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Patrick Swift, 1927–1983

Forget-me-[K]nots on a Cane Table

Dublin-born Patrick Swift settled in London in 1950 where he was associated with a group of writers and artists in Soho which included Francis Bacon, Lucien Freud, George Barker and Patrick Kavanagh. Predominantly a painter of portraits and landscape, Swift attacked abstract art through the magazine ‘X’ under the pseudonym, ‘James Mahon’. In 1962 he left England for Portugal where he founded the Porches Pottery. Little known in Ireland due to his distrust of celebrity and dislike of exhibitions, he produced a significant body of paintings and works on paper during his lifetime. This portrait, one of several self-portraits, depicts the artist surrounded by the tools of his trade. He looks out at us warily as if to say that his art is ultimately of greater importance and interest than the artist who produced it.

MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions Unframed, 77 x 64 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Donation, Maire and Maurice Foley, 2000
Item NumberIMMA.1486 FD
Copyright For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].
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Image Caption
Patrick Swift, Forget-me-[K]nots on a Cane Table, Oil on canvas, Unframed, 77 x 64 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Donation, Maire and Maurice Foley, 2000

For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].

About the Artist

Patrick Swift 1927–1983

Irish artist Patrick Swift moved to London in 1950 and became associated with a group of writers and artists that included Francis Bacon, Lucien Freud, George Barker and Patrick Kavanagh. While in London Swift founded ‘X magazine’ with the poet David Wright. In 1962 Swift left England for Portugal, where he founded the Porches Pottery. Although Swift produced a significant body of work, his distrust of publicity and dislike of exhibitions meant he was little known in Ireland during his lifetime.

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We would like to advise our visitors that our Main Reception area is closed for renovation from 22 April until mid-June.  A temporary reception is open on the ground floor next to the original main entrance. While we prepare to open our next exhibition Hilary Heron: A Retrospective on 24 May, there are two exhibitions to see Derry Film & Video Workshop and Self: Determination: Artists Commissions. IMMA’s gardens and café are open to the public.

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