Irish art

Solo Arte, in our 20 years of business we have handled artworks from the following Irish artists – Arthur Maderson, Sean Scully, Nora McGuinness HRHA, Patrick Scott, Basil Blackshaw, Louis le Brocquy, Hughie O’Donoghue, Paul Henry, Robert Ballagh, John Behan, James Brohan, Brian Vallely, Martin Finnin, Pauline Bewick, Mark O’Neill. Not only did we handle irish paintings but we also do sell them.

Arthur Maderson (1942)

Born in 1942 in London, Arthur Maderson studied Fine Art from 1959 to 1963 at Camberwell School of Art, South London, where in 1963 he won the Anna Berry Award in open competition with graduates from all leading art schools in England. 

painting of many fisher boats on the coast

James Brohan (1952)

James Brohan, one of Ireland’s favourite artists, is now a master in looking as well as painting. His attention to his subjects, result in wonderful versions of places and people. Brohan favours the palette knife when producing his paintings. This choice of tool has developed into what is now his favoured technique, impasto.

abstract drawing of a donkey on brown background

Basil Blackshaw (1932)

– Northern Irish Artist

Basil Blackshaw was born in Northern Ireland in 1932 and studied in the Belfast College of Art from 1948 – 1951. In 1951 he was awarded a scholarship by the Committee for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts to study in Paris.

He was initially acclaimed for his master of traditional approaches to painting. He continued to develop as an artist becoming most highly regarded for his loose gestural application of paint and a very distinctive and subtle use of colour. His paintings of horse racing and boxing made him particularly popular.

Basil’s painting are very often figurative in form, but with a non-naturalistic palette which re-balances the composition in an expressionist, even abstract way. His themes are very Irish and often rural, greyhounds, Irish Travellers and the landscape.
Man standing on rand sand with orange filter

Hughie O’Donoghue RA (1952)

– British Artist

Born in Manchester in 1953 to Irish parents, Hughie O’Donoghue has been exhibiting internationally, in solo and group exhibitions, since 1982, gaining a reputation as one of the leading painters of his generation. His paintings are included in important public collections, including the National Gallery, London; the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester; and the Arts Council of England. Recent exhibitions include Lost Histories: Imagined Realities, Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, 2008; Parables, Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, 2008, and The Geometry of Paths, James Hyman Gallery, London, 2008.

Hughie O’Donoghue’s paintings are highly abstracted figure paintings, an approach that is said to demonstrate the respect he has in his own practice for the history of art. His method is derived from a knowledge and understanding of the methods of both abstract and figurative painters of the past which he attempts to synthesise in his own work. This respect for the historic methods of making art has led to O’Donoghue being praised not only for his painting skills, but also his emphasis on the importance of draughtsmanship in the making of a painting.
abstract painting of a man playing the violin

Brian Vallely (1941)

– Irish Artist

Irish Artist J.B. Vallely, a painter and musician, was born in 1941 into a Co. Armagh family which had a strong cultural involvement in sport and language. At the age of seventeen he sold his first painting in 1958. He then went on to study at the Belfast College of Art from 1959 where he was taught by Tom Carr and later at the Edinburgh Art College.

In the year 2000 a large retrospective of J.B. Vallely paintings was held in Armagh. The show was comprised of almost two hundred paintings from different stages of his forty year career as a painter. Vallely’s subject matter has remained linked to the past but his feeling for paint is vigorously contemporary. Rural Ireland, its traditions, music, sports and mythology create strong themes within his work and his interest in traditional culture is almost vocational.

JB Vallely is one if the most ‘in demand’ Artist on the Irish Art Market. His stunning use of colour and dramatic brushstrokes bring life and energy to his work which is perfect for his favoured subject matters, Traditional Irish Music and sport.

Louis le Brocquy (1916)

– Irish Artist

Louis le Brocquy was born in Dublin in 1916. From 1934 to 1938 he studied Chemistry at Trinity College, Dublin and then left Ireland to study the collections in European museums and galleries before settling for a time in London. He began painting in 1939. In 1958 he married the Irish painter Anne Madden and the couple settled in Carros, France where they lived until their return to Dublin in 2000.

According to an editorial in The Irish Times ‘ This self-taught artist has come to be recognised both at home and internationally as the foremost Irish painter of the 20th century’. Acclaimed for his evocative heads of literary figures and fellow artists, including W.B. Yeats, James Joyce and his friends Samuel Beckett, Francis Bacon, Seamus Heaney and Bono, in recent year le Brocquy’s early Tinker subjects and Family paintings, have attracted headline attention in the international art area marking him as the fourth painter in Ireland and Britain to be evaluated within a very select group of artists, alongside Lucian Freud, David Hockney and Francis Bacon.
painting of a woman sitting on a desk

Norah McGuinness HRHA (1901)

– Irish Artist

McGuinness was an Irish painter and illustrator born in 1901 in Derry. From 1921 she studied at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art. She obtained a commission ot illustrate Sterne’s ‘A Sentimental Journey’. She attended the Chelsea Polytechnic in London before spending the 1920s working in Dublin as a book illustrator and stage designer.

From 1937 – 1939 she lived in New York, returning to Ireland in 1939 settling in Dublin and concentrating on painting. Although her work remained figurative, she painted vivid, highly coloured landscapes: her work shows the cubist influence of L’hote and she was associated with the modern movement in Ireland.

Patrick Scott (1921)

– Irish Artist

Patrick Scott was born in County Cork, Ireland in 1921. His first exhibition was in 1944, however he trained as an architect and didn’t become a full-time artist until 1960.

Scott was best known for his gold paintings and abstracts incorporating geometrical forms in gold leaf against a pale background.

His paintings are in several important collections including the Museum of Modern Art New York and he won the Guggenheim Award in 1960.
painting of a big house by a lake

Paul Henry (1876)

– Irish Artist

Paul Henry was born on 11th April 1876 in Belfast and became one of Ireland’s greatest twentieth-century landscape painters. In his own words, Paul wanted to capture in his work “the very soul of Ireland”. When he was fifteen, he went to the Royal Belfast Academical Institution where he had already decided to become an artist.

In 1898, Henry left Belfast and studied under Jean-Paul Laurens in the ‘Académie Julian’ in Paris. Here he first met Grace Mitchell who Paul then married in 1903 in London. He stayed in Paris for a further two years when he began to use charcoal and then moved to London. To make a living, Paul submitted illustrations to local papers and also taught classes in writing pamphlets.

In 1910, Henry first exhibited at Dublin’s RHA, becoming an associate in 1926 and then a full member in 1928. He was one of the first Academicians of the Ulster Academy of Arts. His early works of the west of Ireland classically include figures, however, later he focused on capturing cloud formations, historic hillsides and lakes of Connemara and Wicklow.

Robert Ballagh (1943)

– Irish Artist

Born in Dublin in 1943, Robert Ballagh studied architecture and worked as an engineering draughtsman, a musician and a postman before taking up painting in 1967. He represented Ireland at the Paris Biennale in 1969. Major survey exhibitions of his work have taken place in Lund, Warsaw, Sofia and Moscow. In 2006 the RHA Gallery stage a career retrospective in Dublin.

As a graphic designer he has produced over seventy stamps for An Post and designed the Irish banknotes before the introduction of the Euro. His notable work in the theatre includes Samuel Beckett’s ‘Endgame’, Gate Theatre (1991); Steven Berkoff’s production of Oscar Wilde’s ‘Salome’, Gate Theatre, Dublin (1998), the staging for the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics in Croke Park, Dublin (2003) and Riverdance.

For 10 years, Ballagh chaired the Irish National Congress, a non-party organisation working for peace in Northern Ireland. He served as the first chairman of the Artists’ Association of Ireland when it was founded in 1981, and he is a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science. Robert Ballagh is the founding chairman of the Irish Visual Artists Rights Organisation.

Sean Scully (1945)

– Irish Artist

Sean Scully is considered to be one of the world’s leading abstract painters. Born in Dublin and raised in London, he now lives between New York and Germany. Scully studied at Croydon College of Art and Newcastle University. He settled in New York after being awarded a graduate fellowship at Harvard in the early 1970s.

Scully has exhibited widely in Europe and the United States and is represented in the permanent collections of a number of museums and public galleries including, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, the National Gallery of Australia, the Tate Gallery, London and the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin.

His paintings are abstract and often made up of a number of panels. Scully paints in oils sometimes laying the paint on quite thickly to create textured surfaces and typically involve architectural constructions.

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