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Robert Ballagh, b.1943

Homage to Bernadette Greevy (commissioned by G. Lambert, 1977)1978

The art collector Gordon Lambert commissioned this work dedicated to the mezzo soprano Bernadette Greevy as a tribute to her contribution to classical singing in Ireland. Ballagh, already popular as a witty and original portraitist, used the opportunity to produce a magical trompe l’oeil painting where Greevy is represented in a variety of ways. Her framed image in a photograph is repeated on record and cassette covers and, most unusually of all, through her voice. The spectator’s presence triggers the playing of one of Greevy’s best known recordings of songs by Brahms from a cassette player concealed behind the fictive player in the picture.

MediumAcrylic on canvas with recorded sound
Dimensions 108.5 x 108.6 x 15.4 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Gordon Lambert Trust, 1992
Item NumberIMMA.117 GL
Copyright For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].
Image Caption
Robert Ballagh, Homage to Bernadette Greevy (commissioned by G. Lambert, 1977), 1978, Acrylic on canvas with recorded sound, 108.5 x 108.6 x 15.4 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Gordon Lambert Trust, 1992

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

About the Artist

Robert Ballagh b.1943

Robert Ballagh is an Irish painter and designer credited with the introduction of Pop Art to Ireland. His milieu encompasses set design, the final series of Irish Punt banknotes, commemorative stamps and portraits of Irish literary, historical and establishment figures. He represented Ireland at the 1969 Paris Biennale and his paintings are held in several public collections. Ballagh is a member of Aosdána and the president of the Ireland Institute for Historical and Cultural Studies.
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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.