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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
Dimensions Framed, 71 x 152 cm
Framed, 71 x 152 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Purchase, 2020
Item NumberIMMA.4174
Copyright For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].
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 152 cm|Framed, 71 x 152 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Purchase, 2020

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

Brian O'Doherty

Brian O'Doherty 1928–2022

Brian O’Doherty was born in Ireland and moved to New York in 1957. A qualified medical doctor, O’Doherty became renowned as an artist, writer, television host, and educator. Consistently exploring the multiple nature of identity, he adopted various personae, notably 'Patrick Ireland', who was buried at IMMA in 2008. Major retrospectives of O’Doherty/Ireland’s work were held at the National Museum of American Art, Dublin City Gallery, the Hugh Lane and the Grey Art Gallery, New York. Brian O'Doherty died at his apartment in Manhattan on Monday 7th of November 2022, at the age of 94.

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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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