a letter from the director

In 2010, IMOCA established a new opportunity for local artists in honor of a similar pursuit taken up by artists many years ago.

In 1943, a group of artists rebelling at the closed, conservative, ‘tennis club’ institutions for art, decided to stand together and do something about it. The Irish Exhibition of Living Art, which was arguably sparked the atmosphere that allowed many or most of the opportunities available to Irish-based artists today- The Arts Council, Culture Ireland and the Percent For Art scheme, among others.

The very nature of contemporary art has changed so much since the declaration of the name, ‘Living Art,’ that a current reading of it could easily confuse it as just performance-based work, although it originally was a reference to the simple fact that these artists were still living and producing work.

By its dissolution in the 1980’s, The Irish Exhibition of Living Art had already exhibited a significant force on Irish art, and had successfully managed what many institutions fail to do- make way for newer memes and ideas. In 2010 the first New Living Art exhibition was launched, curated by Claire Feeley and including over 30 Irish artists. It was a celebration of, and a bridge between, the artists of the past who had the courage and drive to create their own opportunities when presented with no other alternative, and the artists who, today, are taking every opportunity that is now available.

Every year we will offer a carte blanche invitation to a new curator, so that the even the design, selection and presentation formats of the exhibit continue to be tested and evolve alongside the New Living Art. The only irrevocable rule will be that the NLA, despite whatever solicitation, will always continue to have an open call for artists and work, indiscriminate of status, degree or station.

The NLA II will open Friday, October 7th as part of the overall Dublin Contemporary 2011 events, and will be curated by Kay Bear Koss, the 2010 Irish representative to the Wales Arts International Curators’ Week.

K Bear Koss, Director