‘Contemplating the Ineluctable’ – Brian Bourke with New sculpture by Tim Morris
‘The Beehive Garden‘
Brian Bourke was born in Dublin in 1936. Mostly self taught, except for brief periods in N.C.A.D. and St. Martin’s School of Art in London, he was later based in Dublin, with periods of working in Upper Bavaria and Switzerland. He was a founder member of the Independent Artists and a member of the Graphic Studio. He set up life drawing classes with Michael Farrell in Trinity College Arts Society which continue to this day. In 1975 he moved to Co. Kilkenny and Co.Clare, finally settling in Galway, with periods of work in Andalucia, Extremedura, Denmark and Manhattan, New York.
He works mostly in long series, examples being ‘Women Giving Birth to Men’, ‘Don Quixote’, ‘Sweeney Astray’, Manhattan Vertigo’, Didi, Gogo and the Two Thieves’, ‘Frau Stutz’s Cherry Tree’ and series of portraits as in ‘Jay with Basque Hat’.
He was chosen to represent Ireland in both the Biennale de Paris and the Lugano Exhibition of Graphics. In the same year he won the Arts Council prize for portraiture and then in 1967, won the first prize in the Irish Exhibition of Living Art competition.
A regular exhibitor at the Dawson and Taylor Galleries in Dublin, and at art galleries in Switzerland, England, Ireland, Norway and America, his paintings were included in the Delighted Eye, Hibernian Inscape, and ROSC exhibition in 1980. In 1985 the Sunday Independent newspaper named him Artist of the Year, and in 1993 he received the O’Malley Award from the Irish-American Cultural Institute. In 1991 he was appointed artist-in residence at the Becket Festival at the Gate Theatre, Dublin, while his accompanying works appeared at the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin.
In 1988 he had a major retrospective exhibition ‘Brian Bourke; Twenty five years’ at the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham and another in 2010, ‘Brian Bourke; Five decades’ for the Galway Arts Festival in the Fairgreen Gallery, Galway. This was accompanied by an art book of the same title. Brian Bourke’s paintings appear in many important collections throughout Ireland and worldwide. He is an honorary member of R.H.A and an elected member of Aosdana.