The Irish artist Tony O'Malley (1913–2003) had a long connection with St Ives, having lived and worked in the town for 30 years. Looking at highlights of an extraordinarily productive career, the exhibition brings over twenty works from 1960 onwards. Nature and history form the basic themes in O'Malley's highly distinctive paintings. Working intuitively, painting on everything from scraps of recycled paper and canvas to fragments of wood and slate, his works are suffused with an elemental energy, poised to transform nature into art.
Following his permanent return to Ireland in 1990 and undeterred by failing eyesight, O'Malley found new modes of expression. He continued working almost up to the time of his death in January 2003, true to his feelings expressed in an interview The Sunday Tribune in 1984: 'I have no time for people who mess about, doing nothing when it suits them...There's so much to do. If I run out of canvas I just paint over something I've already done. I'm an old man and I started painting late. I don't want to waste any time.'
The exhibition has been selected from the 2005 retrospective at the Irish Museum of Modern Art.
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