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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
Dimensions 91.4 x 182.9 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Heritage Gift, P.J. Carroll & Co. Ltd. Art Collection, 2005
Item NumberIMMA.1853
Copyright For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].
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

Born in England, painter Martin Gale grew up in Ireland and attended the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. Gale's hyper-realist images often feature individuals isolated in the landscape and create a sense of ambiguity and unease. 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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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.