The Office of Public Works (OPW) is hosting ‘Face to Face - Anthony Palliser’s Irish Portraits’, a major summer exhibition in Farmleigh Gallery in the Phoenix Park, brings together for the first time over eighty portraits of more than thirty Irish cultural icons by renowned Anglo-Belgian portrait painter Anthony Palliser. The exhibition to be opened by Sean Rainbird, Director of the National Gallery of Ireland, will include paintings and drawings of individuals who have, over the past fifty years, contributed significantly to the development of Irish cultural life and its international reputation and appreciation.
Portraits on display will include Seamus Heaney, Thomas Kinsella, Edna O’Brien, John Boorman, Colm Tóibín, Jonathan Rhys Myers, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, and Brian Friel amongst others. Palliser’s recently-completed portrait of President Michael D. Higgins will also be unveiled at the opening of the exhibition. The exhibition will be a tribute to the late Garech Browne who was working with the OPW to bring the exhibition to Farmleigh at the time of his passing.
The exhibition and the art of portraiture will be brought to life by a series of talks and events held over June and July by renowned Irish artists and commentators, including Fintan O’Toole, Farmleigh writer-in-residence Theo Dorgan, and Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) artist James Hanley. There will be art workshops for children with Karen O’Connor and an afternoon of traditional music to honour Garech Browne who founded Claddagh Records and was a lifelong supporter of traditional music in Ireland.
Palliser says: “I have been a regular visitor to Ireland since the early 1990s when I first met Garech Browne. It’s through my friendship with Garech and my frequent visits to Luggala that I first encountered and befriended many of my subjects featured in the exhibition. It’s a great honour to bring the Irish collection together for the first time in Ireland and to do so at Farmleigh, which of course had such a personal connection for Garech and the Guinness family”.
About Anthony Palliser
Having received his early education at the Catholic Downside school, Palliser briefly attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome and went on to graduate from New College, Oxford, after which, in 1971, he moved to his beloved Paris, where he still lives with his wife, Diane Lawyer.
Forever working and tackling different themes, Palliser has produced many first-rate portraits of a wide variety of internationally recognised personalities and friends from the worlds of the arts and politics, including Marianne Faithful, Kenzo Takada, Kristin Scott Thomas, Sir Michael Howard and Charlotte Rampling, to name but a few. His masterful portrait of Graham Greene hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in London.
Palliser’s selection of Irish subjects began in 2002 with a painting of the poet Derek Mahon, to whom he was introduced by Garech Browne of Luggala. A long-time friend of Browne, it was through him that Palliser developed his contacts and relationships with many of the individuals who are featured in this exhibition.
This exhibition has been curated by Kieran Owens, on behalf of the Office of Public Works. It will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue, containing essays by John Boorman, Lara Marlowe and Sophie Gorman.
Exhibition: Face to Face - Anthony Palliser’s Irish Portraits
Gallery: Farmleigh Gallery, Phoenix Park, Castleknock, Dublin 15
Dates: Friday, 1 June 2018 – Sunday, 2 September 2018
Times: Tuesday to Sunday 10am – 5pm (closed 1-2pm)
Bank Holiday Mondays 10am to 5pm (closed 1-2pm)
Website: Farmleigh Gallery