John Doherty
Irish Photorealist Landscape Painter. Biography, Superrealist Paintings.


John Doherty (b.1949)

The Irish photorealist painter and landscape artist John Doherty was born in County Kilkenny and trained as an architect at the Bolton Street College of Technology in Dublin. He then moved to Australia where he studied drawing and painting at the National College of Art, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. After extensive travels around the world, Doherty settled in Melbourne.

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Although he has completed a number of traditional Irish landscapes, more typical subjects of his photorealism work are buildings - often in small rural towns. His sharp bright canvases use delicate tones of light and dark to emphasise the silence and lack of movement in the spaces he portrays. His particular art focuses on street scenes, doors and shop fronts depicted face-on, using photo-realist techniques, in order to capture the lost optimism and neglect of aging structures. A typical visual element in his scenes are the rectangular slabs of colour found on traditional main streets throughout Ireland. Such images were also an important influence on the development of the Irish-American artist Sean Scully.


John Doherty's superrealist landscape painting has been widely exhibited in shows like:

- "John Doherty", at the Coventry Gallery, Sydney, Australia (1977)
- "John Doherty", at the Taylor Galleries, Dublin (1981)
- "Irish Lights", at the Taylor Galleries, Dublin (1998)
- "Recent Buoy Paintings and other Marine Objects", Taylor Galleries (2000)
- "Boys and Their Toys", Taylor Galleries (2003)
- "John Doherty. Recent Paintings", Taylor Galleries (2005)

In addition, Doherty has exhibited at a number of group Exhibitions, such as the Irish Exhibition of Living Art. His work is represented in several collections, including: the Waterford Municipal Art Gallery Collection, Allied Irish Bank, Merrion Hotel collection and the Institute of Modern Arts in Chicago.

Auction Record For John Doherty

The highest price paid at auction for a painting by John Doherty was recorded in 2007, when his oil painting, entitled Maxol Lubrication, Dingle, was sold at James Adams, in Dublin, for €84,000. Doherty also won the James Adam Saleroom Award at a recent Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) exhibition. Subsequently, during a recent auction at Adam's in Dublin, Doherty's painting Old Dockyard Building, Castletownbere (1984) sold for €56,000 against an estimate of €10,000 to €15,000.

More Information About Visual Arts in Ireland

• For details of other photo-realist painters, see: Irish Artists: Paintings and Biographies.
• For more about superrealist artists like John Doherty, see: Irish Art Guide.
• For more about Hyperrealism, see: Homepage.

History of Irish Art
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