Sunday, February 21, 2010

John Latta usefully directs me to Patrick Swift's fine example:

"Swift only held two solo exhibitions during his career, the first being in Dublin in 1952. After this first, highly acclaimed, solo exhibition Swift showed no desire in exhibiting again until 1974, when he was persuaded to hold an exhibition in Lisbon (the venue being the deciding factor for Swift). David Wright has suggested that perhaps some trauma was suffered at his first showing, and it has been noted that much of Swift's early work has an underlying tone of disquiet. We know he distrusted publicity and celebrity, which he disliked and considered a distraction, and the success of his first exhibition would certainly have attracted unwanted attention. Whatever the reasons, Swift’s art seems to have been a very personal and private matter carried out behind closed doors- very few were allowed into his studio in the Algarve. In fact, most of Swift’s output during his life was seen -if at all- by a very small number of people that he was intimate with. [Brian] Fallon says: ‘[T]his is the typical Irish artist-intellectual of the post-war years, reared on Joyce and Baudelaire, introspective, cerebral, at once cynical and idealistic, at odds with much or most of what the society around him believed in or affected to believe in.'"

(Image credit: Patrick Swift, The Springs, Ashwell, 1960)

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