The Singing Bird
Enniscorthy Bridge (1933)
Conor Fallon (1939-2007)
An influential exponent of contemporary
Irish sculpture during the late 20th
century, Conor Fallon was strongly influenced by the artist Tony
O'Malley and the St Ives group of artists in Cornwell where he lived
for some time. His most recognizable works were large steel sculptures
of birds, hares, horses and fish.
HISTORY OF SCULPTURE
WORLD'S BEST SCULPTORS
Fallon was accepted into Trinity College,
Dublin to study natural science. But on the advice of a perceptive professor,
Fallon soon left Trinity and turned his attention to fine
art. His father was horrified because he believed his son's paintings
to be 'dreadful'. Ever practical, Fallon worked as an accountant during
the day to earn a wage, and studied art by night. His early acyrlic
and gouache landscapes show strong
influences of Jack B
A turning point in his career came when he was introduced to the sculptors Denis Mitchell and Breon O'Casey who took Fallon under their wing. Mitchell in particular instilled a disciplined work ethic in Fallon, insisting that the last 100th of an inch was essential to the integrity of a piece. When Fallon created an Owl In Aluminium (1969) Mitchell advised him to specialize in sculpture.
Fallon held his first exhibition in 1972, in Nanly Orion. Subsequent solo exhibitions were staged in the Emmet Gallery, Dublin (1975), Taylor Galleries, Dublin (1983, 1990, 1993), Ballinglen Arts Fellows at Art Alliance, Philadelphia (1994) and the Theo Waddington Fine Art, Canada.
Although Fallon initially gained recognition
for his smaller sculptures of birds, he later confessed he was unable
to see how he could convert them into public sculptures without the risk
of distortion. He eventually became better known for his large scale steel
sculptures, mainly commissioned for public places such as Enniscorthy
Bridge (The Singing Bird, (1993) the Bank of Ireland Centre, Independent
Newspapers at Citywest, St Patricks Hospital and University College Cork.
His works have a sleek, spare beauty with clean lines. He was also influenced
by Cubism, which he considered 'the' development in the art of the 20th
century. He was also influenced by the Romanian Sculptor Constantin Brancusi,
as well as early Greek
and Egyptian carved figure sculpture.
More About Sculpture
For more about classical works from Ancient Greece, see Greek art. For other Irish sculptors, read about the neo-classical John Hogan, the Anglo-Irish John Henry Foley, the Romantic Nationalist Oliver Sheppard, the small-scale sculptress Rosamund Praeger, the academic realist Albert Power, the traditional stone sculptor Seamus Murphy, the Surrealist FE McWilliam, the Polish-Irish sculptress Alexandra Wejchert, the bird artist Oisin Kelly, the expressionist Edward Delaney, the public artist Eamonn O'Doherty and the contemporary figurative sculptor Rowan Gillespie.
For more facts about sculptors and
contemporary sculpture in Ireland, see: Irish