Becoming – Alice Maher

Opening: Fri Oct 5th 6pm
Exhibition Runs until Feb 3rd

A major mid-career retrospective of the work of Alice Maher opens tonight at IMMA’s Earlsfort Terrace space. The show encompasses painting, sculpture, photography and animation and is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with writings from Penelope Curtis, Anne Enright, Ed Krčma, David Lloyd, Catherine Morris and exhibition curator, Seán Kissane. The following details are from the IMMA website:

Becoming is a mid-career retrospective of the work of Alice Maher, one of Ireland’s most respected and influential artists. Including painting, sculpture, photography and animation, the exhibition will include seminal works such as Berry Dress, 1994, from the IMMA Collection; Familiar, 1995, from the Crawford Art Gallery, and many other works held in IMMA’s own Collection. The title Becoming, hints at some of the main preoccupations of the artist and the themes that will be explored in the exhibition. A dress can be becoming or flattering; one’s behaviour can become you, as you act in an appropriate way within a social construct; but becoming also points at a point of transformation where something becomes something else, Maher’s work has always placed itself at this nexus, a point of metamorphosis where there is continuous flux as states shift and the familiar becomes otherworldly or unknown – where the inappropriate and the unacceptable are constantly called into play.

Maher’s work is itself in a state of continuous metamorphosis as her themes and interests have manifested themselves in differing states during the past twenty years. Material transformation is evident as the artist has interrogated her subject through the use of painting, drawing, sculpture, video, and more recently digital technologies and new media. Through constant change, reworking and examination, Maher uncovers evermore complex readings and meanings of the world around us.

Born in 1956, Alice Maher studied at the University of Limerick and the Crawford College of Art, Cork. She was awarded a Master’s degree in Fine Art from the University of Ulster and shortly after a Fulbright Scholarship to San Francisco Art Institute. Her work involves many different media including painting, drawing, sculpture, print, photography and installation. She has exhibited widely in Ireland, England and the United States, and represented Ireland in the 22nd São Paolo Bienal. In 2008, the David Nolan Gallery in New York hosted a solo exhibition of new drawings and sculptures titled Hypnerotomachia. In 2007, a large survey show of her work, Natural Artifice, was held at the Brighton and Hove Museums. Also in that year she completed a major drawing installation, The Night Garden, for the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin.

A programme of talks and related events is also planned. Full details of this can be found here.

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