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Brian O'Doherty, b.1928, Patrick Ireland, b.1972

The Burial of Patrick Ireland2008

On 20 May 2008, after 36 years of making art as Patrick Ireland, Brian O’Doherty reclaimed his birth name with the burial of his alter ego in the grounds of IMMA. The burial was a gesture of reconciliation to celebrate the restoration of peace in Northern Ireland, just as his action in assuming the name Patrick Ireland was a protest at the British military presence in Northern Ireland and the failure of the authorities to ensure civil rights for all.

MediumLimestone headstone, plaster cast Death Mask by Charles Simonds
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Donation, 2008
Item NumberIMMA.2863
Not on view
Copyright Clare Lymer photography.
For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: info@imma.ie.
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Image Caption
Brian O'Doherty, Patrick Ireland, The Burial of Patrick Ireland, 2008, Limestone headstone, plaster cast Death Mask by Charles Simonds, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Donation, 2008

For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: info@imma.ie.

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. One of the pioneering generation of conceptual art, O’Doherty produced many seminal works including Portrait of Marcel Duchamp (1966-’67) and an early ‘exhibition in a box’, Aspen 5+6 (1967). When he left Dublin in 1956, O’Doherty was a qualified medical doctor and emerging artist, and is now renowned as an artist, writer, critic, television host, filmmaker and educator. In his art practice O’Doherty has consistently explored the multiple nature of identity, adopting various personae, most 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 (1986), The Elvehjem Museum of Art (1993), The Butler Institute of American Art (1994), and Dublin City Gallery, the Hugh Lane (2006) which travelled to the Grey Art Gallery, New York (2007). O’Doherty/Ireland’s art is held in numerous private and public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Centre George Pompidou, Paris; Dublin City Gallery, the Hugh Lane, Dublin; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; National Museum of American Art, Washington D.C.; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; Seattle Art Museum, Seattle WA; Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. — View Artist »

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. — View Artist »