IMMA programme launch

by Conor O'Doherty

Reflection (Self Portrait) by Lucian Freud. Credit: Irish Times

The Freud Project at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) will be expanded this year, director of IMMA Sarah Glennie revealed as part of the launch for the 2017 programme. The programme also hosts artists never displayed in Ireland such as Jac Leirner.

Leirner, one of Brazil’s most celebrated contemporary artists, had designed her pieces specifically for the space in IMMA, a response to the architecture of the exhibition rooms.

IMMA secured curatorship of the Freud pieces for five years and Glennie wishes to expand the collection further, citing Freud’s realism and skill for crafting expression for his enduring popularity. Glennie also plans to host renowned Irish filmmaker Vivienne Dick, and American filmmaker Nan Goldin.

“The current display will close at the end of October and a new contemporary intervention to the Freud Project, and how it relates to works in the overall IMMA Collection, will open in late November… We are also delighted to announce a new Freud Residency for 2017, which invites cultural practitioners to explore, contest, complement or radicalise the work currently on display,” Glennie said.

Funding for the arts is often cited as an issue, which Glennie alluded to during the launch, however she praised the Hennessy Art Fund. In the case that IMMA’s paid exhibitions, Glennie said “people are very supportive of our need to charge”.

Throughout the year Glennie said she wishes to draw a theme of history with the 50 year anniversary of ROSC, the first major series of international art exhibitions in Ireland, which is being run run in association National Irish Visual Arts Library (NIVAL).

The IMMA announced they will continue their residency programme on the grounds, which hosts artists with free accommodation and materials to create and innovate.

“Throughout 2017 we will continue to develop new platforms in our programme through which we can support artists.”

“We saw in 2016 the valuable role contemporary artists can play in helping us to understand our times, and the opportunity for their work to create a space for reflection, debate and difference,” Glennie said.

Glennie also announced As Above, So Below: Portals, Visions, Spirits & Mystics which explores spirituality in the modern day. The exhibition will feature over 200 works from Grace Weir, Alan Butler, and international artists Hayden Dunham and Stephan Doitschinoff.

Conor O’Doherty