Patrick Swift

Patrick Swift was born in Dublin and is largely considered a self-taught artist, though he attended night classes at National College of Art in Dublin and he attended the Grande Chaumière in Paris. He moved to London in 1950 and co-edited X Magazine which published articles and reviews of and by artists such as Giacommetti and Francis Bacon as well as poetry and literature. As a writer, Swift was extremely talented and recognised though he had a persistent attraction towards painting also. He approached his painting practice in a personal way and his style evolved greatly throughout his artistic career, though he did remain faithful to figuration. He did not subscribe to either side of the dominant artistic dichotomy, that of academism or abstraction, choosing instead to paint his personal view of human creativity and humanity through expressive, emotive and psychological content. Swift moved to Portugal in 1962 and began working in pottery in the Algarve, helping to revive the traditional craft of the region. He slowly turned away from painting altogether.

Despite this, Swift’s work was recognised in 1993 by the Irish Museum of Modern Art in an important retrospective of his work and an assertion of his important contribution to the canon of Irish art. He exhibited at the Irish Exhibition of Living Art in Dublin in 1950 and 1951 where his work was commended by critics.
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