MOCRA exhibitions: Patrick Graham

A thirty-year retrospective of work by one of Ireland's most important contemporary artists.

Patrick Graham exhibition logo

    September 23 - December 16, 2012

     free public opening reception
     Sunday, September 23     2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
            Click here for a PDF with special parking information for the opening reception.

    Breaking Boundaries: A Conversation about the Art of Patrick Graham

     Sunday, November 11, 2012    1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
     free and open to the public    reception to follow
     A panel discussion bringing together five distinguished voices who will consider the art of Patrick Graham
     from the perspectives of a curator and art historian, an art critic, a gallery director, and two noted scholars
     of Irish culture.

           Click here for more information.

    Dancing in the Street and Grand Center Fall Gallery Walk
    and  Museum Day Live! 2012

     Two special events - both on Saturday, September 29
     Come out to celebrate the start of the fall arts season in the Grand Center Arts District.
     Plus, discover the power of museums with Museum Day Live! 2012

           Click here for more information about Dancing in the Street and the Fall Gallery Walk.
           Click here for more information about Museum Day Live! 2012

Patrick Graham info sheet thumbnail

Download an informational brochure with sample images:
low resolution (404kb - faster download) or high resolution (5.7MB - better for printing)

Click on an image below for a slide show of selected works in the exhibition.

Patrick Graham catalogue thumbnail

The exhibition catalogue has 38 full-color plates and includes essays by Peter Selz, John Handley, Jarrett Earnest, and Patrick Graham, with an introduction by Anne Trueblood Brodzky.

The catalogue is available for purchase at MOCRA during the exhibition.
It also can be purchased online in the MOCRA store.

General Exhibition Information
Hours: Tues - Sun, 11 am - 4 pm
Admission: free, with suggested donation of $5/adults, $1/students and children

Directions and Parking information
Group visit information

A living tradition

Patrick Graham: Thirty Years — The Silence Becomes the Painting marks a rare opportunity to view the works of an artist who has been credited by critics and art historians with changing the face of painting in Ireland. Art historian, writer and curator Peter Selz, who curated this exhibition, says that Graham "confronts the viewer with drawings and paintings of shattering force . . . [he] makes us aware that great painting has a presence and a future." Art historian John Handley notes that Graham’s work "addresses the timelessness of time, the repetition of history, and the continuous cyclical nature of silence, abandonment, and redemption in the creative process." In the artist’s own words, "The silence becomes the painting, the painting comes from silence. It is the moment when painting is no longer an act of doing or making but of receiving."

Patrick Graham, Dead Sawn/Captain's Hill, 1998-99.

Patrick Graham
Dead Swan / Captain's Hill
Oil and mixed media on canvas diptych
72 x 132 in.

Graham's inspiration is deeply rooted in the Irish landscape, in vistas and places that hold deep meaning for him. The Irish affinity for nature, combined with profound experiences of both oppression and repression, has led to extraordinary artistic expressions in poetry, music, and dance. This cultural and artistic milieu formed Graham's visual expression. His work incorporates ambiguous symbolic forms and scripted phrases that resonate like fragments of traditional song and lyrical poetry which spring from a unique historical consciousness; through them he explores the elemental processes of life and the existential journey. Among the realities he acknowledges in a sensitive voice is the Irish religious experience, particularly of the Catholic faith, yet his work has universal appeal to those who struggle with issues of identity, freedom, or faith.

Patrick Graham, Cold and Fatal Heroes, 1988.

Patrick Graham
Cold and Fatal Heroes
Mixed media on board
32 x 44 in.

About the artist

Patrick Graham is widely regarded as Ireland’s most important contemporary artist, and has been recognized by Ireland as a “living national treasure” through his induction into Aosdána (a society that honors outstanding work in the arts) since 1986.

Graham was born in Mullingar, County Westmeath, Ireland in 1943, and studied at the National College of Art in Dublin. He has exhibited in Ireland and internationally since 1966, and is represented in major public and private collections at home and abroad. Graham's work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions and symposiums internationally, at venues including the National Gallery of Ireland, the Berkeley Art Museum, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Trinity College Dublin, Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, England, the Hokkaido Museum in Hokkaido, Japan, the University of Michigan, Northeastern University in Boston, and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.


Patrick Graham: Thirty Years — The Silence Becomes the Painting was organized by Meridian Gallery/Society for Art Publications, San Francisco, with the support of Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, Los Angeles, international agent for Patrick Graham. The exhibition at MOCRA follows showings in San Francisco at the Meridian Gallery of the Society for Art Publications of the Americas and in Washington, D.C., at the Katzen Arts Center of American University. The exhibition is supported by Culture Ireland, the Irish national body for the promotion of Irish arts worldwide.

Culture Ireland logo

Patrick Graham, The Blackbird Suite, 1993.

Patrick Graham
The Blackbird Suite
Mixed media on board
32 x 44 in.

Additional links

More about Patrick Graham

Patrick Graham: Thirty Years in the media


San Francisco Chronicle art critic Kenneth Baker on the work of Patrick Graham (YouTube video)    Part 1 *** Part 2 *** Part 3

Roberta Lord essay on Patrick Graham (1997)

Patrick Graham in the collection of Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane

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