One of the Irish Museum of Modern Art's more recent acquisitions, 'The Drummer' by Barry Flanagan, was unveiled in the grounds at IMMA on Thursday 22 February 2001. The work - a 15ft-high bronze sculpture of a lively drumming hare - was donated to the Museum by the artist and is situated outside the main entrance.
'The Drummer' characterises Barry Flanagan's series of hare sculptures which have formed a large part of his work from the early 1980s to the present day. Flanagan's hares are spectacular in size and convey an extraordinary spontaneity and naturalness. There is nothing repetitive in his use of a single theme; each hare is extremely individualistic and dynamic. Many portray human attributes - dancing, playing instruments, engaging in sports and even using technical equipment. In addition to his emblematic hare sculptures, Flanagan's work also includes ceramic pieces, abstract sculptures, drawings in ink and pencil, water-colours and collages on paper in a wide range of subject matter including life studies, animals and abstract shapes.
In 2013 I read the following in the Sunday Times: "A sculpture greeting visitors to the Irish Museum of Modern Art (Imma) for more than a decade was originally destined for Aras an Uachtarain but was turned down by Mary McAleese because the artist was not Irish, according to a new book." He is from Wales.
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