Lucian Freud’s life and work to be the focus of new Dublin research centre

Fifty works from private collections go on show at the Irish Museum of Modern Art

by Gareth Harris  |  9 March 2016
Lucian Freud’s life and work to be the focus of new Dublin research centre
Lucian Freud. Photograph: Tim Meara
A new research centre dedicated to Lucian Freud is due to open at Dublin’s Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA). It will house 50 key paintings and etchings by the late British artist, all of which are on long-term loan from private collections.

Negotiations to secure the pieces, lent by numerous anonymous collectors, took more than two years, says a museum spokeswoman. Bella and Esther (1988), The Painter’s Mother Reading (1975) and The Pearce Family (1998) are among the paintings included.

The IMMA Collection: Freud Project, will be based in a dedicated Freud Centre located in the museum’s Garden Galleries. The new space, which launches in September, will be open for five years.

The scheme is a springboard for a number of programming initiatives. Sarah Glennie, the director of IMMA, says in a statement: “With this extraordinary resource, IMMA will create a centre for Freud research with a special programme of exhibitions, education partnerships, symposia and research that will maximise this exciting opportunity on offer in Ireland.” Freud died in 2011, aged 88.

The museum will also show new works by the Turner Prize winner Duncan Campbell and the British-Japanese artist Simon Fujiwara to mark the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising when Irish rebels rose up against British rule on Easter Monday. The Dublin protests eventually led to the partition of Ireland.

“Campbell is working on his first film based in the Republic of Ireland, which takes as a starting point a series of American anthropological studies of Gaelic speaking rural communities in Ireland in the 1960s and 1970s,” says a museum spokeswoman. The new film, a mixture of archival material and self-shot footage, will be unveiled in December.

Fujiwara’s new project is inspired by the life of Roger Casement, a knight of the British Empire who became a fervent Irish nationalist. In 1916, Casement was hung for treason at Pentonville prison in London. Fujiwara’s work, The Humanizer (20 May-28 August), is a fictional new biopic that “takes the life of the compelling yet baffling figure of Casement through the conventions of the Hollywood narrative machine”, says a statement.

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