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Dublin's IMMA puts on major show on Indian artist Sheela Gowda

— April 2014

Associated media

Sheela Gowda, Kagebangara, 2008, flattened tar drum sheets, tar drums, mica tar sheet, mica, tarpaulin, dimensions variable, Installation view, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 2013, Image courtesy of the artist and GALLERYSKE, Photo: © Peter Cox

Following the success of the Irish Museum of Modern Art’s reopening in October 2013, the Museum is launching  a major retrospective exhibition by Indian artist Sheela Gowda. To celebrate the opening of the exhibition ‘Sheela Gowda:Open Eye Policy’ IMMA presents a programme of exhibitions, activities and events, with something for everyone, on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 April 2014. 

The exhibition by Sheela Gowda,Open Eye Policy’, is an overview of her work from 1992 to 2012. This exhibition provides Irish audiences the opportunity to discover the work of this extraordinary artist, who this year was nominated for the prestigious Hugo Boss Prize. The exhibition presents artworks never exhibited together and constitutes the basis for a proper evaluation of the artist’s historical and cultural significance. 

Gowda works with pre-industrial materials such as cow dung, thread, string, and wooden chips but also with ‘waste’ from the economic activity of today’s India, such as steel tar drums and plastic tarpaulins. The artworks in the exhibition can be divided into different, though interlinked, sections showing early studies, works with cow dung, smaller sculptures, large-scale installations and works on paper.

Born 1957 in India, Gowda trained as a painter, but is best known for her sculptural installations. The theme of her artistic expression goes from an interest in abstraction and materials, to the engagement with politics, the environment and society. Gowda lives and works in Bangalore.

The Museum’s Spring Opening is also a chance for visitors of all ages to discover the full breadth of IMMA’s Spring programme with five other exhibitions on view, these include the recently opened exhibition by renowned British artist Haroon Mirza, ‘Are jee be?’, a new body of work created in direct response to the environment and architecture of IMMA, and from IMMA's Collection a striking red neon text installation, LineWriting,1994, by Laos born artist Vong Phaophanit.

Other highlights include family activities as part of the family exhibition ‘Light Rhythms’ – create your own sound installation with artist Karl Burke, try out your skills as a DJ with DJ Simon Conway, and contribute to a large-scale sculpture in IMMA’s courtyard by artist Julian Wild; attend one of the many curator talks on IMMA’s exhibitions throughout the day, culminating in a panel discussion with artist Sheela Gowda; attend the official Spring Opening reception at 6p.m.; and finally those who love to dance can attend the ‘90s club night, in partnership with Totally Dublin, with sets by exhibiting artist Haroon Mirza, Donal Dineen and more, taking place in IMMA’s Chapel from 8p.m.

Irish Museum of Modern Art
Royal Hospital
Dublin 8

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