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2016 – Pat Harris


Born in Dublin in 1953, studied at NCAD and Higher Institute of Fine Art, Antwerp. Pat Harris is regarded as one of Ireland’s leading figurative painters. He currently lectures in Painting at the Royal Academy of Fine Art, Antwerp While his early work was based on the human form, in his recent work he has turned to still life and landscape as central motifs; here he often pares down the image to a mere tracing, a memory of its presence.

His work is represented in a number of public collections, including: The Arts Council of Ireland, The Irish Museum of modern Art, Dublin, The Hugh Lane Municipel Gallery of Modern Art, Dublin, The National Self-Portrait and Contemporary Art Collection Limerick, University College Dublin and The University of Antwerp, Belgium.

His paintings, whether it be his small still-life’s of a single object, a pumpkin, a pear, a lemon or wilting flowers, or landscapes made in the polders of Tielrode, where he lives, or in the boglands of Mayo in the west of Ireland, all exude a certain quiet beauty. A stillness and Rothko like glow that is achieved by slowly building up his paintings in thin often transparent layers of  oil paint. Harris considers himself a translator; he translates the world around him into marks. And it is the marks he makes by both applying and removing the paint or, in his drawings, the charcoal, that remain to tell the story. A story of transience but also continuance, of fragile objects and places that obliquely persist, captured in the fragile surface of his marks.


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