exhibition programme | paintings | tapestries | prints | chronology of a life | market | biography & bibliography | agents | news
Selection of reviews and interviews
biographical note | exhibitions & catalogues | public collections | books illustrated | dated biography | group exhibitions | theatre | monographs | articles / film / radio
Le Brocquy at 90', Second Leader, The Irish Times, November 4, 2006
Louis le Brocquy, the elder statesman of Irish art, is curently the subject of a number of celebratory exhibitions and events to mark his ninetieth birthday, not only in Ireland but also in Paris and London. The celebrations and accolades have been well-earned after more than seven decades during which this self-taught artist has come to be recognised both at home and internationally as the foremost Irish painter of the 20th century.
It is half a century since he represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale, where he won a major prize for one of his most familiar works, A Family, a key painting in le Brocquy's earlier Cubist style which now hangs in our National Gallery. It was not always so popular or acknowledged as an important work of art. The painter was accused of producing a "diabolical caricature" when it was first put on show in Dublin in the early 1950s; critics of the day found it repugnant and the Municipal Gallery of Modern Art turned it down. It was not the only time that the city disgraced itself in the rejection of significant work of art.
Some measure of the appeal and stature of le Brocquy's work is reflected in the rise and rise of the prices he achieves in the art market - the latest record being for a watercolour at the recent Sotheby's sale of Irish art in London, where three le Brocquy works featured in the top ten prices. He is one of a few Irish artists whose work is represented in the collections of the most prestigious international museums such as the Guggenheim in New York and the Tate in London.
Although probably best known and admired for his paintings, le Brocquy has never been afraid to venture beyond the canvas, The beauty of his vibrant tapestry designs and the intricately-detailed interpretations of the Tåin legend, which he created to accompany the poet Thomas Kinsella's translation of that Irish epic, as well as designs for the stage, have demonstrated his remarkable virtuosity as an artist.
In recent years it has been as the creator of the "heads series" that le Brocquy has received most attention. The pared-down spectral renderings of the human head have become a central motif for the artist. Le Brocquy himself has elequently referred to them as depictions of the isolation of the individual - an exploration that he shares with Beckett. For Many of these paintings he has been drawn to subjects for whom the creative impulse has been at the centre of their lives, fellow artists and writers. His own creative impulses have added uniquely and richly to Irish art. '
Playing with the Past by Tom Rosenthal, New Statesman
Louis le Brocquy: Homage to his Masters Gimpel Fils, Davies Street, W1, until 13 January 2007 (closed 22 December to 7 January) Louis le Brocquy is 90 this year and his new show at Gimpel's is merely one of four current celebratory exhibitions. (The others are at Tate Britain, The National Gallery of Ireland and Galerie JeanneBucher in Paris. ) He once wryly observed: 'I'm aware that my age and vulnerability could be mistaken for some kind of authority.' celebrates work old and new by Ireland's most versatile artist. Louis le Brocquy, at 85, is undoubtedly Ireland's most senior painter. ... December 2, 2006
Sue Hubbard, A fascination with imitation
Louis le Brocquy, Ireland's most celebrated living artist, is 90. Born in 1916, he became a dominant force in the evolution of 20th- century Irish art, which, compared to what was happening in the ... The Independent (London), 12/6/06.
Robert Clark, The Guardian, May 6, 2006
To celebrate the 90th birthday of the acclaimed Irish painter, a special display selected from the artist's own collection of some of his most specially cherished works. There's something reveric and poetic about the entire body of work, as is evidenced by Brocquy's frequent portraits of fellow Irish greats such as Oscar Wilde, WB Yeats and Samuel Beckett. Yet Brocquy's poetry is always rigorously painterly and visual. He never falls off into literary illustration or compositional melodrama. As Francis Bacon once remarked, Brocquy continues to be "obsessed by figuration outside and on the other side of illustration". And there is certainly a thematic otherness haunting all of his painterly and graphic work, whether it be the psychologically incisive portraits, ritualised figure gatherings, lyrical still-lifes or the long series of mist-drenched watercolour landscapes.
'RICHARD CLAYTON previews a blockbusting autumn of visual arts, from Rodin's sexy bodies in London to the magnificent heads of Louis le Brocquy in Dublin.'
Art special. Autumn's best exhibitions. Legends of the fall', The Sunday Times, Culture, September 17, 2006'To mark the 90th birthday of Louis le Brocquy, the National Gallery of Ireland is stagging Portrait Heads, a show comprising many of the paintings that have brought him international prestige. Featuring work from public and private collections, it includes images of Picasso, Lorca, Seamus Heaney and WB Yeats, as well as those for which he is best best known, James Joyce and Samuel Beckett. Faces seem to hang suspended, half-emerging, half withdrawing - much like le Brocquy himself, who maintains an air of seclusion while assiduously grooming his career. In 2003, the gallery commissioned a portrait of Bono now in the permanent collection. Le Brocquy admired the singer's "radiant energy", he said.'
Rattlebag Monday 28 August 2006, Louis le Brocquy Special
In 1956, Louis le Brocquy was chosen to represent Ireland at the prestigious Venice Biennale. Half a century later, with no less than seven exhibitions of his work opening this year, le Brocquy continues to challenge. His 70 years of creative practice have included collabourations with the likes of Thomas Kinsella, Seamus Heaney and Bono. Ahead of his 90th birthday in November, today's programme is dedicated to the man who has been called the greatest Irish artist of the 20th Century.
LISTEN TO PROGRAMME
Medb Ruane, ‘Homage to his Masters’, Cover story, Irish Arts Review
Published Winter 2006
Celia Wahlen, The Dubliner, Cover story, 'Ireland's Greatest Artist?',' The Gent Louis le Brocquy at 90'.
Published October 2006.
The Sunday Tribune, Cover story, Arts & Antiques, Dave Boland, 'Ninety years of an Irish West Belgian'.
Published 10 September 2006.
Cara, Medb Ruane, Feature interview, 'Louis le Brocquy. Portrait of the Artist'.
Published, September 2006.
The Irish Times, The Arts, Weekend Review, Aidan Dunne, 'Archaeologist of the Spirit'.
Published 9 September 2006).
The Sunday Times, Culture, Richard Clayton, 'Legends of the Fall'.
Published 17 September 2006).
Irish Arts Review - Cover Story. Le Brocquy's Bono.
Including: The Eternal Dance. Brian McAvera hunts for meaning and intention in Louis le Brocquy's series Processions and Children in a Wood, currently on show at the Taylor Galleries Dublin.
Published: Winter 2003.
The Irish Times - Children of the Evolution. Louis le Brocquy's new exhibition illustrates the way the renowned painter's style has developed over five decades, writes Aidan Dunne.
Sunday Times - Culture. Face up to reality. Louis le Brocquy's search for the individual spirit behind the social mask will this week reach Bono, writes Cristin Leach.
While there are many measures of an artist's true worth, money is one language everyone talks. So when Louis le brocquy's Traveller Woman with Newspaper fetched £1.16m (E1.66m) at Sotheby's in London in May 2000, his worth translated into a reality everyone could understand...
Irish Arts Review - Cover Story. Le Brocquy's A Family. Le Brocquy's early masterpiece acquired by National Gallery by Medb Ruane.
The after shocks of World War Two were still sending tremors through culture and society when Louis le Brocquy made his historic painting, A Family...
Published: Summer 2002
The Sunday Times - Culture. The Stuff of Legend: the Tain tapestries by Louis le Brocquy on show at IMMA are a wonder to behold writes Medb Ruane.
Sometimes images travel to places where language cannot go. Louis le Brocquy's visual imagining of the Tain Bo Cuailnge, one of Irelands greatest sagas, looks classic now, as though the myth was always seen in his way...
The Irish Times - Le Brocquy painting given to National Gallery by businessman.
Businessman Mr Lochlann Quinn has given the National Gallery of Ireland a painting which made a record price for a work by a living Irish artist. ..
New Statesman. Louis le Brocquy, Headmaster.
Tom Rosnthal celebrates work old and flew by Ireland's most versatile artist. Louis le Brocquy, at 85, is undoubtedly Ireland's most senior painter...
Guardian. Remember me?
After 50 years, collectors have rediscovered the works of Louis le Brocquy.
The Sunday Times - Culture - Cover Story. One in a million. Le Brocquy joins art's elite. Peerless: Why Louis le Brocquy's work has finally achieved the recognition it deserves. Medb Ruane
The Sunday Times - Culture. A Life's rich tapestries unravelled. Louis le Brocquy's tapestries draw on legend to explore Irish identity.
The Irish Times - Emotional colour weave.
Sunday Business Post - Agenda Interview. Looming large.
After 60 years abroad, Louis le Brocquy has returned to enjoy his status as Ireland's greatest living artist.
The Irish Times - The travelling life that created Ireland's greatest living artist.
Few artists in this country have been as feted during their lifetimes as Louis Le Brocquy, and yet Thursday's news that one of his pictures - Travelling Woman with Newspaper, painted more than half a ...
The Irish Times - `Travelling Woman' behind Le Brocquy's rise.
Comparisons may be often odious but they can also be fascinating, and that is certainly the case when looking at the collection of pictures currently being shown by Sotheby's in Dublin a week after ...
The Irish Times - Le Brocquy painting sold for record £1.15m.
A painting by Louis Le Brocquy has fetched £1.15 million sterling, the highest price yet paid for any work by a living Irish artist. Dating from 1947-48, Travelling Woman with Newspaper was offered at ...
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THE IRISH TIMES: SEARCH FOR EXTENSIVE REVIEWS ON THE ARTIST
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THE GUARDIAN: FEATURE
NEW YORK TIMES: THE IRISH ARE DELIGHTED BY THEIR MUSEUM'S NEW WING
FORBES: IRISH ART MARKET REVIEW
THE OBSERVER: THE IRISH PLAYBOYS OF EUROPE
RTÉ: TELEVISION , LE BROCQUY PAINTING SELLS FOR STG£ 1m. 56K REALVideo / 28K REALVideo
SELECTED INTERVIEWS OF THE ARTIST PUBLISHED IN MONOGRAPHS
THE HEAD IMAGE
Introductory interview of the artist by George Morgan, 184 pages, portfolio of 80 full-page colour plates.Text in English,French and German. Published by Gandon Editions, Kinsale, 1996 on the occasion of the artist's eightieth birthday and the celebration of his life's work in a retrospective exhibition at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (Oct. 1996 - Feb. 1997).
Introductory interview of the artist by George Morgan, 65 pages, porfolio of 28 full- page colour plates. Text in English, French and German. Published by Gandon Editions, Kinsale, 1994. Procession - is a companion volume to The Irish Landscape.
THE IRISH LANDSCAPE
Introductory interview of the artist by George Morgan, 40 colour plates (99 pages) .Text in English, French and German. Published by Gandon Editions, Dublin, 1992