Visions – Spectacular Art from the Ulster Museum Collections

An exhibition of Irish and international art covering four centuries is on display at the transformed Ulster Museum, open through Tuesday 26 October 2010.

The exhibition, “Visions – Spectacular Art from the Ulster Museum” will feature more than 170 works from the permanent collection. The new show will include works by a range of important painters including Sir John Lavery, Jack B Yeats, Paul Henry, Gerard Dillon, Dan O’Neill, Louis Le Brocquy and Roderic O’Conor.


Pictured above are Tim Cooke, Director of National Museums Northern Ireland and Anne Stewart, Curator of Fine Art at the Ulster Museum

One of the museum’s newest acquisitions, Ghost Story by Turner Prize finalist Willie Doherty, will be on display for the first time.
British and international highlights include work by JMW Turner, LS Lowry, Francis Bacon, Bridget Riley, Gilbert & George, Graham Sutherland, Jean Dubuffet and Karel Appel.

To coincide with the exhibition launch, the Ulster Museum’s Curators of Fine Art, Dr Eileen Black and Anne Stewart, have produced a new publication ‘Visions – A Celebration of Irish Art from the Ulster Museum’ detailing 100 Irish works from the 17th century to the present day. The publication will be available from the museum’s shop.

Tim Cooke, Director of National Museums Northern Ireland, says: “For five months now the relaunched Ulster Museum has been the most talked about new experience in Northern Ireland.

In the period since opening at the end of October 2009 to now the museum has welcomed a record 275,000 visitors. The new museum has put Northern Ireland on the international cultural map as never before.”

A new fashion gallery, entitled ‘Grand Designers’, will showcase some of the finest designers and will include pieces by the late Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Ozzie Clarke and Versace.
Kim Mawhinney, Head of Art at National Museums Northern Ireland, says the new Visions exhibition will be on display until autumn 2010.
She added: “It will be accompanied by an extensive series of events including tours, talks and workshops as part of a new ‘Art For Everyone’ programme. And, of course, entrance to the Ulster Museum is free.”

The themes included in ‘Visions – Spectacular Art from the Ulster Museum’ are:

Renaissance to Romanticism
Old Master Paintings
The museum’s Old Master collection has been built up since 1893 and comprises works by Flemish, Dutch, Italian and British painters of the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries. This selection includes one of the most significant donations in the history of the museum: J.M.W. Turner’s Dawn of Christianity (Flight into Egypt), given in 1913.

A New Order
Twentieth Century Irish Art
Highlights of the twentieth century Irish art collection arranged to illustrate three themes: Figure, Place and Imagination. During the closure of the Ulster Museum new acquisitions have entered the art collection, most notably two major works by Derry artist Willie Doherty, Apparatus, a series of 40 photographs of Belfast, and Ghost Story, a powerful video installation that was first shown at the Venice Biennale in 2007.

Faces and Places
Irish Art 1690s-1880s
This exhibition illustrates the increasing sophistication of portraiture in Ireland from the 1690s and the emergence of landscape painting from the 1720s. Included are major portrait painters like James Latham and Nathaniel Hone and landscapists such as George Barret and Sir John Lavery, whose Under the Cherry Tree is one of the most important works in the collection.

The Grand Designers
This exhibition features fashions through the decades from 1900s to 2010 including pieces by the late Alexander McQueen. The exhibition also includes pieces by Vivienne Westwood, Versace, Molyneux, Yves Saint Laurent, Mary Quant, Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana. The earliest piece in the exhibition is a1900s yellow, puff-sleeved Edwardian dress made from silk and velvet. The exhibition covers fashion from every decade including the trademark mini skirts of the 1960s and the distinctive ‘floating’ style of the 1970s.

Drawing the Line
This exhibition shows the highest quality drawings and watercolours of the Ulster Museum’s permanent collection. On display is a comprehensive array of Irish, British and Continental works on paper from the seventeenth century to the present day, including important artists such as John Henry Fuseli, Andrew Nicholl, Dr James Moore, Richard Dunscombe Parker and Kenneth Shoesmith.

Power to Shock
Twentieth Century British Art
Highlights of the twentieth century British art collection arranged to illustrate three themes: Intimacy, Enclosure and Abstraction. The display will give an overview of British art from Sickert to the work of contemporary artist Matt Collinshaw and will feature Head II by Francis Bacon, recently returned from major exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Prado in Madrid and the Tate in London.

After The Bomb
Post-War International Art
A display devoted to the highlights of the International art collection at the Ulster Museum. The most important works date from the 1950s and 1960s and include examples by American and European painters most notably: Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, Karel Appel and Jean Dubuffet.

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