A new arts and literary publication featuring contributions by Francesco Clemente, Seamus Heaney, Nalini Malani, David Mitchell, Sean Scully, Colm Tóibín and a host of other leading art world figures, will be launched by the Irish Museum of Modern Art
at 6.00pm on Thursday 11 June 2009. Boulevard Magenta is the brain child of IMMAs Director, Enrique Juncosa , himself a noted poet, who has brought together a collection of works ranging across the visual arts, prose, poetry, music, film and architecture for the first issue of the biannual magazine. The launch coincides with the opening of a new exhibition at the Museum by the celebrated American artist Terry Winters, who has contributed nine drawings incorporating texts by the American writer Ben Marcus to the publication.
The literary pieces include a short story by Colm Tóibín, based on an undeveloped plot from one of Henry Jamess notebooks; a poem by Seamus Heaney, written in response to a painting by Colin Middleton; an excerpt from a forthcoming novel by David Mitchell and three poems by the Spanish poet José Carlos Llop. Also included is an unpublished interview with the Polish poet Czesław Miłosz, carried out by the Swiss curator Hans Ulrich Obrist and the French artist Philippe Parreno just prior to Miłoszs death in 2004.
Several of the artists featured in the publication have exhibited at IMMA, such as Miquel Barceló, who is represented by a series of paintings inspired by creatures of the sea; Francesco Clemente, whose portraits include three of his fellow contributors, and Nalini Malani, whose watercolours combine Indian and Western mythologies. This first issue also includes ten paintings by Sean Scully, an exhibition of whose work will be presented by IMMA in collaboration with the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane in 2011.
Boulevard Magenta also presents the design for a private house in Dublin by the London-based architecture firm Amanda Levete Architects, whose commissions also include the Spencer Dock Bridge ; excerpts from the script for the long-awaited new film by Tran Anh Hung, and an unpublished early score by Kevin Volans.
Enrique Juncosa was particularly keen that the new publication would reflect the Museums multi-disciplinary approach to programming, echoing early avant-garde magazines: In recent years, IMMA has organised numerous projects involving not only artists but also writers, architects, musicians, filmmakers and dancers. We believe that in this acknowledgement of the interconnection between art forms, we are offering our audiences the context and background to understand, learn from and enjoy more fully what we have to give.
The title, Boulevard Magenta, is inspired by the street of that name in Paris , which Enrique Juncosa discovered on a visit there. He subsequently learned from one of the contributors, the poet Derek Mahon, that the street takes its name from the Battle of Magenta, fought in northern Italy in 1859 during the French-Piedmontese war against the Austrians, where French troops defeated the Austrian army, forcing them out of the country. The French were lead by General Patrice de Mac-Mahon, a member of the French nobility whose family originated in Co Limerick, who was given the title Duc de Magenta for his role in the battle.
Boulevard Magenta is edited by Enrique Juncosa and Seán Kissane, Curator: Exhibitions at IMMA. The project is funded through the sale of the limited edition print, Grays Robe, 2008, specially created for the Museum by Sean Scully, and also by a generous donation from Marie Donnelly.
The publication will be launched in New York at 12 noon on Bloomsday, Tuesday 16 June, by Niall Burgess, Consul General of Ireland, and Enrique Juncosa , at the Residence of the Consul General, 240 East 39th Street, # 52C.