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Martin Gale, b.1949


According to art critic Aidan Dunne, Gale’s work is characterised by the ‘mystery of a single moment that contains a bewildering wealth of impressions. The mystery of an action caught out of context and left undefined and ambiguous’.
Mystery and intrigue are the hallmark of Martin Gale’s paintings and one can never be impassive in front them. Always, the artist delights in posing as many questions as answers in his pictures, for in them things are never quite what they appear to be. These tense, expectant, hyper-realist images are not idyllic picture postcard Irish scenes. Their surreal quality stems largely from the isolation of his figures in the landscape and the uncertainty surrounding their activities.

MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions91.4 x 182.9 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Heritage Gift, P.J. Carroll & Co. Ltd. Art Collection, 2005
Item NumberIMMA.1853
Image Caption
Martin Gale, Intrusion, 1973, Oil on canvas, 91.4 x 182.9 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Heritage Gift, P.J. Carroll & Co. Ltd. Art Collection, 2005

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

About the Artist

Martin Gale b.1949

Painter Martin Gale was born in England and grew up in Ireland. He attended the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. Gale's tense, hyper-realist images, often featuring individuals isolated in the landscape, create an unspecified sense of ambiguity and unease which holds the viewer within an undefined narrative. Gale has exhibited widely since the 1970s and represented Ireland at the XI Biennale de Paris in 1980. His work was the subject of a retrospective exhibition in the Royal Hibernian Academy Gallagher Gallery in 2005. Gale is a member of Aosdána and the RHA.
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