Ireland: Irish Art Today” Exhibition Opens April 12
At The University Of Virginia Art Museum
March 21, 2003--
The tensions between tradition and modernity and their capacity
to bring about change in Ireland’s sense of identity is the
focus of a special exhibit, “Re-Imagining Ireland: Irish Art
Today,” which opens at the University of Virginia Art Museum
on Saturday, April 12.
planned with the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities 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 Sunday, June 8.
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, with additional loans from Dublin galleries, artists
and private collectors.
show includes pieces by such internationally known artists as Dorothy
Cross, Willie Doherty, Alice Maher, Paul Seawright, and Kathy Prendergast.
Their art spans the distance between the political and personal,
often addressing the human consequences and adjustments in outlook
that have, in the last 10 years, accompanied Ireland’s rapid
economic growth and social change.
exhibit also includes works by Shane Cullen, Mary Donnelly, Francis
Mark, Brian Kennedy, John Kindness, Mary Lohan, Caroline McCarthy,
Janet Mullarney, Fionnuala Ni Chiosáin, Sydney Nolan, Paul
Nugent, Eilis O’Connell, Geraldine O’Reilly and Michael
of the major highlights of the exhibition is Cullen’s 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 also contains
intimate details from prisoners’ personal lives. This will
be the premiere showing of the work on this side of the Atlantic.
themes addressed in the VFH conference, the exhibition speaks to
the tensions between tradition and modernity and demonstrates how
tradition 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
many citizens are 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, IMMA’s director of
collections, provided biographies of the artists, and, with McGonagle,
assisted the curators throughout the organization of the exhibition.
Ireland: Irish Art Today” 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.
gallery talks are planned in conjunction with the exhibition.
Sunday, April 13, at 2 p.m., the public is invited to tour the exhibition
with curators Jill Hartz and Susan Bacik.
Friday, May 9, at 2:30 p.m. McGonagle and 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
FOUNDATION FOR THE HUMANITIES CONFERENCE
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 of musical events. For details about
these events and the conference, visit the conference Web site at:
Digital images are available for use by the media at:
Jane Ford, (434) 924-4298