Francis Tansey
Irish Abstract Artist. Biography, Acrylic Paintings.

For a guide to oils/watercolours
see: Irish Painting.
For answers to popular queries,
see: Irish Art Questions.

Francis Tansey (b.1959)

The contemporary Irish abstract painter Francis Tansey was born in Dublin in 1959. He studied at the National College of Art and Design in (1978-1983). Specializing in abstract art, in 1985 he became the first Artist in Residence, at Butler Gallery, County Kilkenny, where his brightly coloured geometric acrylic painting caused great interest.

When the internationally acclaimed abstract artist Sean Scully saw Tansey’s work exhibited for the first time in a 1983 NCAD Degree Show, he called Tansey one of the most exciting prospects in Irish art.


For details of painters/sculptors,
see: Abstract Artists Ireland.

Tansey's paintings have immense visual power. He typically uses rollers as well as brushes to apply acrylic co-polymer paints in countless thin layers until the desired colour saturation is achieved, utilizing tape to achieve ultra-crisp edges.

In their expression of spacial relationships and juxtapositioning of colour, they have several characteristics in common with the Abstract Expressionists Mondrian and Rothko.


Since he began painting full-time, Francis Tansey has shown his works in numerous solo and group exhibitions, and his work is in the collections of the Ulster Museum, the Arts Council of Ireland, Jefferson Smurfit Group, AIB and many other corporate and private collections.


Art Exhibitions

His shows include: National College of Art and Design Degree Exhibition, Dublin (1983); Summer Exhibition of Gallery Artists, Solomon Gallery, Dublin (1984); Solo Exhibition, Solomon Gallery, Dublin (1985); International Contemporary Art Fair, Olympia, London (1986); Solo Exhibition, Solomon Gallery, London (1986); Two man show (with Michael Warren), Solomon Gallery, Dublin (1986); Nine Kilkenny Artists, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (1987); Solo Exhibition, Solomon Gallery, London (1987); Aer Rianta Annual Exhibition, Dublin Airport, Dublin (1989); 'Images from Ireland' Brussels (1989); Solo Exhibition, Solomon Gallery, Dublin (1990); New Acquisitions, Ulster Museum, Belfast (1992); Aer Rianta Annual Exhibition, Dublin Airport (1992); "Geometrics" group show, Bistango Gallery, Irvine, California, USA (1992); "Abstract Prospectus" International Group Show, L.A. Art Core, Los Angeles, USA (1992); Solo Exhibition, Solomon Gallery, Dublin (1992); LACA, Los Angeles Contemporary Art Exhibition, Group Exhibition (1993); "Real or Unreal", James O'Donoghue Gallery, Kilkenny Arts Week, Kilkenny (1994); 1995 One man show, Max Factor Building, Wilshire, Brentwood Plaza, LA, USA (1995); Solo Exhibition, Solomon Gallery, Dublin (1995); Aer Rianta 10 Year Retrospective Exhibition, Dublin Airport (1997); Solo Exhibition, Grosvenor Gallery, Dublin (1999).

Auction Record For Francis Tansey

The highest price paid at auction for a work by Francis Tansey was recorded in 2004, when his abstract painting, entitled Solid Red, was sold at James Adams, in Dublin, for €15,000.

More Information About Visual Arts in Ireland

• For details of other abstract painters and sculptors, see: Irish Artists: Paintings and Biographies.
• For more about abstract acrylic painters like Francis Tansey, see: Irish Art Guide.
• For more about concrete art, see: Homepage.

History of Irish Art
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