Ireland: Irish Art Today"
Exhibition Opens April 12
Saturday, April 12, the University of Virginia Art Museum, Charlottesville,
will open the special exhibition Re-Imagining Ireland: Irish Art
Today. Jointly planned with the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities
(VFH) in conjunction with its major international conference, Re-Imagining
Ireland (May 7-10; www.re-imagining-ireland.org),
the exhibition will be on view through June 8. Curated by museum
director Jill Hartz and Charlottesville-based sculptor Susan Bacik,
Irish Art Today presents artistically and politically challenging
works in a range of media by artists living and working in the Republic
of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The paintings, sculpture, photographs,
prints, mixed media, and video works are drawn primarily from the
collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), with additional
loans from Dublin galleries, artists, and private collectors.
featured in the show by such internationally known artists as Dorothy
Cross, Willie Doherty, Alice Maher, Paul Seawright, and Kathy Prendergast
span the distance between the political and personal, often addressing
the human consequences and adjustments in outlook that have, in
the last ten years, accompanied Irelands extraordinarily rapid
economic growth and related social change. A complete roster of
artists follows: Dorothy Cross, Shane Cullen, Willie Doherty, Mary
Donnelly, Francis Mark, Brian Kennedy, John Kindness, Mary Lohan,
Alice Maher, Caroline McCarthy, Janet Mullarney, Fionnuala Ni Chiosáin,
Sydney Nolan, Paul Nugent, Eilis OConnell, Geraldine OReilly,
Michael OSullivan, Kathy Prendergast, and Paul Seawright.
of the major highlights of the exhibition is Shane Cullens
text-based Fragments sur les Institutions Republicain IV, an installation
that re-presents the transcriptions of actual communiqués
smuggled out of the Maze Prison during the hunger strike of the
1980s (the originals are now in the collection of the National Library
of Ireland). In contrast to the tiny originals, Fragments is monumental
in scale and intensely political, yet they also contains intimate
details from prisoners personal lives. This will be the premiere
showing of the work on this side of the Atlantic.
Reflecting themes addressed in the VFH conference, the exhibition
speaks to the tensions between tradition and modernity and demonstrates
how the former may be incorporated in a new sense of identity that
is open to while questioning the meanings of and thereby
shaping change. The exhibition will provide an exciting entry
point to the international contemporary art scene, connecting what
is happening in art with a culture to which many Americans trace
their roots, while offering challenging perspectives on issues with
which we are all vitally concerned.
the exhibition is a full-color catalogue with essays by the curators
and Declan McGonagle, director of the Dublin City Arts Centre and
past IMMA director. Catherine Marshall, IMMAs director of
collections, provided biographies of the artists, and, with Mr.
McGonagle, assisted the curators throughout the organization of
Images for the Press
Two Gallery Talks are planned in conjunction with the exhibition.
On Sunday, April 13, at 2:00 p.m., the public is invited to tour
the exhibition with exhibition curators Jill Hartz and Susan Bacik.
Friday, May 9, at 2:30 p.m. Mr. McGonagle and Ms. Marshall will
discuss the state of Irish art. This event, part of the VFH conference,
will be held in the museum and is open to the public. A reception
VFH conference will bring to Charlottesville more than 100 writers,
politicians, journalists, citizen activists, and performers, most
from Ireland. The conference will focus on both Ireland and Northern
Ireland, addressing issues of local change in a global context.
The program will explore the transforming effects of global economics
on traditional cultures, the worldwide migration and interaction
of national populations, and the relation of religious and political
identity to issues of terrorism, war and peace. Other arts events
presented as part of the VFH program include a play, film screenings,
poetry readings, and a variety musical events. Please see the
conference website at: www.re-imagining-ireland.org
Ireland: Irish Art Today" has received generous funding from
the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities; the Cultural
Relations Committee of Ireland; Department of Arts, Sport
and Tourism, Dublin; Anne Lee Ueltschi Foundation;
the FUNd at the Charlottesville-Albemarle Community Foundation;
Irish Museum of Modern Art; Arts Enhancement Fund,
Office of the Provost, University of Virginia; Office
of the President, University of Virginia; and the Forum
for Contemporary Thought, University of Virginia.
museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is
free. Limited parking is available behind the museum. The museum
is handicap accessible. For details about the exhibit and information
about the museum, call (434) 924-3592.
here for additional
information on visiting the Museum.