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Exhibition of Limited Editions at the Irish Museum of Modern Art
Louis le Brocquy, Image of Samuel Beckett, Intaglio print on Japanese Kozu natural paper, 30,7 x 23.2 cm, Edition of 40, Printed by Stoney Road Press, Dublin.
DUBLIN.- An exhibition of 31 prints by leading Irish and international artists opens to the public at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on Saturday 26 September 2009. Traces: IMMA Limited Editions celebrates the IMMA Limited Editions Series, introduced by the Museum in 2003. Artists being shown include Michael Craig-Martin, Dorothy Cross, Gary Hume, Isaac Julien, Alex Katz, William McKeown, Elizabeth Peyton, Jack Pierson and Sean Scully. Newly-created additions to the series by renowned Irish artists Louis le Brocquy, Patrick Scott and Camille Souter are also shown for the first time.

Since 2003, when IMMA Director Enrique Juncosa began the practice of inviting artists to make a print edition in the context of their exhibitions at IMMA, artists have responded generously by either making a new edition or presenting an existing one. The editions, which have grown to 31 prints and multiples to date, represent a tangible gesture of goodwill and support by those artists for IMMA, as the sale of the editioned prints directly benefits the Museum’s programmes. This has also given rise to a striking body of contemporary prints for the IMMA Collection , which receives a copy of each work in the series. It is this collection of prints which is presented in Traces, an exhibition which brings to the public eye for the first time this new strand within IMMA’s expanding collection of prints and multiples.

The series began with Psyche, 2001, by British artist Gary Hume, presented in 2003 to coincide with his solo exhibition at IMMA. This year the Museum has extended the reach of the editions series by inviting contributions from a number of Ireland ’s most long-established and respected artists, who are represented in depth in IMMA’s Collection , such as Louis le Brocquy, Patrick Scott and Camille Souter. Louis le Brocquy presents an intaglio print, a portrait of the acclaimed writer Samuel Beckett, while Patrick Scott creates a signature print work, drawing from imagery and motifs from his long career. Combining two subjects, aviation and war, which she has frequently explored, Camille Souters We Don’t Want to See Blood, is a very personal project for the artist, a journey into print-making that she has not made until this her 80th year.

Traces explores the experimental nature of creating an artwork as an edition. A variety of printmaking and editioning processes are exhibited. These range from the traditional intaglio or engraved forms, including etching, aquatint, and carborundum, seen variously in the works of Louis le Brocquy, William McKeown, Hughie O’Donoghue, Elizabeth Peyton and Sean Scully, to silkscreen and screen prints by Michael Craig-Martin, Alex Katz and Gary Hume. McDermott & McGough employ letterpress with handset type, while Anne Madden works with archival inks. Some of the prints are photography-based cibachrome and gicle, such as those by Dorothy Cross, Candida Hfer, Janaina Tschpe and Jack Pierson, while others are pigment printed on watercolour paper or card, as seen for instance in the prints of Joo Penalva and Isaac Julien. Multiples in the collection include a collaborative work by Liam Gillick and Philippe Parreno, which takes the form of 3D letters laser-cut from comocell to be arranged by the owner, and Ulla von Brandenburg’s deck of playable tarot cards in a presentation box. Traces also includes prints by Barry Flanagan and Barrie Cooke, in both cases the result of their respective collaborations with poet Seamus Heaney.

Commenting on the exhibition Christina Kennedy , Senior Curator: Head of Collection s, IMMA said; “The Limited Editions series has developed against the backdrop of a print collection at IMMA which is fortuitously wide-ranging and eclectic thanks to many generous donations and loans. When IMMA opened 18 years ago it inherited the Madden Arnholz Collection of some 2000 Old Master prints from the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, including prints by Pieter Breughel, Jacques Callot, Albrecht Drer, Francisco Goya y Lucientes and William Hogarth. Contemporary artists continue to find relevance in such historical works for their own practice. Consider how the form and content of Hogarth’s satirical engraved commentaries on 18th-century society have been an enduring source for such diverse artists as William Kentridge, Robert Crumb, David Hockney, John Kindness and Jaki Irvine.”

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