Show of support for IMMA director


A number of leading contemporary artists have protested over Mr Declan McGonagle's reported difficulties at the Irish Museum of Modern Art. IMMA recently decided to advertise the post of director, a job currently held by Mr McGonagle.

Mr McGonagle has begun legal action, which is scheduled to be heard in the High Court on December 18th. He claims that his legal rights have been infringed by the decision to advertise the post.

Those who have written to the IMMA board include political artist Hans Haacke, painters Leon Golub and Pat Hearne, sculptors Kaki Smith and Beverley Semmes, and Nancy Spiro, who specialises in drawing, all of whom are based in New York. Also included are photographic artist Jeff Wall, from Vancouver, and Joseph Kosuth, a construction artist based in Rome.

Others who have written to the board in support of Mr McGonagle are the sculptor Anthony Gormley, Turner Prize winner Gillian Wearing and photographic artist Hume Strakey, all based in London.

Mr Haacke said: "Should the board let go a man of this stature, it will be a signal to the international art world that Ireland does not value the professional and intellectual commitment he represents."

Among Irish people who have written to the IMMA board in support of Mr McGonagle are the writer and artist Brian Hand; performance artist Nigel Rolfe; painters Stephen McKenna and Brian Maguire; Luke Gibbons, Professor of Film and Media at Notre Dame University, New York; Aileen MacKeogh, head of the School of Art, Design and Media at Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology; and the artist Noel Sheridan, who is also director of the National College of Art and Design.