Becoming is a mid-career retrospective of the work of Alice Maher, one of Ireland’s most respected and influential artists. Including painting, sculpture, photography and animation, the exhibition included seminal works such as Berry Dress, 1994, from the IMMA Collection; Familiar, 1995, from the Crawford Art Gallery, and many other works held in IMMA’s own Collection. The title Becoming, hints at some of the main preoccupations of the artist and the themes explored in the exhibition. A dress can be becoming or flattering; one’s behaviour can become you, as you act in an appropriate way within a social construct; but becoming also points at a point of transformation where something becomes something else, Maher’s work has always placed itself at this nexus, a point of metamorphosis where there is continuous flux as states shift and the familiar becomes otherworldly or unknown - where the inappropriate and the unacceptable are constantly called into play.
This fully-illustrated catalogue, published by IMMA and distributed by D.A.P. New York, accompanied the exhibition, with texts by Dr Penelope Curtis, Director of Tate Britain; Booker Prize-winning author, Anne Enright; Dr Ed Krčma, Lecturer Modern and Contemporary Art, UCC; Dr David Lloyd, Professor of English at the University of Southern California; Dr Catherine Morris curator and author of Alice Milligan and the Irish Cultural Revival (Four Courts Press, 2012), and curator of the exhibition Seán Kissane.