This exhibition takes aspects of Freud’s intimate studio practice as a starting point to explore themes of vulnerability, longing and loss that permeate the painter’s work, while also looking to the works of other artists who address on a wider scale the complexities of representation. Two new paintings by Lucian Freud are exhibited at IMMA for the first time, alongside work by other artists including Emily Dickinson, Sigmund Freud, Marlene Dumas and John Berger.
Lucian Freud chose his subjects from people who entered his life through various means from the acquaintances he encountered regularly during his gambling days, to the members of his own family and inner circle of friends who all modelled within the tight constrains of his studio. In his portraits, some painted over many months or even years, we see a body of work that examines the complex relationships between an artist and their sitter or, more broadly, we see paintings that deal with the psychology of looking.
Placing Freud’s paintings alongside the work of writers Emily Dickinson, John Berger and Lydia Davis, psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, and artists Gwen John, Kathy Prendergast, Wiebke Siem, Marlene Dumas and Thomas Schütte, The Ethics of Scrutiny calls into question how we see ourselves, how our gazes fall onto one another, and importantly how our identities shift over the cycle of time. The exhibition sees the addition of two major works by Freud, Two Brothers from Ulster, 2001, and Man in a Silver Suit, 1998.
IMMA Collection: Freud Project
IMMA has secured a significant five-year loan of 52 works by one of the greatest realist painters of the 20th century, Lucian Freud (1922-2011). Renowned for his portrayal of the human form, Freud is best known for his intimate, honest, often visceral portraits. Working only from life Freud’s studio was intensely private and he mainly worked with those he was close to, often asking subjects to sit for hundreds of hours over multiple sittings to better capture the essence of their personality.
IMMA Collection: Freud Project features a selection of 30 of the artist’s finest paintings, and 20 works on paper. The works, mainly dating from 1970 onwards, explore several of the artist’s key themes such as Portraiture; Self Portraiture; Still-life; Animals and Nature; works that reflect his interest in the people and the natural world.
The works, on loan from private collections, are predominantly presented in a dedicated Freud Centre in IMMA’s Garden Galleries for five years. With this extraordinary resource IMMA will create a centre for Freud research with a programme of special exhibitions, education partnerships, symposia and research that will maximise this important opportunity for schools, third level students, artists and audiences all over Ireland and beyond.
During this unique five-year project IMMA will present a series of different and exclusive Lucian Freud related exhibitions, with a new programme of events and openings each year, including works and new commissions by other modern and contemporary artists in response to Freud, and will reveal exciting new perspectives on this major artist today. Ethics of Scrutiny is the first of these Exhibitions,