Exhibitions / 06 March - 26 April 2009


Show Time: 11.00am - 8.00pm

Curated by Enrique Juncosa, Director, IMMA

A rare opportunity to see the work of internationally-acclaimed Irish artist James Coleman, in Ireland’s largest and most ambitious staging of his work to date. A collaboration between three of Dublin’s leading cultural venues, the exhibition consists of six of Coleman’s major works, two of which, Box(ahhareturnabout), 1977 and Untitled, 1998-2002, will be presented at Project Arts Centre.

Coleman is known for his use of photography, projected still images with soundtracks, film, video and performance as powerful means of conveying his reflections on the meaning of image and language in his work.

Although widely recognised abroad Coleman’s work has not had major exposure in Ireland, a situation which this exhibition seeks to redress.

View all of the photos from the opening of James Coleman here. 

The Irish Museum of Modern Art, in collaboration with Projects Arts Centre, and the Royal Hibernian Academy, is pleased to announce an important exhibition by the internationally renowned Irish artist James Coleman. Featuring works from the 1970s up to the early 2000s, the exhibition includes many works previously not seen in Ireland, including three of Coleman’s most celebrated artworks, Charon (MIT Project), 1989, Seeing for Oneself, 1987-88 and Untitled, 1998-2002.

Recognised internationally as one of the most important and pioneering contemporary artists, the work of James Coleman over the last forty years has transformed the role of image and sound in visual art, and redefined our relationship with the artworks we see today in museums and galleries around the world. His influence can be seen in a generation of younger international artists, including Steve McQueen, Douglas Gordon, Tino Sehgal, Stan Douglas, and Jeff Wall.

The works in the exhibition are installed at three venues:

IMMA: So Different… and Yet, 1980
Project Arts Centre: Box (ahhareturnabout), 1977; Untitled, 1998-2002
Royal Hibernian Academy: Charon (MIT Project), 1989; Seeing for Oneself, 1987-88; Connemara Landscape, 1980

The current exhibition is accompanied by a substantial new publication published in association with Thames & Hudson, with new texts by the French philosopher Jacques Rancière, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris VIII; Jean Fisher, Professor of Fine Art and Transcultural Studies, Middlesex University; Luke Gibbons, Keough Family Chair in Irish Studies, Professor of English, and Concurrent Professor in the Department of Film, Television and Theatre at the University of Notre Dame, and Dorothea von Hantelmann, art historian at the Collaborative Research Centre “Aesthetic Experience and the Dissolution of Artistic Limits” at the Free University Berlin.


James Coleman was born in Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon in 1941. Since the 1970s, Coleman has exhibited extensively in international museums and galleries, including more recently the Dia Center for the Arts, New York (1994-95), Kunstmuseum Luzern, Lucerne (1995), Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne, Paris (1996), Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona (1999), Lenbachhaus-Kunstbau Städtische Galerie, Munich (2002), Sprengel Museum, Hannover (2002), and Museu do Chiado, Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea, Lisbon (2004-05). In 2003, Coleman developed a unique project at the Louvre in Paris for the exhibition Léonard de Vinci: dessins et manuscrits. In 2007, Coleman participated in Documenta 12 in Kassel, premiering his new work Retake with Evidence, 2007. In 2008, Coleman completed the successful showing at IMMA of his trilogy of pioneering works from the 1990s, with the slide installation Background, 1991-94, following the installation of  I  N  I  T  I  A  L  S,  1993-94, in 2006 and Lapsus Exposure, 1992-94, in 2007. These installations celebrated IMMA’s acquisition of these major works through funding from the Heritage Committee of the National Cultural Institutions in 2004.


Closed Sundays & Bank Holidays

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