Basil Blackshaw is one of Ireland’s most eminent painters and this month a fantastic new show is opening at the RHA, Dublin to celebrate his life’s work and the fact that he’s at the grand old age of 80. The exhibition features over 50 paintings chosen by the artist himself and ranges from his early paintings of horses and dogs to his later portraits of such luminaries as Douglas Gageby, Brian Friel, Michael Longley, Ted Hickey and John Hewitt.
Blackshaw’s work is deeply rooted in the landscape and stories of his native Northern Ireland, his loose application of paint and a non-naturalistic palette – which rebalances the composition in an expressionist, even abstract way – are a defining part of his aesthetic. His work follows in the tradition of Irelands great painters who spent much of their lives painting Irish sporting life, such as horse racing, the landscape and the people who worked it, lived on it. In that sense he is quintessentially Irish and this exhibition is a must see for all lovers of art and those of you interested in the tradition of modern painting in Ireland.
The exhibition is accompanied by a hardback catalogue with 40 colour reproductions and includes essays by Colin Davidson, Dr S.B. Kennedy, Dr Fionna Barber and Dr Riann Coulter.
The exhibition, ‘Blackshaw At 80’, opens from 11th January – 24th February, 2013, at The Royal Hibernian Academy, Gallagher Gallery, 15 Ely Place, Dublin 2, Ireland.