Micheal Farrell
Contemporary Irish Artist. Biography, Paintings.

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Micheal Farrell (1940-2000)

One of the foremost contemporary painters in Ireland, Micheál Farrell artistic range encompasses both abstract and figurative works, involving issues of nationalism, colonialism, modern mythology and politics. Born in County Meath, Farrell trained in drawing and painting at St. Martin's School of Art and Colchester School of Art from 1956 to 1960. Returning to Ireland, he painted mainly abstract works often based on Celtic motifs. Later, in part as a reaction to the violence in Northern Ireland, he turned to figurative art as a more relevant genre in which to express his feelings artistically. From 1971 until his death in 2000, he lived mainly in France which lent him a more detached perspective on his Irish nationality and identity. Even so, his powerful "Madonna Irlanda" series (1976-77) portrayed Ireland in the role of a mistress based on Louisa O'Murphy, the 18th-century mistress of Louis XVI.



Micheál Farrell won numerous awards during his career: the Prix de Rome, Brittanique (1964); the Carroll Prize (1964,67,69,74); the Macaulay Fellowship (1966); Laureat, Biennale des Jeunes, Paris (1967); Sculpture Prize, Irish Exhibition of Living Art (1968); Prix de la Ville de Liège (Belgium), Prix d'Europe Ostend (1976); Gold Medal, 3ème Biennale de Gravures, Florence (1972); Douglas Hyde Gold Medal (1976); German Scholarship, Villa Romana Florence (1977); and Mosman Prize and Camden Prize, Sydney (1985).

Micheál Farrell's paintings and artworks have been exhibited at a large number of solo shows worldwide, including: Dawson Gallery, Dublin (1966,96,70,72,75,77); Retrospective 1953-1978, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (1979); Taylor Galleries, Dublin (1979,81,84,86,87,91,96); Foire International d'Art, Atelier Champfleury, Stockholm (1981); Origrafica, Malmo (1981,91); Galerie im Schlosspavillion, Munich (1984); Robin Gibson Gallery, Sydney (1986,90); CTT, Brussels (1987); Galerie Ouverte, Paris (1988); Galerie Vannoni, Lyon (1990); Galerie Bosquet, Paris (1995); and S.A.G.A. Cillaprint, Paris.


Micheál Farrell's work is represented in many public and private collections of Irish art, including: Irish Arts Council; Board Failte Dublin; Great Southern Hotels Ireland; Board of Public Works, Dublin; Contemporary Arts Society Ireland; Hugh Lane Art Gallery Dublin; Trinity College Dublin; Arts Council Northern Ireland; Ulster Museum; Ulster University; Peter Stuyvesant Foundation; Salvador Allende International Resistance Museum; National Library Paris; Australian National University; The Irish House London; City of Manchester Art Gallery; Modern Art Museum Paris; and others.

Most Expensive Painting By Micheal Farrell

The auction record for a work by Micheal Farrell was set in 2007, when his painting, entitled The Third Very Real Irish Political Picture, was sold at Sotheby's, in London, for £36,000.

More Information About Visual Arts in Ireland

• For details of other contemporary painters, see: Irish Artists: Paintings and Biographies.
• For more about modern history painters like Micheal Farrell, see: Irish Art Guide.
• For more about modern art, see: Homepage.

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