Adam's IMPORTANT IRISH ART Auction Wednesday 24th March 2021

56 45 PATRICK SWIFT (1927-1983) Garden Study (1950) Oil on canvas, 75 x 100cm (29½ x 39¼’’) Signed Exhibited: Dublin, ‘Irish Exhibition of Living Art’, 1951, catalogue no.58. Patrick Swift made his exhibition debut as a professional artist at the Irish Exhibition of Living Art in 1950. Critic Edward Sheehy named him as the most promising newcomer - with reservations, chiefly relating to his limited technical abilities. Louis le Brocquy and others had established the IELA in 1943, as response to the perceived, insular conservatism of the RHA. Swift gravitated naturally towards it. Originally from Dolphin’s Barn, Swift initially worked for the Dublin Gas Company, studying for two years as a night student at NCAD. By 1950, he regarded himself as a practicing artist and was a resident of Dublin’s literary and artistic quarter, Baggotonia, living first in a flat in Baggot St, then in Hatch St, with an American Trinity student and aspiring poet, Claire McAllister. They spent the summer of 1950 in Paris where he stud- ied life drawing and painting. John Ryan (whose sister Oonagh, Swift fell in love with and married), Patrick Kavanagh, Anthony Cronin, Nano Reid, Patrick Pye and Nevill Johnston were friends and part of their circle. Swift wrote as well as paint- ed and was active in literary life. Lucian Freud, in pursuit of Caroling Blackwood, visited and painted, and Swift stayed with him in London in return. There has been much discussion of the flow of influence between them. It seems fair to say that Freud was a significant influence on Swift, but at the same time, he was very much his own man. He had his first solo show with Victor Waddington in 1952. It has been remarked that Swift’s early work is characterized by an objective, even cold realism, not that distant from Freud’s approach at the time. This fine garden study with its carefully limited palette – gardens and plants remained a source of intense interest throughout his working life – does have a certain analytical quality. It is closely observed but also boldly stylised, in the Cubist mode favoured by several leading mod- ernist painters. Swift cleverly uses Cubism as a device to effectively open up and layer the spaces, leading the viewer into the garden rather than offering a single perspective view. In 1952, when his relationship with Oonagh began, he began the process of moving away from Ireland. After time in London, when he and Oonagh spent a summer in the Algarve in 1962 they realized that they would like to live there, and set about doing so, eventually building a house and setting up a full-scale, working pottery. While Swift painted all the while, he had little interest in exhibiting his work; he was even reluctant to do so. A steady stream of visitors ensured continued contact with Ireland, but within quite a narrow circle, and his artistic profile became diminished. In fact he was relatively unknown as a painter in Ireland until, in 1983, some ten years after his death, a substantial retrospective at the Irish Museum of Modern Art reintroduced him to the wider art public and, more, established him as one of the leading Irish artists of his time Aidan Dunne, February 2021 € 10,000 - 15,000 CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOGRAPHS AND BIDDING