Further Quotes About



A man who made his paintings talk... essentially Swift is not only an Irish painter but a European one... He may well be one of the greatest of Irish painters. When the dust has settled and the critics have had their say, the paintings will speak for themselves.
Until now most people in Ireland may have been unaware that Patrick Swift was still producing work of outstanding quality right up to the time of his death in Portugal in 1983. Indeed, many people may not have heard of him at all. Since his successful exhibition in the Victor Waddington Gallery in Dublin in 1952, he avoided the limelight... He moved from Dublin to London in the early 1950s and from there to Algarve, in Portugal, where he made his home for over 20 years.
He painted the people, the landscape and the trees in Portugal with an intensity and energy which communicates itself directly from the canvas. The impact is enormous. Great gnarled roots and branches in heavy impasto; greens, yellows and ochres, the colours of the seasons in the Portuguese landscape; figures emerge from twisted tree trunks, half hidden in the branches; men, earth and trees become part of an electrifying energy field. These paintings hold you and address you in a language so intimate and disturbingly personal that even if you don't know much about art you are aware you have been moved at a visceral level...
— Marion McDonald, Sunday Business Post, Feb 20 1994


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...his ability to communicate certain truths on what one senses to be a deeply spiritual level. It is perhaps this quality in his work which links Swift with the world of poetry and poets. Apart from close family members, poets were almost exclusively subjects of his portraits; the series of poet portraits shown at IMMA [1993 Retrospective] are quite exceptional by any standards and must place him among the very best Irish painters of the twentieth century.
— Wanda Ryan Smolin, Irish Arts Review, 1994


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Although highly acclaimed in critical and artistic circles, the work of the Irish painter Patrick Swift has rarely been publicly exhibited... The vogue at the end of the 50s for abstract painting was not to his taste, nor could he work with academic realism. He sought an expression of life and human creativity which was meaningful and accessible, yet intensely personal, and inspired by emotion, by landscape. It seemed Ireland and England restricted him. Swift emigrated to Portugal in 1962. He later set up a pottery in the Algarve, whose part in the revival of the regional craft has been recognised. Here Swift made a huge contribution to the popularisation of the Algarve, and to the recognition of the beauty of Portugal's landscape, history and culture... These are some of his most resonant works, where he has found his voice, and in the invigorating new climate the change in his painting was towards an enhanced sensuous warmth, a sense of the integrity of light and a feeling of the integration with nature, of painter and viewer.
— Richard Morphet (Keeper, Tate Britain, from 1986 until 1998), in his introduction to the Patrick Swift exhibition at the Crawford Municipal Art Gallery in Cork, 2001


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Swift now enjoying the fame he shunned
The Irish Press

...'It's not so much that he was a recluse, it was much more a case that he was out of sympathy with the prevailing mood of the art world at the time', explains Declan McGonagle of the Irish Museum of Modern Art...
'The art world was all about being seen and being out there in the market, whereas he believed that the artist's job was separate from that', explains McGonagle. 'He felt painting was about the inner self, about describing emotional or spiritual changes'...
— The Irish Press, Dec 3, 1993


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On 19 July the Dublin-born painter PATRICK SWIFT died at his home in Portugal. He was 56. Among his closest friends — and the subjects of his best portraits — were a number of poets of his generation, and he was a familiar figure in the post-War 'Fitzrovia' circles that included David Wright, George Barker, Patrick Kavanagh and others. In 1959 he founded the magazine X with David Wright. Through X, Swift did for some of his younger contemporaries what David Wright was doing for the poets. He presented their work and attacked the fashions that stood in the way of a proper appreciation and valuation of the figurative work of some of them. In 1962 Swift left England for the Algarve. As well as collaborating in the establishment of Porches Pottery, he wrote books and continued his design work and painting. In his partnership with David Wright, this exemplary artist contributed substantially to the world of poetry.
— P.N. Review, News & Note, PN Review 34, Volume 10 Number 2, November - December 1983



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Images
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Dublin Oil - Dublin Watercolour/ Ink - Italy - Oakridge/ Ashwell Watercolour - Oakridge/ Ashwell Oil - London Oil - London Watercolour/ Ink - France - Algarve Oil - Algarve Watercolour/ Ink - Self-Portraits - Trees - Portraits I - Portraits II - Porches Pottery - Books - Misc - Algarve Studio
Note: many of the reproductions displayed here are of poor quality
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By Swift
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Nano Reid - Some notes on Caravaggio - Italian Report - The Artist Speaks - X magazine - RHA Exhibition 1951 - Eça de Queiroz & Fernando Pessoa - The Portuguese Enigma - Notebooks - All
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About Swift
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Main
Patrick Swift: An Irish Painter in Portugal - IMMA 1993 Retrospective Catalogue - Dublin 1950-2 - By His Friends - X magazine - Poems - Further Quotes About - All

By His Friends
Anthony Cronin - John Ryan - John Jordan - C.H.Sisson - Martin Green - John McGahern - David Wright - Lima de Freitas - Katherine Swift - Tim Motion - Lionel Miskin - Jacques D'Arribehaude - Brian Higgins - George Barker - Patrick Kavanagh

Further Quotes
Brian Fallon - Aidan Dunne - Derek Hill - Brendan Behan - Lucian Freud - Patrick Kavanagh - Elizabeth Smart - Further Quotes About
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