Thursday 27 April 2017

On a London street, on an autumn day ...

Staring straight ahead through his trademark spectacles, there can be no mistaking that these unsmiling eyes belong to one of our literary greats. Patrick Kavanagh painted by Patrick Swift is just one of the hidden gems from the unexpected collection of our own CIE. It features in a touring exhibition on display in Dundalk Institute of Technology until the end of November.

Co-funded by the Arts Council, the collection was predominantly acquired in the 1960s and features important works by artists such as Louis le Brocquy, Norah McGuinness, Maurice McGonigal, Gerard Dillon and William Leech, including Leech's A Cottage Window which hasn't been seen in public since 1949.

Swift first met Patrick Kavanagh in Dublin during the late '40s, introduced by their mutual friend, the artist and writer John Ryan. Despite a significant difference in their ages, the pair immediately connected, with Swift persuading Kavanagh to read W H. Auden, who soon became a lasting influence on Kavanagh's own work.

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