IMMA BLOG

IMMA – Irish Museum of Modern Art


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Gallery Voices: Understanding Hilma – A life dedicated to spirituality in art

By Leda Scully, Visitor Engagement Team, IMMA.

‘But no, she’s abstract, is a
bird
Of sound in the air of air
soaring,
And her soul sings
unencumbered
Because the song’s what
makes her sing.’
Fernando Pessoa

At the time of her death, the Swedish artist and mystic Hilma af Klint (1862 – 1944) left behind a body of work comprising 1,200 paintings, numerous sketchbooks and 26,000 pages of journals. She stipulated in her will that the work should not be seen for twenty years after her death, but in fact it was forty-two years before it was exhibited for the first time, in the 1986 show ‘The Spiritual in Art: Abstract Painting 1890 – 1985,’ curated by Maurice Tuchman in L.A . Record numbers attended that show and audiences were reportedly stunned by this unheard-of Swedish painter whose work had remained unseen for so long, and who, it transpired, may have painted the first ever abstract paintings in Western art – quite a few years before Kandinsky.

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The Relationship between Artist and Model, A blog by renowned American painter Ellen Altfest.

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Ellen Altfest in studio. Photograph by Vincent Dillio.

Looking at the return to figuration in contemporary art practice, Altfest is one of several artists invited to respond on the affinities, methodologies and potential influences that contemporary artists continue to share with Freud. In conjunction with Altfest’s memorable Artist’s Talk at IMMA in June, we invite the artist to write a blog on her distinctive approach to working with life models, the rhythms and intensity of studio life and reflect on the interchanges between desire and detachment, in striking a balanced when working with her subjects.

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OUT OF BODY – SUSAN MACWILLIAM

I was invited by IMMA to respond to their exhibition, As Above, So Below: Portals, Visions, Spirits & Mystics, and to work with Alice Butler and Daniel Fitzpatrick of AEMI to develop a screening for the IFI in conjunction with IMMA’s Talks and Public Programmes. The resulting programme – Out of Body – features films by Maya Deren, Mairéad McClean, Jordan Baseman, Paul Sharits, and John Smith, alongside a selection of my own work. These films consider the psychic and physical spaces of body and landscape; they explore automatic, subliminal and unconscious states of mind. Multiple viewpoints, strobing, and repetition draw attention to our perceptual senses, and to the very act of looking, and of being observed.  Out of Body took place at the IFI on Tuesday 25 July 2017 and you can listen back to the introduction and discussion here.

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Calling Participants! CVLTO DO FVTVRV comes to IMMA as part of ‘Wilder Beings Command!’

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Artist Stephan Doitschinoff, currently exhibiting at IMMA as part of As Above, So Below: Portals, Visions, Spirits & Mystics, will return to IMMA this July to present the CVLTO DO FVTVRV procession, a parade conceived in partnership with philosophical society CVLTO DO FVTVRV. The parade will be part of an exciting outdoor evening of performances at IMMA titled Wilder Beings Command! 

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ROSC 50: A Collaboration Between NIVAL and IMMA

An Introduction to NIVAL, the National Irish Visual Arts Library

This year IMMA and NIVAL are collaborating on ‘ROSC 50‘; a project that seeks to examine the pivotal and sometimes controversial Rosc exhibitions held in Ireland from 1967 to 1984. We asked Meghan Elward Duffy, who joined IMMA earlier this year, to take a first time trip to NIVAL to explore the archive and write this introduction to the National Irish Visual Arts Library.

Within the buzzing and somewhat quirky campus of the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) on Thomas Street, Dublin lies a small yet significant library dedicated to preserving the record and memory of contemporary art in Ireland and that of Irish artists abroad. This is the National Irish Visual Arts Library (NIVAL) and is an important resource for historians, artists, designers, and anyone wishing to learn about the history of contemporary art and design in Ireland – be they hobbyists or professionals.

Though I had visited the campus of NCAD many times before, this marked my first visit to NIVAL. And, aside from knowing exactly where I was going, I would have skipped over it completely had I not been looking for it.

While located within the campus of NCAD, the library is open to anyone who seeks information relating to contemporary art and design in Ireland. No student IDs or special library cards are required to visit or view the materials and the atmosphere of both NIVAL and NCAD is open, friendly and incredibly accessible.

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