008 my fellow countryman Miquel Barceló agreed to an exhibition of his African works which seemed to really capture the public’s heart, and equally Alexander Calder’s Jewellery in 2009 (the only venue in Europe allowed to exhibit this show) was a wonderful achievement for us in collaboration with the Metropolitan. Aside from these exhibitions, other high points for me included the publication of Boulevard Magenta, an arts magazine now in its 7th issue, which allows IMMA to engage with incredible personalities from a multitude of cultural practices and to draw them into IMMA AT 20 | 3
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Highlights the great discussion on visual art. I would like to highlight in general the way in which the meseum has been presented through artists of different generations like Anne Madden, James McKenna and Barrie Cooke. Through Boulevard Magenta we worked with Hans Ulrich Obrist, Nalini Malani, Seamus Heaney, Sean Scully, Colm Tóibín, Francesco Clemente, Czeslaw Milosz, Tran Anh Hung, David Mitchell, Pedro Almodóvar, Francis Alÿs, Roberto Bolaño, Jockum Nordström, Ron Arad, Matthew Barney, Neil Jordan, John Montague, Antoni Tàpies, and that is simply scratching the surface. Also in November 2004, the Museum produced and hosted an event called Curating Now, a major international symposium on curating contemporary art in public museums and galleries. It brought together ten leading international curators, and was attended by more that 300 people, many of whom travelled to Ireland specifically for the symposium. Four international symposia have subsequently been held at IMMA. In terms of acquisitions of key works for the Collection, the most significant for me is the purchase of three works by James Coleman in 2004 - the pioneering works from the 1990s comprising Background, 1991-94, Lapsus Exposure, 1992-94, and I N I T I A L S, 1993-94, were shown in separate installations in the Great Hall at IMMA in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Expensive and not easy to exhibit, Coleman’s works are really only purchased by museums rather than individuals because of the scale on which he operates, and it was imperative for us to become the owner of some works by this Roscommon man. In Ireland he was little known outside of academic/curatorial circles, but on a global scale he is perhaps the most influential Irish artist alive. One other occasion I’d like to mention was a strange and poignant day – Tuesday 20th May 2008 – when IMMA hosted The Burial of Patrick Ireland, the decision by the distinguished Irish-born artist Brian O’Doherty, after 36 years of making art as Patrick Ireland, to reclaim his birth name with the symbolic burial of his alter ego in the grounds of the IMMA. The burial was a gesture of reconciliation to celebrate the restoration of peace in Northern Ireland, just as his action in assuming the name Patrick Ireland had been a protest at the British military presence in Northern Ireland. A coffin, many readings, a burial, and a headstone which remains: What an extraordinary day. In the past eighteen months, as my spell in Dublin draws to a close, we have really worked hard to seal IMMA’s reputation abroad. We originated an exhibition by an American artist called Lynda Benglis whose once legendary notoriety as an artist had diminished with time. It completely reinvigorated Lynda’s reputation, and IMMA’s show went to Holland, France
LEFT Trunk down in the Formal Gardens: Miquel Barceló’s Elefandret, 2007. Bronze. Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zürich. Photograph © Irish Museum of Modern Art.
and several museums in the USA, including New Museum in New York, and MoCA in Los Angeles. Her work has been rediscovered and reassessed this way. Lynda installed a beautiful fountain is in the Formal Gardens at IMMA, kindly loaned until we can find a way of getting it home. Or buying it. We have also kept the galleries in Kilmainham busy with some big shows: in November 2009 Picturing New York was an exhibition of masterworks from the photographic collection of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, celebrating the architecture and life of that unique city. It presented the work of some 40 photographers, including such influential figures as Berenice Abbott, Diane Arbus, Garry Winogrand, Lisette Model, Alfred Stieglitz, Cindy Sherman, Cecil King, Dorothy Cross and Orla Barry. All major shows with Irish artists such as Anne Madden, James McKenna and Barrie Cooke were a highlight. In October 2010, we made a big decision, to give over the entire Museum to one show, essentially drawn from our own collection. The Moderns: The Arts in Ireland from the 1900s to the 1970s included some 450 works by more than 180 artists, writers, film-makers, architects, designers and composers. It featured the work of many of the 20th century’s leading creative minds and brought together exceptional examples of painting and sculpture, photography and film, architecture, literature, music and design of Irish significance. The Irish Times generously described it as “a triumph... a significant coming of age for the museum”, but really it was a triumph for Irish Art and what the country has achieved culturally. Finally, as I write, it seems fitting to mention the exhibition now open downstairs which has entranced the country: Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. The broad sweep of the exhibition offers a rich insight into the work and lives of two figures who captured the public’s imagination to a rare degree, not only for their renowned bodies of work, but also from their colourful personal and public lives. It makes me happy to see a queue for an exhibition in a museum, as there is today.
MIDDLE Laid to rest: The Burial of Patrick Ireland, an alter ego of artist Brian O’Doherty, is ceremoniously interred on the grounds at IMMA. A headstone remains. Photograph © Irish Museum of Modern Art. LEFT Frida Kahlo, Self Portrait with Monkeys, 1943, oil on canvas, 81.5 x 63 cm © 2010 Banco de Mexico Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, D.F./DACS.
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susana solano Irish Museum of Modern Art
Artist’s impression © The artist 2011
Courtyard 7 September to 31 October 2011
Carmen, 2011, Susana Solano Stainless Steel, 4m x 1.77m
Barcelona-based artist Susana Solano has been commissioned by IMMA Director Enrique Juncosa to present a site specific installation at the Irish Museum of Modern Art this September. She will install a large stainless steel sculptural work “Carmen” in the 17th century courtyard in the middle of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham. www.susanasolano.net
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IMMA turned 20 in May and celebrated in style with a month-long arty party. Alistair Beamish got stuck in... but only understood some of it. Photos: Renato Ghiazza Topped and tailed by bank holidays, May was always going to be a favourite month for me, and indeed, before I set off on my cultural odyssey, I was advised to take in a panel discussion in Merrion Square—part of the Mindfield Festival—on ‘Art versus Fashion’, and it was intriguing: Detmar Blow (widower of Isabella), Godfrey Deeny (a fashion journalist and enfant terrible), gallerists Michael Mortell and Sarah Owens, and two girls from Redress picked their way through the entrails of these two cultural worlds, trying to decide which was better. Detmar took great pleasure in telling Godfrey that he was ‘so ninth row’ but in the end Mr Deeny was magnificent, fought hard for fashion, and the panel more or less concluded that all fashion is art worth considering, but not all art is art worth considering. The confusion would serve me well for the next four weeks. On my way home I noticed that Brown Thomas had given over its windows to IMMA’s birthday; and then I understood why I’d been sent there. *** The following Friday IMMA hosted a theatrical performance by artist Orla Barry called The Scavenger’s Daughter. It would be misleading to call it a play, or indeed an art installation, because it occupied that peculiar world that dispensed with narrative and just ‘explored’ stuff. There were a hundred or so others present, and I thought it was brilliant that they were willing to spend a Friday night following a narrative akin to a dotty aunt. *** On Tuesday, I stopped by the Museum again to hear a talk by the charismatic Irishman Corban Walker, who explores dwarfism in his practice as an artist and sculptor. Living in New
York City now, and now with the mighty Pace Wildenstein Gallery, he spoke about representing Ireland at the Venice Biennale. *** On Saturday 15th, back up the road again past the Michael Warren timber beam sculpture – a slow burn for me – and into the Great Hall for another performance. This time IMMA had invited American choreographer Jodi Melnick back to Dublin, after she last performed contemporary dance here in 2009, to take part in a new production. Her movements were meticulous and graceful and revolved around Burt Barr’s installation of video, lighting and kinetic sculpture but I felt at odds in the audience who seemed to know their stuff. The Dublin Dance Festival was involved so I assume their converted disciples came in droves. It was quite short performance and, a short while later, another dance performance began, this time by a Japanese choreographer Masumi Seyama VI, performed by Yasuko Yokoshi. This Kabuki dance was so incredibly disciplined and restrained it made me feel very Irish, unrestrained and left-footed. Afterwards, a few of us spilled out into the cobbled courtyard at IMMA where a funny thing happened: a silent disco, dead silent with everyone wearing headphones and singing Bohemian Rhapsody and playing an array of air-instruments. An inspired idea.
LEFT Edward Delaney sculpture donated by Anglo Irish Bank (©Press Office, Irish Museum of Modern Art); ABOVE Visitors see what IMMA’s resident artists are up to (pictured, Mark Hamilton’s studio).
*** The Intelligence Park, a contemporary opera by Gerard Barry—who might be our only opera composer?—was on only four days later, and at this point I was on first-name terms with the Luas driver to Heuston. When I say contemporary I should add that it was first staged in 1990, and the opera is set in Dublin in 1753. I didn’t understand a word (no subtitles) but there was something about prison, a solar eclipse and, of course, a love triangle. The brilliant Crash Ensemble were there to make it all a bit more digestible, but I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t the strangest cultural implosion I’d sat though since the Fringe Festival was at its most bonkers. I did go back and read up and little on the opera and liked what the UK Times said: “Never mind what the piece is about: it just quite shockingly is. It exists”. Hmm. *** A mere two days later and we were in the Chapel at IMMA to hear leading West African
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ABOVE Dublin Dance Festival’s Silent Disco BELOW Jodi Melnick and Burt Barr (Photos Photo © Dublin Dance Festival BOTTOM LEFT A scene from Orla Barry’s theatrical work The Scavenger’s Daughter BOTTOM RIGHT Brown Thomas’s Mary Katranzou fashion installation in the Chapel at IMMA
The Pavillion tent, Central Courtyard;
artist Romuald Hazoumè being interviewed by African curator and writer Yacouba Konate. It was supposed to be a talk on Romuald’s artwork, but it turned into a debate about African corruption and politics, and it got quite fiery. *** On Wednesday I opened the paper to see that the museum has been given a birthday present: Anglo Irish Bank handed over the cream of its collection, including work by Elizabeth Magill, Stephen McKenna, Barrie Cooke, Louis Le Brocquy, John Behan, Edward Delaney and so forth. There was Mike Aynsley, the Anglo boss, smiling genuinely and wishing the museum a happy anniversary. *** Finally IMMA came through with a clash of the cymbals, an arty birthday party on Friday
27th May, nearly two decades to the exact day that Mr Haughey cut a ribbon on the joint. It was a marathon celebration. I arrived up at noon to take in the exhibitions on offer: The top of the pile was without doubt Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera. Wow. Wow. Wow. The second room, the one containing her self-portraits, is like being in the presence of some wonders of the world, and here they are in Dublin. I was awestruck. I wandered the exhibition – which all belonged to one man, Jacques Gelman – and found myself privileged to have seen these paintings and drawings—and photos of them both, particularly those by Nickolas Muray. In the main building, three wildly disparate exhibitions were sharing the second floor wings. The small rooms and corridors are of this former hospital are what make it such a tough space to view art in. These comprised New
Yorker and abstract painter Philip Taaffe, who is prone to ornamentation; Les Levine, a time-of-the-Troubles photographer; and a collection of Old Master prints from Hogarth to Dürer to Goya ... A very odd stroll, not without its moments of passion and beauty. At 3pm we were ushered into the Formal Gardens of the Royal Hospital, which these days sit in the shadow of a sailshaped skyscraper and a large empty hole in the ground where another developer’s dumbfounded plans lie in tatters. Artist Denis McNulty had built a ‘thing’ (an installation is the correct parlance) about which he was speaking to the assembled crowd through a megaphone. It was a sort of rising staircase made of pallet wood. As soon as we had we been enlightened by the artist it was time to experience a sort of Dragon’s Den series of art talks. IMMA had just purchased 20 artworks from emerging Irish artists, and they gave each of them 5 minutes to explain themselves or their work or anything they wanted. It was wonderful to see artists given such a short period of time to defend their practice and to do it so well. Then to the Artists in Residence across in the old coach houses, a chance to see them in their own studios. As afternoon became evening, the beautiful cobbled courtyard in IMMA was slowly transformed into a more social space. The exhibition entitled Twenty was opened to punters and it was a mad thing: the antithesis of the museum’s show The Moderns at the end of last year. Very contemporary, very nontraditional, and a glimpse at the here-and-now of Irish Art, without apology. Then we were treated to a series of performances – an eccentric gentleman called Jeremy Reed in a beret with a high-pitched voice delivering his own strange poetry, with a chap playing music from a laptop called Itchy Ear. It was inspiring. Next door, meanwhile, Brown Thomas laid on a fashion show, an homage to a Greek designer called Mary Katranzou who takes contemporary art as a starting point for ‘print patterns’. There were a dozen mannequins and a very attractive crowd sipping champagne, and lo and behold, half a dozen live models showing her Autumn 2011 collection. In a pavilion tent in the centre of the courtyard, a Congolese guitarist named Niwel Tsimbu gave a performance, followed by a last minute Afro hip-hop performance by Ugandan Philip Buyi who happened to be passing through. French collective Cyprien Gaillard (video) and Koudlam (music) gave the performance of the night in the Great Hall, a powerful electronic music concert with an hour long film installation on a giant screen behind them featuring riots in Eastern Bloc countries and all manner of vandalism and chaos. It was called The Fight Against Vegetation and the duo had 700 people absolutely entranced. The night then ended with a show by Jerry Fish and the Mudbug Club, hard-working troubadour known to so many, and awed to have his first museum gig. It was nearly 2am when I left the Irish Museum of Modern Art, and I have never seen anything like it in Ireland. Happy birthday to them.
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As Barrie Cooke turns 80, IMMA honours the nativized Irish painter with a solo retrospective show
arrie Cooke’s close friend, the poet Seamus Heaney, turned 70 last year and had a celebration at the Museum, during which he gave a public address, words coming so naturally from the man. How fitting, then, that Barrie Cooke, having just turned 80, now has the chance to speak with a new show, a magnificent survey of his work. The exhibition spans his entire career from the early 1960s to the present, and includes around 75 works. Barrie Cooke is one of Ireland’s foremost painters to have emerged since the fifties. That is to say: he is particularly well known in Ireland, where he has lived for the past fifty-five years but he has also lived on nearly every continent at some point, and it is worth knowing this because it shapes his work so clearly. Born in Cheshire, England, in 1931, Cooke spent part of his childhood in the United States, Bermuda and Jamaica before settling in the USA with his family as a teenager. Although initially accepted as a student of biology at Harvard University he later switched, graduating with a degree in Art History from that university. These studies combined with time spent at Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in Maine during the summers of 1950 and 1952, and at Oskar Kokoschka’s ‘School of Seeing’ in Salzburg in the summer of 1955 made him realise he wanted to be a painter. An initial plan to return to England to find his roots resulted in a change of heart and he moved to Ireland in 1954. Cooke had his first
solo exhibition in Dublin the following year. Cooke’s richly expressionist, semi-abstract paintings have been strongly influenced by time spent in Malaysia, Borneo and New Zealand for example, on his beloved fishing trips. Nature is his chosen environment and subject matter. He has collaborated with a number of poets including Seamus Heaney, John Montague and Ted Hughes, all of who share his fascination with the elemental. This exhibition includes Cooke’s major bodies of work including the Sheelana-Gig, Bone-Box, Borneo, Elk, New Zealand, Pollution, Nude, Godbeam and Didymo series, alongside a recent series of Retablo works from the artist’s studio which have not previously been exhibited. He became a founding member of Aosdána in 1981, and considers himself an Irishman. He is one of our gems, and this solo exhibition is as much a salute to his talent as it is to eighty candles on the cake.
Limited Edition Book, 26 copies, lettered A to Z
CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE RIGHT Barrie in his studio in Sligo; Barrie’s painting table; Lough Carra (1997). Oil on Board. Private collection. All images © Denis Mortell for IMMA
Contains an exclusive intaglio print, a co-signed collaboration between Barrie Cooke and Dermot Healy (245mm x 180mm)
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Enrique Juncosa has had many roles in the visual arts over the years, from his time as a critic for El Pais to his most recent role as Director of IMMA. But what many people don’t know is Juncosa is also a poet and a writer. He talks to Edel Coffey about his time at IMMA, his hopes for the museum and his own personal ambitions ut-going director Enrique Juncosa has been at the helm of The Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) for seven of its 20 years. Born in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, he has worked at Madrid’s Reina Sofía Museum Of Modern Art, the Institute of Modern Art in Valencia (IVAM) and as a visual art critic for Spain’s biggest newspaper, El Pais. He is also a poet. One of Juncosa’s biggest contributions as director of IMMA has been to concentrate on developing the museum’s permanent collection and acquiring works of living artists from 1940 onwards.
You are leaving IMMA this year. What will your legacy be? I do think that IMMA is now one of the major museums for Contemporary Art in the world. It also has the backbone of a collection of Irish Art from the 1940s to the present.
Is the collection itself now a valuable asset of which we should be proud? Yes, we all should be proud of IMMA’s collection as that is something that will remain and belongs to the Irish people. I am especially proud of the body of works by artists like William Scott, Patrick Scott, Anne Madden, James Coleman, Sean Scully, Michael Craig-Martin and Hughie O’Donoghue. Also, the David Kronn collection of photography which we will be presenting in July.
What was your biggest ambition for IMMA when you first took over and what is the achievement you are most proud of ? I wanted IMMA to be part of the network of international museums. During the last years we have put on exhibitions in collaboration with the Tate and the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London; the Centre Pompidou in Paris; the Metropolitan and MoMA in New York; MOCA Los Angeles and many other institutions. Our visitors numbers have also grown quite significantly, and now stand at well over 400,000 per year.
During your tenure, there has been a huge array of exhibitions of international artists in Dublin. Are now we more open to modern art? I think so, and museums and galleries have helped this to happen. I think by now visitors trust the institution and come here because they expect to discover things they will like.
Modern Art remains a little intimidating and mysterious to many. Is this changing? I think this is changing fast. And certainly popularity has its own disadvantages. I was recently in Paris for one night and was unable to enter the Manet exhibition in the Musée d’Orsay as the queues were extraordinarily massive!
Your background is in Spain’s museums of modern art. How does the contemporary art world in Ireland compare? In Spain the visual arts are considered a top priority and they have been much better funded than in Ireland. This, no doubt, has to do with the fact that Spain has given the world many great artists like Velazquez, Goya, Zurbaran, El Greco, Murillo, Sorolla, Picasso, Miró or Dalí, in a way like Germany is renowned for its composers and Ireland for its writers.
How do you feel about Digital or Virtual Museums, and Online Art Fairs? Are they worth taking seriously? I think Digital and Virtual museums are good educational tools and also help to communicate with people who live abroad or in other parts of the country. I do think however that the experience of art cannot be reproduced virtually.
You are a writer and a poet. Might your future lie in those areas? What are your plans upon leaving IMMA? Well, I am giving up the job to have more time
to write. I have just finished a new book of poems, and almost finished a book of short stories and I am planning to start a novel as soon as I am settled in Ibiza in September. I will still be involved in the visual arts and have several major freelance exhibition projects for the next few years with different institutions. I will be curating an exhibition of the work of Antoni Tápies at IMMA at the beginning of 2013 (postponed because of the closure of our main building for renovation).
Do you have any regrets about your time in IMMA - are there any missed opportunities or disappointments? I would have like to do another show about the Irish American museum director James Johnson Sweeney. Both shows are more for the National Gallery in a way and that is why I did not do them, but I am sorry now for it. I also would have liked to curate an exhibition about the 19th Century photographer Timothy O’Sullivan, who was born in Dublin and is unknown here. IMMA AT 20 | 9
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Art now An exhibition of contemporary art by our most promising young talent gives Ireland an insight into the next generation of independent and distinctive artists. Christina Kennedy reports
wenty reflects how much Irish art and artists seem to have come of age. The ethos of their work is distinctive, creative, independent and without borders. Over the past 20 years Irish artists in Ireland and beyond (including those who have lived for a time here) are working according to their own agendas. Their expressions are very diverse and reflect a great variety of concerns, ideas and media. What they have in common is the attempt to construct personal aesthetic universes, to convey their own intensity of experience and perception of the world.
Irish artists over this period have increasingly developed approaches to their work that involve longterm research and the production of knowledge, both through their individual explorations and also in collaborative activities with other artists, curators, writers, philosophers, actors, technical producers and others. Furthermore, many Irish artists now live in New York, Berlin, Vienna, London, and it is interesting to reflect on the idea of how nationality is no longer bound by geography. Nurturing this growth has been at the heart of all of IMMA’s endeavours. It has an alumni of
hundreds of artists who have been in residence at the museum (and intriguingly over half these twenty artists had a residency at some point since 1994); Irish artists have been exhibited extensively at IMMA; and its collections of some 2000 works are for the most part Irish. Sculpture and mixed-media installation is particularly evident in Twenty in the work of Corban Walker, Nina Canell, Katie Holten, Niamh McCann, Garrett Phelan, Eva Rothschild, Liam O’Callaghan and Alan Phelan. Many use materials that insinuate themselves into the texture of the world, to create half gestures
where there is no definitive stance, no absolutes and no consistent hierarchies, rather a provisional world of hybridity and fracture. There are a number of film-based works in which connections are also fluid and relative such as by Orla Barry where fragments of the linguistic and the visual conflate
(ABOVE) Ch.26: SubCommandant Marcos, The Friendly Terrorist (after R. Hamilton), 2002 by Nevan Lahart
Eva Rothschild on Stalker (2004): [This sculpture] wants you to look harder to become aware of your own vision, your physical understanding of what you are seeing. It doesn’t share, it is not distributable, it wants to be with you, it needs you for itself.’
Fergus Feehily on Overhead (2004): ‘...a
simple painting, consisting of a painted ground and a kind of drawing.... as light as a leaf or a piece of paper floating in the wind, yet earthed to the ground’
Corban Walker on Gridstack 2 (2007):
‘There is a dialogue between the sculpture and the space it occupies... Viewers are forced to navigate a space differently, often lowering their sightline to fully engage with the work.’
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Irish Pavilion at Venice Biennale to create moving visual poems; Niamh O’Malley projects film over a painting which induces mnemonic images that oscillate between the painted still and reality; or psychological stirrings in the films of Patrick Jolley (here in collaboration with Rebecca Trost and Inger Lise Hansen). In the case of John Gerrard 3D gaming technology and photography induce hyper-real, enveloping simulations of natural and manmade environments. Perry Ogden’s photographs trace the signs of recent histories, personal and political. Storytelling, transposing histories, satire, art history, socio-political media images, variously inform works by David Godbold, Nevan Lehart, Sean Lynch and Stephen Brandes. Painting emerges as a new medium. It looks different, has a different atmosphere. There is a Herzogian sense of intimacy and enormity in the works of Fergus Feehily and Patrick Michael Fitzgerald while that of William Mckeown explores liminality and the atmospheric. Although each artist has his or her own defined space within the exhibition, when seen together as part of Twenty, their works interrelate and develop other transient properties and contexts, defined in terms of relations between different subjects, forms, ideas and spaces - and of course, dependent on the viewer - on the individual reactions and responses of the visitors who experience the show. Twenty years ago, when the museum was founded, government funding allowed for the purchase of artworks by leading young artists of the day to start off the Collection and inaugurate the Museum’s vision for the future. These twenty works are today’s chapter in that story.
David Godbold on Increase the Peace (2004):
‘I had limited resources and wanted to make works that were essentially interrogative and that displayed a sensibility to the zeitgeist of the place and time of their production. The simplest approach to this seemed to be the employment of the most evident/ common thing around me on my way into the studio: street trash... combined with post-Renaissance mimetics...’
The Venice Art Biennale is one of the most important international showcases for visual arts with hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Following an open call for Irish submissions, the successful project was proposed by Emily-Jane Kirwan as Commissioner to present an installation by the artist Corban Walker. Eamonn Maxwell, Curator of the exhibition, describes the result.
Katie Holten on 137.5 (it started on the C train) (2002): ‘An interest in mathematical
emergence and mapping is expressed in the web of ‘137.5’ which plots my travels over that summer. It is composed of numerous crocheted pieces – each segment was made on one trip – the size of each ‘doodle’ directly corresponding to the duration of that particular journey.’
Born in Dublin, but now based in New York, Walker is best known for his sculptures and installations relating to architectural scale and spatial perception and utilising industrial materials like steel, aluminium, and glass. At the height of four-feet tall, the artist’s personal relationship between self and the built environment is fundamental to the way he defines and develops his work. Many of Walker’s works explore minimalism from the artist’s unique point of view, responding to rule-based, mathematical principles that derive from his own height and perspective. When the Biennale opened last month, Walker unveiled three new, site-specific sculptural installations at the Irish Pavilion, located at the Istituto Santa Maria della Pietà. The works at the Pavilion interact with the historic architecture of the Pietà and are all, in some way, transparent. Two of the works Modular and Transparent Wall consist of vinyl “drawings” mapped onto the front and back windows of the space according to mathematic modulars. Though they may appear random or chaotic, there is an overlying order. A third large-scale sculpture titled Please Adjust comprising over 100 interlocking stainless steel cubes is a central focus in the space. The open-framed cubes are interlocked to build a seemingly fragile structure that can support itself but the configuration of which will be subject to alternation at future installations.” The Venice Art Biennale runs through until 27th November 2011
❝ Liam O’Callaghan on Chaos and dreams yet to come (2005): ‘an
attempt to visualise and manifest the intangible and abstract emotion that is ‘hope’.’
Patrick Jolley on Hereafter (2004):
‘Unlimited access was arranged to a block of 32 recently evacuated flats [in Ballymun}, each one still complete with the discarded remnants of its household.’
Fergus Feehily, Overhead, 2004. Oil on MDF, 25 x 20 x 1.5 cm. Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art. Purchase, 2005. Image courtesy of the artist. Photograph by David Farrell; David Godbold, Increase the Peace, 2004. Ink and computer printout on tracing paper over found paper, 17 x 22 cm. Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art. Purchase, 2005. Image courtesy of the artist; Katie Holten, 137.5 (It started on the C-Train), 2002. Wall installation: wool, tacks, approximately 150 single pieces, partly crocheted together. Dimensions variable Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art. Purchase, 2010. Image courtesy the artist and VAN HORN;D. Steinfeld, VG-Bild-Kunst; Patrick Jolley, Rebecca Trost and Inger Lise Hansen, Hereafter, 2004. Black and white film transferred from 16mm; Super 8 to DVD.Dimensions variable. Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Purchase 2005; Liam O’Callaghan, Chaos and dreams yet to come, 2005. Mixed Media. Dimensions variable. Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art. Purchase, 2006. Image courtesy of the artist; Eva Rothschild Stalker, 2004. Wood, plexi, 300 x 300 x 300 cm. Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art Purchase, 2005. Image courtesy the artist and Douglas Hyde Gallery. Photograph by Rory Moore; Nevan Lahart, Ch.26: Sub-Commandant Marcos, The Friendly Terrorist (after R. Hamilton), 2002. Oil on MDF, 29 x 44 cm, purchase 2010. Corban Walker, Grid Stack 2, 2007. Clear float glass and diamante glass. Collection of Irish Museum of Modern Art. Purchase 2007.
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John Kelly, writer and broadcaster I have always been excited to see shows like the Howard Hodgkin, Louise Bourgeois, Warhol etc. But it’s really the Irish work which lures me to IMMA, and with a deeper sense of pleasure. So my only request is that major works by Irish artists remain on permanent display - Blackshaw, O’Malley, Dorothy Cross, Brian Maguire etc, etc. There have been some big international names at IMMA - which is great - but what could be more exciting, and right, than the current Barrie Cooke retrospective?
A museum of modern art is a marker of any capital’s status as a truly cosmopolitan city. The establishment of IMMA in the 17th Century building of Royal Hospital in Kilmainham was a landmark moment for Ireland. We have asked a selection of contemporary patrons and art-lovers, ‘where to next for IMMA’
David Norris, Senator ‘I’m a big fan of IMMA. I was sceptical at first because of the problem of accessibility. I sometimes only go when I’m sent to it by John Kelly for The View. There are some outstanding exhibitions but you do see the same kind of people there, a lot of tourists, and the usual Irish suspects. The retrospective [The Moderns] they had - O’Flaherty’s Man Of Aran (1971), Beckett’s film with Buster Keaton, Eileen Gray, a copy of Finnegans Wake, it was just stunning. At this moment it’s so important that we have something that says we are a brilliant, creative people and that’s where I think IMMA plays a very important role. I read a report recently that found involvement in art is a significant factor in mental wellbeing, Kathy particularly during a recession. Visiting museums and galleries are the things Gilfillan, writer that will keep the spirit alive. and journalist ‘People have In Spain you have the Guggenheim a mental map that has nothing Bilbao, this ultra-modern building to do with reality and everything to and, here in Ireland, we have a do with perception. When IMMA first very important piece of historic opened the public perceived the location architecture and we’ve put all as out of town. Twenty years later the this modern art in it. I think public’s mental map has it city-centre. it represents a kind of lateral The Museum hasn’t moved but the thinking and the fact that we’re perception shifted. Simply because willing to accept happy coincidences. IMMA became a vital part of I think they’ve got to get it more the Art World.’ popularly known and it’s free!
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collection Enrique Juncosa, Director, IMMA: ‘Once this current financial crisis is over, I hope the museum manages to get a second building which will enable it to show the collection but also a library and an education centre, state-of-theart storage, conservators and curators for the collection.
Eamon Delaney, author and member of the board of IMMA ‘IMMA is the
custodian of the tradition of modern visual art in Ireland. We tend to have too much focus on the literary and dramatic art forms here because of our history but modern art and a visual aesthetic are crucially important in a European setting and IMMA raises Ireland’s game at that. They bring in really interesting international work and act as a showcase for the best of modern art in Ireland. It’s a serious cultural asset that doesn’t cost much money. The future for IMMA all depends on the new director. IMMA needs to do more to connect with the public. The Moderns show would be a good example. Enrique Juncosa has done a fantastic job in terms of working up the international element along with the Irish scene so I imagine a new director will continue on with that dual purpose.’
Aidan Dunne, Visual Arts critic, The Irish Times I think IMMA has grown up incredibly quickly and has shown itself to be an autonomous institution with a clear vision. I think it will grow in importance in the Irish cultural landscape. What I enjoy immensely is that it can provide exceptional experiences and exhibitions for Ireland.
Ronnie Tallon, Scott Tallon Walker architects In 20 years IMMA has successfully assembled a comprehensive collection of modern Irish art. They have acquired the best of the PJ Carroll’s collection and the Bank of Ireland collection and I am pleased that these works are now in responsible care. They have also embraced all the creative arts as shown recently in The Moderns. They need some new Lochlann Quinn, exhibition spaces Businessman and Art of a scale that can Patron “IMMA is a major properly show the contribution to Dublin and larger works they Ireland – it filled a massive gap. have acquired and It was also fortunate that it was future exhibitions blessed in its choice of directors where large scale – Declan McGonagle and works will increasingly Enrique Juncosa” be the order of the day.
John Meagher, deBlacam and Meagher architects; former IMMA board member. Enrique is a wonderful director and has had major influence in the growth of IMMA. The attendance at The Moderns exhibition was terrific. He has done wonderful work. I think there’s a constant issue in people’s minds in that they perceive IMMA to be remote or outside the city, which is a problem. It’s not really outside the city but it is on the edge. Government in this country is not like Spain, where they understand that culture makes a difference to the country and is responsible for a lot of income from tourists. The classic example is Bilbao. The whole city is transformed because of it - it’s a lousy place to see exhibitions, but they’re of no consequence as people just go to see the building and that gets the city buzzing. It’s packed all the time. What Kilmainham needs is a massive space of a couple of hundred thousand square feet sunk in the park on the Kilmainham side, very discreetly, making a huge temporary exhibition space.
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here was something very comforting about visiting the recent The Moderns exhibition at IMMA which included all those great names I was brought up to know and love; it was like seeing old friends. I found myself thinking of my own discipline, sculpture, and how the legacy of my era will fare with the judgment of time. We actually have had a remarkable number of public sculptures appear on the streets of Dublin. Since the 60s we had the beautiful Henry Moore in Stephen’s Green (that not many people seem to know about) and works like Oisin Kelly’s Children of Lir in the Garden of Remembrance and Eddie Delaney’s Wolfe Tone and Thomas Davis memorials. Trinity College’s Alexander Calder, or their Henry Moore, or Arnaldo Pomodoro have added significantly to our city. In the 70s public sculpture commissions were rare and tended towards the monumental like Oisin Kelly’s Jim Larkin on O’Connell Street; however this changed dramatically with the introduction of the ‘Percentage for Art’ scheme in the 80s. Although budgets might have been tiny, commissions were plentiful and all work was selected by anonymous competition so new names appeared on the scene; each artist offering whatever they could with the limited funds available. I don’t think any of us was quite prepared for the day we got that letter in the post to say that we had actually won a competition. Noel Hoare won the Beaumont Hospital commission, Dick Joynt did Tallaght Town centre and, while I was struggling with the Blackrock bypass, Eamonn O’Doherty was incredibly busy with Anna Livia (The Floozie In The Jacuzzi) for O’Connell Street, the Tree of Gold outside the Central Bank and many more. In Temple Bar architects were having a feast working with artists like Maud Cotter. The public had an appetite for it too, voicing opinions and nicknaming each piece as it appeared. Inadvertently, due to lack of funds, Dublin led the way in Europe for taking public sculpture off the pedestal and onto the street thereby making it more accessible. Sit on a bench by the canal with John Coll’s Patrick Kavanagh, or by the Ha’penny Bridge with Caroline Mulholland’s ‘Hags with the Bags’, get directions to the cinema from Vincent Browne’s Mr. Screen or climb inside Rachel Joynt’s superb Mothership. Things were busy too on a larger scale, with work by Michael Warren (Dublin Civic Offices), Alexandra Weichert (AIB Ballsbridge), Eilis O’Connell (Grand Canal Plaza), Vivienne Roche (National College of Ireland). Somehow the mix works. I know because I get so many emails from visitors telling me just how much they have enjoyed the sculpture in our city. Talk to any taxi driver and you get it all … they love Patrick O’Reilly’s Bears. Swing past Danny Osborne’s Oscar Wilde and there is always a group of people thronging around, wondering how it was done. And then Barry Flanagan’s hares up and down the length of O’Connell Street a few years ago, or the Solomon Gallery’s amazing sculpture exhibition in Iveagh Gardens, both captured the imagination so completely before they were gone again. I imagine that in the future Public Art might
Artist Rowan Gillespie takes us on a personal tour of Dublin’s public art and wonders why we don’t yet have a national sculpture park for works currently languishing in storage.
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT Sandycove’s strand boasts Rachel Joynt’s Mothership (1999.) 2m high. Cast bronze and stainless steel Collection Dun Laoghaire – Rathdown Corporation; At the entrance to IMMA stands Barry Flanagan’s Drummer (1996). Bronze. 483 x 185 x 316cm. Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art. Donated by the artist; the iconic canalside bench, one half already occupied, John Coll’s Monument to Patrick Kavanagh (1991) Gifted to Dublin City Council by Zeneca Limited
become the preserve of international teams of architects and engineers. Just look at The Spire by Ian Richie Architects or the installation at Grand Canal Square by Martha Schwartz Partners. There is nothing wrong with that. It goes both ways. We too have a remarkable number of experienced sculptors who are now working in the international arena. We love our sculpture, and we have an adoring relationship with it – both respectful and playful – and yet we have nowhere for it to reside permanently. And the result is that around the country, when a public sculpture has been taken down and not relocated, it comes to rest in a storage unit somewhere, and that is very sad. So as I left The Moderns I had a walk around the museum grounds, and saw 48 acres of meadow attached to the museum – what
country’s Modern Art Museum has that? It became clear that IMMA is the natural home for this. They have dipped their toes - there are about 15 outdoor sculptures displayed in the shadow of the main building, including a Barry Flanagan hare, a Gary Hume, a James McKenna, an Eddie Delaney, a mighty Bernar Venet, and my personal favourite a Michael Warren. It’s a great start. But imagine if it were to be a proper Sculpture Park, a wonderful walled garden of treasures every bit as significant as The Moderns? Work would be donated from significant collections if it were to be on permanent display. Philanthropists would commission works especially. Those works in storage might blink again in the daylight, while outdoor artists may be honoured with a gallery space to which they might aspire.
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Gerard Byrne, Three years, one month and two days ago (As of 9.10.10) (ITN7202), 2007, Silver gelatin print, Unique print, 112.5 x 157.7 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Donation, 2011
On the film circuit
erard Byrne is perhaps Ireland’s most highly respected critically acclaimed contemporary artist— and he makes films, videos, photographs. He is about to embark on a two-year series of solo exhibitions first at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, then in Lisbon’s Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, and finally showing in spring 2013 in the infamous Whitechapel Gallery in London. The exhibition will consist of a series of film works and photographs — a survey of his work over the last decade — and it will be accompanied by an in-depth publication containing a number of critical and scholarly essays on the artist in both English and Portuguese. Gerard Byrne is an artist to take seriously, a curator’s artist, and his work is needy of deep consideration and respect. That is what he puts into it, and that is what the viewer must be prepared to give to get something back out of it. With three genuine institutional powerhouses behind it and an ambitious
Gerard Byrne has three solo exhibitions in three countries. Very rock’n’roll… except he makes intellectual art installations using film. desire to declare Gerard Byrne as a leading global talent in visual arts, this is an interesting example of an artist being championed by curatorial and academic supporters, rather than by box-office volume. It is not a straightforward tour of works but a very considered collaboration between the institutions and the artist. Gerard Byrne also intends to include new work to be produced during the period of the tour that will reflect his on-going research, thus giving the evolution of the 2-year project a very ‘live’ atmosphere, and fresh-off-the-press relevance. At IMMA, Enrique Juncosa has previously crossed paths with Gerard Byrne in the Director’s inaugural year, 2002, with the exhibition How Things Turn Out in which upcoming Irish Artists were showcased. He was then exhibited again in the group show
(I’m always touched) By Your Presence, Dear in 2007. Furthermore, the museum purchased (in 2004) Byrne’s work New Sexual Lifestyles, five cibachrome photographs. Byrne’s international pedigree is faultless. In 2007, he represented Ireland at the Venice Bienniale and the Lyons Biennial and in 2008 he represented Ireland at the Sydney Biennial, the Gwangju Biennial and the Turin Triennial. Recent exhibitions include a solo show at Lord Burlington’s Lismore Castle in Waterford, Glasgow International Festival of Art, and the Lisson Gallery in London. Influenced by literature and theatre, Byrne’s work consistently references a range of sources, from popular magazines of the recent past to iconic modernist playwrights like Brecht, Beckett, and Sartre. Spend some time with each and you will enjoy this subtle genius.
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ART-FILM His name is not the easiest to pronounce but it is on the lips of the most credible forces in film-making. Having won the Cannes Palme d’Or prize, Apichatpong Weerasethakul has cemented his reputation as a true independent talent and he is coming to Ireland this summer.
ot hugely known here in Dublin – except in the corridors of the Irish Film Institute when the subject of Palme d’Or at Cannes comes up, Apichatpong Weerasethakul has very much been on the radar of IMMA Director Enrique Juncosa for the last few years. And so when the Bangkok-born filmmaker did bring home the most prestigious award a year ago at Cannes, the museum was lucky enough to have already programmed an exhibition of works by him. Weerasethakul grew up in Khon Kaen in north-eastern Thailand, educated in both architecture and film-making. He mounted his first exhibitions and installation in galleries in 1998, made his first feature film in 2000, and continues to work outside the Thai commercial film industry, a keen supporter of independent Arthouse films. His works deal with memory, or occasionally subtly addressed personal politics and social issues. His art projects and feature films have won him widespread international recognition and numerous festival prizes, including two prizes from the Cannes Film Festival – most recently last year Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s exhibition in July in Dublin will include completely new work from the artist, consisting of three looped videos and five large giclee prints. It opens on 27th July and runs until 31st October in first floor galleries at IMMA. The Irish Film Institute in Temple Bar will be screening a season of his films at the Irish Film Institute from July 16th until 28th.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul (top) comes to Dublin this month to unveil an exhibition of new works at IMMA (middle), and to discuss his films which include Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (bottom) at the IFI.
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Donations Harry Callaghan Detroit (1943).
Picture perfect An Irish-American with a love of photography has built up one of the finest private collections of key international photographers in the world. Now he plans to give it to IMMA.
Louise Bourgeois by Annie Leibovitz to the American Friends of the Arts in Ireland this year, and its subsequent gifting to IMMA in 2014. Why? “I’m Irish. I’m intrigued that IMMA has almost no photographic works to speak of, except single works purchased or donated. They certainly have no photographic ‘collection’ , and it’s something that I do have. I’m interested long term in the idea of a climate-controlled annexe somewhere at the Museum to house a permanent photography exhibit. I don’t wish these photographs to end up in storage for years on end, and IMMA has a good open loans policy to other galleries and a deep interest in exhibiting photographs alongside every other visual art format (and any broader cultural format too, it seems). If I buy something at auction next week, that photograph will eventually be a part of a future show at IMMA. Plus I get to keep the ones that I can’t bring myself to part with until I am unable to see them anymore, while finding a new home for those which I am no longer displaying. It is also really wonderful for a national cultural institution to approach me to make an exhibition of my private collection and to publish a book on what I have amassed so far. And, in a way, that is the kind of encouragement that every collector longs for, whatever they might say!” explains Dr Kronn. Out Of The Dark Room: The David Kronn Collection (20 July - 9 October 2011) offers a sneak preview of what gems are coming our way.
avid Kronn is a medical geneticist and paediatrician based in New York. He was born in Dublin and attended Trinity College there but he takes his Jewish roots as seriously as his Irish. He also collects photographs. Keeping an intelligent and passionate eye on auction houses and gallery shows as much as private purchases, he has assembled some 450 photographs of eye-watering beauty and value. The collection ranges in content from 19th century Daguerreotypes to the 20th century photography of Edward Weston and August Sander to works from award-winning contemporary photographers, such as the husband and wife team of Nicolai Howalt and Trine Sondergaard, and the Japanese photographer Asako Narahashi. The collection is particularly strong in its representation of Harry Callahan, Mario Giacomelli, Kenneth Josephson, Irving Penn and Brett Weston. It is also rich in portraits of artists, such as Irving Penn’s Frederick Kiesler and Willem de Kooning, New York, (1960) or Herb Ritts’s image of pop star Madonna from 1986 or the portrait of Laurie Anderson by Robert Mapplethorpe from 1987. Dr Kronn’s field of expertise as a paediatrician underscores his passion for photographs depicting children – Diane Arbus’s Loser at a Diaper Derby, (1967), for instance, or Martine Franck’s images David Kronn will donate his works to The American of children from Tory Island (1994-97), or Irina Davis’s poignant portraits of Friends of the Arts in Ireland (AFAI), which IMMA children in a Russian state orphanage (2006-2007). is a founding member of. It enables donations About two years ago David Kronn decided he would like his collection by US citizens to be made within their Out of the to have a home at IMMA. Unusually for a donor, this collector is still Inland Revenue legislation for educational in his mid 40s, and his photographs are purchased as much with Dark Room opens 20 purposes – and is beneficial to the the walls of his apartment in mind as anything else. He intends to donor’s tax bill. The donor is then able July and runs until 9 October continue collecting, and to grow the collection that he has (and that to make a recommendation to AFAI 2011 in the New Galleries in the people of Ireland will eventually have) at the same rate each that the works (after three years) the Irish Museum of Modern Art. year. When he turns 50, he will make periodic donations of works should be donated to an approved This exhibition presents a curated to the museum so that his walls do not turn bare. This will begin recipient, in this case IMMA. See with the donation of a portrait of the celebrated French-born artist www.afai.org for more information. selection of 165 works.
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Mary Lohan, Donegal Bay (didtych), oil panel, 61 x 61cm (each), collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Purchase 1991
Michael Warren, Beneath this bone (1991), Irish oak and corten steel, 12m (height), collection Irish Museum of M0dern Art, purchase 1991
LEFT A primary school visit in 2008 listens intently to mediator Catherine Byrne as they are talked through a painting; ABOVE a second primary school take in the Outdoor Sculpture trail, including a work by Wexford artist Michael Warren.
hen artist Nevan Lahart gave a talk last month on the occasion of his work being acquired for the IMMA collection, he recalled his first encounter with the museum some twenty years ago. As a teenager, he discovered the work of German artist Joseph Beuys; which featured in IMMA’s very first show. In his inimitable way Lahart led us through a narrative that intertwined his discovery of this artist with a performative action whereby, in a flamboyant gesture, he left the podium (and his audience sitting in Great Hall) and proceeded to go out into the grounds where he installed a sculptural ‘homage’ (which he had made earlier) to Beuys, beside the oak tree that was planted to mark Beuys’s visit to Ireland in 1974. Beuys influenced generations of artists with his charisma and the belief that ‘everyone is an artist’. Lahart’s story reveals simply that an encounter with an artwork can influence the path that one’s life may subsequently take. It is not suggested that everyone who encounters art will become an artist, but artworks can evoke a reservoir of meanings that connect us to our past, contextualise our present and allow us to imagine our future…In essence, artworks can create spaces to grow. Over the past twenty years, IMMA has tried to capture these epiphanies. Every cultural institution must have an education and community programme. In a cynical When visiting a museum world it is a box-ticking exercise. But in our world, it is far from that. We have created opportunities for becomes more about people of all ages to engage in meaningful ways with art, artists and a public museum. It may be just a once-in-a-lifetime visit for a curious person, or once a year on a school tour because you have to, or education than enjoyment, every Sunday with one’s parents for the family programme, or to ‘hang out’ with teenage peers in has the magic gone? Helen Studio 8 (or Studio Gr8 as one participant renamed it), or to meet people later in life who wish to be culturally challenged and enriched in the ongoing series of adult programmes. The Irish O’Donoghue explains why Museum of Modern Art has created access to art and artists who connect with citizens not education plays such an just in Dublin but throughout the country (where it will bring art from the Collection to you, instead of you having to come to it). The museum has issued an open important role and why it can be invitation to everyone to enter into imaginative spaces that can sometimes be enjoyable too. ambiguous, frustrating or bewildering but nevertheless are pathways to narratives that can connect and transform. You don’t have to come, but you won’t regret it if you do.
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LIAM GILLICK Irish Museum of Modern Art,
Artist’s impression © The artist 2011
Central Courtyard 7 September to 31 October 2011
Untitled, 2011 Liam Gillick 10m x 10m
New York resident Liam Gillick has been commissioned to create a new work for IMMA in September. It will take the form of a set of board games, based on French philosopher Guy Debord’s writings, for visitors to the museum to play.
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WISH YOU WERE
lthough many will tell you that IMMA is hardly in the city centre of the capital, its Dublin 8 bricks-and-mortar suggest that Dubliners get more from the ‘National’ Collection than everyone else in the country. But a look at the evidence suggests otherwise. The National Collection is not just for If, for example, you went to Cork last month, The Lewis Glucksman Gallery was exhibiting IMMA’s own Post-War Dubliners to enjoy but has had a American Art: The Novak/O’Doherty Collection, an exhibition significant presence in the galleries of of watercolours, drawings, prints, paintings, sculptures and photographs of 20th century American artists. Indeed, you every county would have seen their new Marcel Duchamp, Jasper Johns, in Ireland. Robert Rauschenberg, Christo and Jeanne Claude , Sol LeWitt, and George Segal (recently donated to IMMA by Brian O’Doherty and Barbara Novak). Or in the Regional Cultural Centre in Letterkenny, you would have caught Altered Images, an extraordinary show from IMMA which is designed for people with sight disabilities. Three-dimensional models of the paintings were built beside the works so you could ‘feel’ what you were looking at, and the artists themselves talked you through each work on headphone sets distributed for the show. Thomas Brezing, David Creedon, Alice Maher, Caroline McCarthy and Abigail O’Brien, Amanda Coogan and Daphne Wright were all included, and the works on show were from IMMA’s collection. The exhibition had already been to The County Museum in Clonmel and Ballina Arts Centre, The Crawford Art Gallery in Cork—and will no doubt continue its sublime journey around the country. SOMA Contemporary in Waterford is still running Hints Of The Outside World (for another week or so), featuring some of the most noteworthy film works from the IMMA Collection by artists Caroline McCarthy, Carlos Amorales, Gillian Wearing and Dorothy Cross. Up North next month, thirty years on from the Hunger Strikes, you’ll find a little slice of IMMA in Belfast. At the Féile an Phobail, Shane Cullen’s Fragment Sur Les Institutions Républicaines IV is on show. This consists of ninety-six large tablet-like panels onto which the artist has transcribed meticulously in paint the contents of numerous written communications smuggled in and out of the H-Block prisons in the 1980s. It took some four years to complete. In Autumn in Gweedore, An Gailearaí will show highlights from The Moderns, the large-scale survey of modernist work that took IMMA by storm earlier this year. The exhibition will include paintings by artists such as Mainie Jellett, Paul Henry, Patrick Collins, Patrick Scott, Barrie Cooke and Brian O’Doherty. And in November, members of IMMA’s staff will decamp to The Burren College of Art in Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare, to lead a project about portraiture targeted at primary school children. Who Do You See When You Look At Me? will give a young audience the opportunity to engage with pieces from the IMMA collection, and explore ideas of representation INSET Altered Images, recently in Letterkenny, Clonmel and Ballina, is an extraordinary exhibition for the blind and self-representation through a and visually impaired. As well as the artwork on the series of workshops for primary school wall, a relief model of the artwork is beneath it so that children from the North Clare and you can ‘feel’ the painting, while the artist talks you South Galway area. through it on the headphones.
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Collecting the NEW
Who better to select some of her favourite works from IMMA’s Collection than Christina Kennedy whose job it is to look after them.
t is difficult to select favourites when there are so many excellent works to choose from. My choices reflect personal taste but also the range and diversity of what the collection now holds. The works here extend from the 1960s to the present day, from the Kinetic and Conceptual works by Francois Morellet and Joseph Cornell respectively to a large bronze by Tony Cragg which moves away from Minimalist and Conceptual practices back to an interest in objecthood and figuration. Contrast this with the work of Liam O’Callaghan of 2005 whose practice and that of others of his generation engages everyday lo-grade materials and found objects to create works where there is no definitive stance, rather a provisional world where connections are fluid and relative. Dorothy Cross, who was one of first artists in the collection, is represented here by her latest work acquired by IMMA. She is part of a generation of Irish women artists, such as Alice Maher and Jaki Irvine, Kathy Prendergast or Alanna O’Kelly, also in the collection whose work in a variety of media has established them at the forefront of their practice in Ireland and beyond.
The selection includes a film by Philippe Parreno who is a leading artist of the ‘Relational’ 90s generation. In painting, I have selected works from Patrick Hall and Brian Maguire both artists with roots in 1980s Expressionism and a reductive, near abstract work by Anita Groener. IMMA’s Permanent Collection has grown from an inaugural 41 works when the museum first opened in 1991 to being today in excess of 2000 works. This has come about through purchases, the generosity of artists’ donations and the philanthropy of corporate and private collectors over the years, as well as Heritage gifts. We have always sought to acquire works for the Collection which have been included in the temporary exhibition programme thereby weaving the programming activities into IMMA’s history. Similarly, works have been acquired from the artists’ residency programme. The guiding principle is that the Collection is firmly rooted in the present, while building on its modern past. As well are rotating exhibitions at IMMA the Collection is also the focal point of IMMA’s National Programme.
Parachute (2005) by Dorothy Cross Parachute and gannet installation/Purchase, 2005. In an eternal dive a gannet is suspended below the soft folds of a parachute which has fallen to earth. Like the sea, Dorothy Cross’s sculptures ebb and flow with meanings and symbolism which explore the depths of our subconscious, our anxieties and our desires. Her works which bring found and constructed objects together are invariably arresting and poetic and arise from her far-flung voyages and naturalist’s curiosity.
Sphère-Trame (1962) by François Morellet Chromed steel rods/60 x 60 x 60 cm/ Gordon Lambert Trust, 1992 Gordon Lambert was always convinced of the importance of buying present-day artists. Always a supporter of Irish artists, in the mid-60s he bought several internationally important works of Kinetic and Op Art, many by South American artists, which today distinguish IMMAs holdings in this area from many other museums. Assembled from metal rods, French artist Morellet’s Sphère-Trame is a mobile which when observed in motion, exaggerates perspective and fractures and reflects light in moving patterns around the room.
Frequency (2004/5) by Anita Groener Oil on canvas/200 x 240 cm/Purchase, 2006 I have always read this painting when on the wall as having a horizon line about a metre above my head, with an attendant sense of the ancient, the sacrificial. Less disturbingly, Frequency is inspired by the theme of the road, reduced to its black and white markings, and of the sense of journey between fixed points but where the journey is the point, the what-happens-in-between. The coils of repeated travel, of repeated patterns of experience, recall the passage of time as in the growth rings of a tree.
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Sprinkle Ochre into my Eyes (2004) by Patrick Hall Ink, watercolour and pastel on paper; Donation, 2008 There is nothing so evocative as watercolour on its own or in combination with pencil or other intimate marks on paper to evince human feeling. Perhaps too it is the scale, as these works are usually small and therefore draw the viewer close. The imaginative nature of this composition, with its dazzling yellow ochre in a sanguine tinted mindscape remind us of Hall’s lifelong interest in human experience and in the condition of aloneness. Patrick Hall donated this and 11 other related works on paper to the collection in 2008.
Untitled (1988) by Tony Cragg Bronze/210 x 210 x 285 cm/The Weltkunst Foundation, Zürich, 1994 I love the humour of this bronze whose form derives from a laboratory flask on a giant scale and which the artist seems to show in two positions, upright and lying on its side - playing on Einstein’s notion about things, read objects here, being a chain of events. On loan to IMMA since 1994 from the Weltkunst Foundation’s Collection of British Art of the 80s and 90s, its outdoor setting illuminates its patina and dramatises its form.
Portrait of Alice Liddell, after Lewis Carroll, (2004) by Vik Muniz Chromogenic print, mounted on aluminium, wooden frame and acrylic fabric/253.5 x 184.5 cm/Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art/Purchase, 2004 From a distance what looks like a conventional image of an introspective young girl reveals itself in fact to be a photographic work created from a sea of miniature brightly coloured toys and objects where the figure of the girl is evinced largely by absence. This is typical of Muniz, a highly original Brazilian artist who uses all manner of non-traditional materials from detritus to chocolate to re-create existing images, in this case Lewis Carroll’s original photograph of Alice Liddell, the inspiration for Alice in Wonderland.
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Memorial (1998) by Brian Maguire Mixed media on linen/269 x 424 cm/Heritage Gift, Owen O’Brien, 2000 I admire how Brian Maguire has consistently managed to intersect his art and his stance against social injustice without compromise to either. Part of his renowned Casa di Cultura suite of work, Memorial 1998 is a monumental canvas in reaction to a mass murder in a Brazilian prison, which he painted while working as an artist in residence in São Paulo in 1998. The visceral treatment of the image is softened by the elegaic tones of the paint.
Chaos and dreams yet to come (2005) by Liam O’Callaghan Mixed Media/Purchase, 2006. What is so very stimulating about this work is how such intense beauty and metaphoric potential can be evoked from the disgarded. The artist has assembled a landscape of broken wing mirrors and then lit them from a stack of three light projectors mounted on two reconstructed stool frames, to create a diorama of reflected light in white and blue crystalline forms around the walls, a visualization of hope amid chaos as the title suggests.
Box for Brian O’Doherty (1967) by Joseph Cornell 6 x 9 x 3.5 cm/The Novak/O’Doherty Collection at IMMA/Loan, The American Ireland Fund, 2010 This fascinating box measures a mere 6 x 9 cms yet it is a poetic microcosm. Joseph Cornell was renowned for his Box constructions, assembled from everyday objects and ephermera. Brian O’Doherty, to whom the box is dedicated, described Cornell as a one-man civilization and mused on what the Sung painting on its cover might mean, and inside a miniature postcard of Times Square at night. Part of the recent Novak/O’Doherty gift its arrival enhances IMMA’s holdings of 60s and 70s American art.
The Boy from Mars (2003) by Philippe Parreno 35mm transferred to High Definition video, Dolby Digital 5.0 stereo with musical score by Devendra Banhart, /Duration 11 min 40 sec/ Edition 3/4/Purchase, 2007 There is an hypnotic quality to the slow movement, frame upon frame, of the images which make up this film. Shot among the rice paddies of Chiang Mai, in rural Thailand, the film subtly alludes to the Red Planet and radiates a warm orange light, especially as dusk becomes night and the light of the eco bulbs, powered by the labour of the water buffalo, flicker and gradually intensify. Here Parreno presents oblique images of random beauty in which reality becomes a form of hallucination.
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Patrick Scott, Untitled, 2009 Edition of 75, 73 x 60 cm Intaglio, embossing, carborundum and hand applied 23.5 carat gold leaf Signed and numbered by artist €2000
Sean Scully, Grey Robe, 2008 Edition of 40, 55 x 50cm Aquatint Signed and numbered by artist €3500
IMMA’S LIMITED EDITION PRINTS
Louis le Brocquy, Image of Samuel Beckett Edition of 40, 30.7 x 23.2cm Intaglio print on Japanese Kozu natural paper Signed and numbered by artist €3500
Limited edition prints from the Irish Museum of Modern Art are highly collectable signed works by artists who have enjoyed solo exhibitions with the museum in the past. Available from Christine Blessing on 01 6129951. IMMA members enjoy a further 10% discount on the prices displayed.
Barrie Cooke and Seamus Heaney, Gutteral Muse, 2009 Edition of 40, 76.5 x 58cm Colour Intaglio limited edition print, handprinted on Moulin de Gue paper, Signed and numbered by artist and writer €1500
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Philip Taaffe, Composition with Ornamental Fragments 6 (2011) 20 x 16 ins, Edition of 20 Archival pigment print on Hahnemuller 100% cotton 308 gms photorag Numbered and signed by the artist €900
THE BOOK OF THE SHOW
600 pages * 650 images IS NOW AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY AT IMMA or online at www.imma.ie/books
PLEASE ALSO VISIT www.themoderns.ie FOR AN EXTRAORDINARY ONLINE MUSEUM EXPERIENCE
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