Exhibition 15 October to 4 December, 2005
Fifty Years of Tony O’Malley’s Sketchbooks
The Butler Gallery has had a long and proud association with Tony O’Malley, a native of Callan, Co. Kilkenny. O’Malley’s work is beloved, and he holds an important position in the history of 20th century Irish art.
Almost every day for fifty years Tony O’Malley drew and painted in his sketchbooks. These visual diaries, as he called them, are a record not only of what he saw in front of him but of what he remembered from the distant past, often with startling clarity. Portraits of himself and his wife Jane; of friends, of poets and painters, of people in streets and shops; landscapes of Kilkenny, Clare Island, Cornwall, the Bahamas, Switzerland, the Isles of Scilly; pictures of flowers, of animals, especially cats and birds, as well as experiments in pure abstraction and colour – all of these, and more, are to be found in these stunning visual diaries.
This exhibition was selected by the poet, playwright, screenwriter and novelist Brian Lynch.