Who are the best Irish artists?, part IV, other names

Francis Bacon was born in Ireland, but not of Irish parents, he did not grow up in Ireland, and he did not consider himself Irish.  So I do not count him as a contender for my exercise.

Sean Scully is a contemporary abstract painter of renown, and his works are held by many major museums.  He was born in Dublin, and now his paintings may go for $600,000-$800-800.  To me they seemed like a bargain, in the 1990s, at one tenth that price.  I like his work, but to my eye he could just as easily be a “New York painter” and in a way he is.  He even pops up on Google as “American artist.”  His family moved to England when he was four years old, and Wikipedia calls him a “British artist.”  Whatever.  I’m not going to award him first prize, but if you are curious here is one not atypical image:

Louis le Brocquy (1916-2012) counts as a “real Irish artist,” and some of his best works sell for a million pounds or more.  I can’t help but find his major work clunky rather than revelatory.  To me the figures are not so much “ugly,” as was suggested in Ireland during his time, but rather pointless.  He is somehow not even a true radical.  And dare I confess that I prefer my Irish artists not entirely cosmopolitan?  Here is one image of his:

Nope, he won’t be my number one.  I’ll be considering two more individuals in this series, coming soon I hope.


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