“Patrick Graham’s painterly, improvised surfaces invariably convey a startling openness and vulnerability.” Michael Dempsey, Head of Exhibitions
Graham emerged in the 1980s in a period of uncertainty for the discipline of painting in critical art discourse. He consolidated a position dedicated to a personal quest for existential meaning through aesthetic experience. The electricity and intensity inherent in the work along with the raw emotion evidenced in his gestural marks is derived from his ecstatic responses to history and personal identity.
His heroic subjects are imbued with that fundamental human desire to communicate and his compositions present multiple possibilities of interpretation.
In his large paintings, Graham insistently cultivates the relationship between artwork and viewer. His works metaphorise into enthralling spaces and diagrammatic universes teeming with meaning and interpretation. Graham frequently introduces text into his layered compositions, not as citation or illustration, rather as a visible, inseparable action packing a visceral punch through line, colour, and brushstroke.
Patrick Graham was born in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath in 1943. He was awarded a scholarship to National College of Art and Design (1959-1963) and since the late 1960’d has exhibited in Ireland and internationally. He is a member of Aosdána and in 1987, was awarded the Presidents Gold Medal, Oireachtas Exhibition.
Image – Patrick Graham – Figure in landscape 2021 (detail), courtesy of the artist, photography by Denis Mortell