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Patrick Graham, b.1943

Ark of Dreaming1990

At the early age of sixteen Patrick Graham was awarded a scholarship to the National College of Art and Design in Dublin (NCAD). Frustrated by his ultimate inability to express feelings or to communicate through drawing in spite of his natural talent, he began a search for a visual language that could express inner consciousness and address issues of human experience. Graham’s paintings are large, gestural and expressive; the densely layered canvases are often ripped or slashed, revealing the workings of the canvas stretcher.

In ‘Ark of Dreaming’, Graham explores colour and gesture. Words combined with vestiges of figurative imagery, and layers of heavily worked and reworked paint, are applied to canvases which have been ruthlessly split open, or crudely stitched together, often in diptychs or triptychs that suggest altarpieces. His practice is driven by his intense experience of political mismanagement, and religious and sexual repression to which his paintings refer in alternately savage or tender and compassionate terms.

MediumMixed media on canvas
Dimensions180 x 316 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Purchase, 1991
Item NumberIMMA.41
Not on view
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Image Caption
Patrick Graham, Ark of Dreaming, 1990, Mixed media on canvas, 180 x 316 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Purchase, 1991

For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: info@imma.ie.

About the Artist

Patrick Graham b.1943

Irish artist Patrick Graham studied at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. Graham's practice is driven by his personal experiences of political mismanagement, as well as religious and sexual repression. His paintings are large, gestural and expressive, and the canvases are often ripped or slashed. Graham has exhibited in Ireland and internationally since the late 1960s. A major retrospective of his work took place in Los Angeles in 2002. Graham is an elected member of Aosdána. — View Artist »