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Robert Ballagh, b.1943

Portrait of David Hendriks1972

Robert Ballagh was one of a number of Irish artists taken on by the gallerist David Hendriks in the early 1970s. At the time, David Hendriks supported a host of avant-garde artists when the climate in Ireland was hostile to new subjects, approaches and materials. Many of the Irish artists taken on by Hendriks went on to achieve international reputations. This tribute to him was the result of a joint collaboration between Ballagh and the collector Gordon Lambert.

Ballagh is recognised as a singular figure in the introduction of Pop Art to Ireland. Portraiture, a traditionally conservative genre of art, was given a whole new lease of life in his hands. The elegant poised manner of Hendriks is apparent as he looks out at us, while in the background, Gordon Lambert peers at an abstract painting by the Irish artist Cecil King. Ballagh’s portrait suggests not only the importance of David Hendriks to contemporary art developments in Ireland at the time, but also our need to look more closely in order to see.

MediumAcrylic on canvas
Dimensions 101.3 x 61 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Gordon Lambert Trust, 1992
Item NumberIMMA.125 GL
Copyright For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].
Image Caption
Robert Ballagh, Portrait of David Hendriks, 1972, Acrylic on canvas, 101.3 x 61 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. There are three exhibitions to visit  Hilary Heron: A Retrospective; Derry Film & Video Workshop and Self: Determination: Artists Commissions. IMMA’s shop, café and gardens are all open.