SAINT LOUIS, MO.- The Museum of Contemporary Religious Art
presents "Patrick Graham: Thirty Years The Silence Becomes the Painting". The exhibition extends through December 16, 2012. The exhibition curated by legendary art historian and curator Peter Selz follows its critically acclaimed and record-breaking run in San Francisco at the Meridian Gallery museum space of the Society for Art Publications of the Americas. After which the exhibition traveled to the American University Museum, Washington DC. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue with 38 full-color plates and includes essays by Peter Selz, John Handley, Jarrett Earnest, and Patrick Graham, with an introduction by Anne Trueblood Brodzky.
"Patrick Graham: Thirty Years The Silence Becomes the Painting" marks a rare opportunity to view the works of an artist who has been credited by critics and art historians with changing the face of painting in Ireland. Curator, Peter Selz, says that Graham confronts the viewer with drawings and paintings of shattering force
[he] makes us aware that great painting has a presence and a future. Art historian John Handley notes that Grahams work addresses the timelessness of time, the repetition of history, and the continuous cyclical nature of silence, abandonment, and redemption in the creative process. In the artists own words, The silence becomes the painting, the painting comes from silence. It is the moment when painting is no longer an act of doing or making but of receiving.
Grahams inspiration is deeply rooted in the Irish landscape, in vistas and places that hold deep meaning for him. The Irish affinity for nature, combined with profound experiences of both oppression and repression, has led to extraordinary artistic expressions in poetry, music, and dance. This cultural and artistic milieu formed Grahams visual expression. His work incorporates ambiguous symbolic forms and scripted phrases that resonate like fragments of traditional song and lyrical poetry which spring from a unique historical consciousness; through them he explores the elemental processes of life and the existential journey. Among the realities he acknowledges in a sensitive voice is the Irish religious experience, particularly of the Catholic faith, yet his work has universal appeal to those who struggle with issues of identity, freedom, or faith.
Patrick Graham has been recognized by Ireland as a living national treasure through his induction into Aosdána (a society that honors outstanding Irish artists) since 1986. Graham was born in Mullingar, County Westmeath, Ireland in 1943, and studied at the National College of Art in Dublin. He has exhibited in Ireland and internationally since 1966, and is represented in major public and private collections at home and abroad. Grahams work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions and symposiums internationally, including the National Gallery of Ireland, the Berkeley Art Museum, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Trinity College, Walker Art Gallery in England, the Hokkaido Museum in Japan, the University of Michigan, Northeastern University, and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.