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Irish Museum of Modern Art

El Lissitzky: The Artist and the State

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El Lissitzky: The Artist and the State 
with Rossella Biscotti, Maud Gonne, Núria Güell, Alice Milligan, Sarah Pierce and Hito Steyerl
30 July – 18 October 2015

On the approach of the centenary of Ireland’s Easter Rising and the subsequent establishment of the new Republic, IMMA is pleased to announce the exhibition, El Lissitzky: The Artist and the State. This exhibition reflects the artistic and cultural community who gave voice to a new image for the emerging state and a visual language for its politics. It places this local reflection within a broader global consideration of the role of artists in the imagination of emergent states of the early 20th century, and acts as a contemporary exploration of the task of the artist in relation to civil society.

The exhibition brings together a significant body of works from the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, by El Lizzitsky (1890–1941), one of the most influential artists of the 20th century who is shown here for the first time in Ireland. These works, including an important body of his noted ‘Proun’ series, are shown in the context of archive material referencing the work of Irish nationalist poet and writer Alice Milligan (1865–1953), and her collaborator Maud Gonne (1866–1953). The exhibition explores their parallel visions of the activated artist central to the imagining of a new state. A contemporary counterpoint to the historical narrative is provided by newly commissioned and recent works by four artists – Rossella Biscotti, Núria Güell, Sarah Pierce and Hito Steyerl – whose work, in different ways, reflects on the position of the artist within our society now.

The exhibition is curated by Annie Fletcher, Chief Curator, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; and Sarah Glennie, Director, IMMA, with Dr Catherine Morris as curatorial advisor.

The participation of the Dutch-based artist Rossella Biscotti is made possible with financial support from the Mondriaan Fund. The participation of Hito Steyerl is supported by the Goethe-Institut Irland. The exhibition is presented with the support of Yeats 2015. This exhibition, which is part of a series of New Art at IMMA, is proudly sponsored by Matheson.

Read more on our website

Talks and Events:

Gallery Discussion | El Lissitzky: The Artist and the State
Thursday 30 July, 11am – 12 noon, Garden Galleries, IMMA

Exhibition Curators, Sarah Glennie, Annie Fletcher, and Catherine Morris (art historian and curator) lead a gallery discussion within the exhibition spaces. Book here

Lecture + Roundtable Discussion
Saturday 17 October, 3.00 – 5.30pm, Lecture Room, IMMA

On the closing weekend of El Lissitzky: The Artist and the State, Catherine Morris presents a lecture on her research into the art historical and cultural contexts of Russia and Ireland, which links together the work and ideas of key revolutionary figures Alice Milligan, Maud Gonne, Jack B. Yeats and El Lissitzky in the early years of the 20th century. This will be followed by a discussion addressing Lissitzky’s enthusiasm for the revolution and the relevance of his ideas for contemporary artists and society, as Ireland approaches the centenary of 1916. Participants include: Rossella Biscotti, Núria Güell, Sarah Pierce, Annie Fletcher, Sarah Glennie and discussion moderator, Mick Wilson (Researcher, Valand Academy, the University of Gothenburg). A closing reception follows this event. Book here

Booking is essential for all talks. For a full programme and free tickets, please visit www.imma.ie

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