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Robert Ballagh, b.1943

Portrait of Gordon Lambert (commissioned by Gordon Lambert)1972

When the collector Gordon Lambert commissioned this portrait, Ballagh seized the opportunity to experiment with the genre. The portrait is both figurative and abstract as Lambert holds an exact replica of a painting by Josef Albers, one of his ‘Homage to the Square’ series, that Lambert been instrumental in purchasing for the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery. Ballagh drew on advertising techniques – such as the unframed cut-out and screenprinted photograph of Lambert – combined with a sculptural cast of his hands to create a new kind of portrait that captured Lambert’s urbane lifestyle.

MediumAcrylic on canvas
Dimensions 184 x 76.5 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Gordon Lambert Trust, 1992
Item NumberIMMA.126 GL
Copyright For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].
Image Caption
Robert Ballagh, Portrait of Gordon Lambert (commissioned by Gordon Lambert), 1972, Acrylic on canvas, 184 x 76.5 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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Important Notice


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.