November 15, 2019 - IMMA — Irish Museum of Modern Art - Derek Jarman: PROTEST!
November 15, 2019

IMMA — Irish Museum of Modern Art

Derek Jarman, Fuck me blind, 1993. Oil on canvas, 251 x 179 cm. Courtesy of Keith Collins Will Trust and Amanda Wilkinson Gallery, London.

Derek Jarman
PROTEST!
November 15, 2019–February 23, 2020

IMMA — Irish Museum of Modern Art
Kilmainham
Royal Hospital, Military Road
Dublin
Ireland

T +353 1 612 9900

imma.ie
Instagram / Facebook / Twitter

Derek Jarman
PROTEST!
November 15, 2019–February 23, 2020

IMMA — Irish Museum of Modern Art
Kilmainham
Royal Hospital, Military Road
Dublin
Ireland

T +353 1 612 9900

imma.ie
Instagram / Facebook / Twitter

IMMA is delighted to present PROTEST! a major retrospective of acclaimed British artist and filmmaker Derek Jarman (1942-1994), marking 25 years since his death.

While addressing Jarman’s important contribution to film, this exhibition will focus on his wider practice as a painter, writer, designer, gardener and political activist. PROTEST! captures Jarman’s engagement with both art and society, as well as concerns arising from the AIDS crisis. The exhibitions and accompanying catalogue will provide a comprehensive examination of Jarman's work, with over 150 works in diverse media, dating from 1958 to 1993.

Derek Jarman studied at the Slade School of Art, London in the mid-1960s, and was part of a group of young painters, including Patrick Procter and David Hockney, who embodied a changing mood in British art. Sometimes called 'The Andy Warhol of London', as early as 1968 Jarman was hired to design costumes and sets such as Jazz Calendar for Frederick Ashton at the Royal Ballet and in 1971 the set for Ken Russell's The Devils. The exhibition includes many original designs by Jarman, photographs of the realized sets and a group of costumes designed by Oscar-winning designer Sandy Powell. While collaboration was at the heart of Jarman's practice it also highlights his status as an incubator of young talent. Figures such as Tilda Swinton, Toyah Wilcox, Joanna Hogg, Sean Bean and John Maybury had their first opportunities under Jarman's direction.

In 1976 Jarman produced his first full length feature film Sebastiane, a queer telling of the story of the martyrdom of St Sebastian. Against the backdrop of Thatcherism and a socially conservative Britain, Jarman’s work made queer lives and history visible; a provocation to the dominant hierarchies. Later, Caravaggio’s life and art were a source of inspiration for their fusion of passion, beauty and violence. Over a period of more than ten years Jarman made paintings using techniques borrowed from the Renaissance master. Making a feature film on Caravaggio’s life became an obsession. Following the release of the film Caravaggio in 1986 he was nominated for the Turner Prize that year.

At the end of 1986 Jarman was diagnosed as HIV-positive. AIDS was then a fatal, non-treatable disease which the tabloid press described as a plague. This diagnosis transformed Jarman’s practice and led to a new kind of activism as he worked to raise awareness of AIDS. This is expressed in his expansive series of ‘Slogan Paintings’. These monumental works, from the early 1990s, incorporating phrases related to government policy, tabloid hysteria and public fear of the AIDS crisis, remain powerful comments on the socio-political climate of the time.

Jarman’s diagnosis coincided with a move to Prospect Cottage in Dungeness, Kent, here he created a unique and highly-regarded garden, made an important series of paintings and wrote extensive memoirs.

Moving image works from across Jarman’s career will be shown throughout the exhibition. Jarman’s achievement in film will be presented in association with the Irish Film Institute (IFI) who will screen a selection of his feature films in their original format in December.

PROTEST! Published by IMMA & Thames and Hudson, February 2020
Covering Jarman’s artistic development as well as reflecting on his life and legacy. This major new publication will feature contributions from curator of the exhibition Seán Kissane, alongside texts by 18 authors.

Derek Jarman, PROTEST! is organized by IMMA, Dublin, in partnership with Manchester Art Gallery, and is accompanied by additional projects at VOID, Derry and John Hansard Gallery, Southampton.

The exhibition has been developed in close cooperation with the Keith Collins Will Trust, James Mackay and Amanda Wilkinson Gallery.

Admission is Free.

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