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Though based in New York from 1960 onwards, Brian O’Doherty continued to exhibit in Ireland, and his work reflected the social and political events shaping the country. In 1972 Brian O’Doherty staged a performance (Name Change), in which he changed his name to Patrick Ireland, in the presence of a Notary Public, as a patriotic and artistic protest against the events of Bloody Sunday in Derry that year and under which name all his subsequent artwork was made.

He was able to lay this identity to rest with a Wake and Burial in the formal gardens of IMMA, in celebration of peace in Northern Ireland.

MediumPhotograph, ink and gouache drawings on paper, typed in paper collage on posterboard
DimensionsFramed: 71 x 152cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Purchase, 2020, 2020
Item NumberIMMA.4174
Image Caption
Brian O'Doherty, Patrick Ireland, Name Change, 1972, Photograph, ink and gouache drawings on paper, typed in paper collage on posterboard, Framed: 71 x 152cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Purchase, 2020, 2020

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

Brian O'Doherty

Brian O'Doherty b.1928

Brian O’Doherty was born in Ireland and is now based in New York. When he left Dublin in 1957, O’Doherty was a qualified medical doctor and emerging artist, and is now renowned as an artist, writer, critic, television host, filmmaker and educator.
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Patrick Ireland

Patrick Ireland 1972–2008

During the Irish Exhibition of Living Art in 1972, Brian O'Doherty, in a performance before 30 invited witnesses and assisted by artists Robert Ballagh and Brian King, undertook to sign his artworks Patrick Ireland 'until such time as the British military presence is removed from Northern Ireland'. After 36 years of making art as Patrick Ireland, O'Doherty reclaimed his birth name with the symbolic burial of his alter ego in the grounds of IMMA on the afternoon of Tuesday 20 May 2008.
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