Why you should catch Yeats and Freud’s IMMA show

Why you should catch Yeats and Freud’s IMMA show
White Shower by Jack B Yeats from the Freud-Yeats show at IMMA. Picture: Estate of Jack B. Yeats, DACS London/IVARO Dublin, 2019/Image courtesy of The Model, home of The Niland Collection

Des O’Sullivan urges you to catch Yeats and Freud’s IMMA show.

If you have not yet managed to see it there is still time to catch a marvellous show at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) in Dublin.

Life Above Everything brings together the work of Lucian Freud (1922-2011) and Jack B Yeats (1871-1957).

Freud had a lifelong interest in the work of Yeats and admired its force and energy.

He did not cite Yeats as an influence but seems to have found common purpose with his work’s originality and independence.

A pen and ink drawing by Yeats, ‘The Dancing Stevedores’, hung beside Freud’s bed for over 20 years.

Girl with Roses by Lucian Freud from the Freud-Yeats show at IMMA/British Council, London. Picture: The Lucian Freud Archive
Girl with Roses by Lucian Freud from the Freud-Yeats show at IMMA/British Council, London. Picture: The Lucian Freud Archive

Unique to the show is a group of seven paintings by Yeats which Freud selected for a close friend, advising him which works to acquire.

Freud’s first visit to Ireland in 1948 has been described, at least in part, as a pilgrimage to the site of Yeats’ work.

They exhibited together only one in their lifetimes, at the inaugural show at the ICA in London in 1948.

Freud’s work has been exhibited with that of other artists, but this is the first time that it is presented with a single other artist.

This thought-provoking show runs until January 19.

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