John Brady
Irish Contemporary Expressionist Artist: Artspace Painter & Sculptor: Lecturer in Fine Arts.



Cactus.

John Brady (b.1968)

Look through the portfolio of the artist John Brady and you'll see the whole world of Expressionism: the arresting compositional style of Picasso, the colours of Kandinsky, traces of Emil Nolde and Georg Baselitz, the tonal warmth and resonance of Rothko - amazingly, even Brady's red cow portrait has echoes of Jawlensky's Head of a Woman. And yet Brady is too playful to be defined as an Expressionist. Most Expressionists, except perhaps Picasso, were desperately serious people, hell-bent on redefining the world. Brady's outlook is much more open. If he had been born 60 years earlier, one feels he would have gravitated to Surrealism and Dada, a possibility all the more likely given his parallel interest and ability in sculpture and other 3-D works. As it is, he has an interesting talent for manipulating colour and shape, and produces wonderful art in the process.

• For other postmodernists in Ireland, see: Contemporary Irish Artists.
• For the world's best, see: Top 200 Contemporary Artists.

BEST IRISH ARTISTS
For a list of the leading Irish
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POSTMODERNISM
For late 20th century paintings,
see: Contemporary Art.

 

Notebooks

Behind it all, lies a huge amount of hard work, as evidenced by Brady's copious notebooks, whose sketches and photos - built up over 20 years - provide him with a constant source of material. Studies of people, figurative forms, objects, animals, buildings, domestic scenes, light and shade - nothing seems to escape his eye or his interest.

Maybe this explains why he has yet to adopt a signature style - always a sensitive issue for emerging artists, who feel obliged to construct a "recognizable" identity, although frankly I don't think it bothered Picasso - but being a lecturer at the GMIT (Galway and Castlebar) for the last twelve years must also have been an influence. It's difficult to expand the creative horizons of others, while narrowing one's own.

 

Biography and Work

Born in Westport, Co Mayo, Brady has degrees in fine art painting from both the RTC in Galway (1986-1991), and the Crawford Art School in Cork (1994-1995). In addition, he gained a Masters in Fine Art (with distinction) from the Winchester School of Art, in Barcelona Spain.

At his Artspace studio, he works in nearly all media, including oils, acrylics, watercolours, mixed-media, encaustics, tempera, pastels, graphite and charcoal. In addition, he has made maquettes in a wide range of materials, such as wire, wax, paper-construction, lead and found objects, and a number of small-scale and large-scale sculptural works.

As I have tried to indicate, above, Brady's artistic agenda is extremely wide-ranging. It references a number of issues concerning modern society, as well as the nature of art itself, which are outlined in some detail on his website. I strongly recommend you take a look.

 

Exhibitions

So far, Brady has enjoyed more than a dozen solo shows, and has exhibited his works in a number of group events in Ireland.

Recent Selected Solo Exhibitions
2009 Linnenhall Castlebar Co. Mayo.
2007 Nimmos, Ard bia, Galway.
2006 Tulca, Revolving door, Art space, Galway.
2005 Customs House Gallery, Westport.
2004 Glebe Gallery, Donegal.
2003 General Hospital Castlebar.
2002 The Apple Loft Gallery, Sligo.
2000 The Andrew Stone Gallery, Westport.

Recent Selected Group Exhibitions
2008 "Everyday" The Dock Carrick on Shannon.
2008 YGA 2, Norman Villa Galway.
2007 Surprise painting show, G126, Galway.
2007 Artspace, 21 year exhibition, GTI, Galway.
2007 GMIT, Galway.

Collections

Brady's paintings are represented in a number of public and private collections, including: AIB Bank, Bank of Ireland, Office of Public Works, The Law Society of Ireland, Alliance Francaise and Mayo County Council.

Review written by Neil Collins (Editor) (December 2008).

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