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Lot 41: Patrick Hennessy RHA (1915-1980)Still Life with Champagne BottleOil on canvas, 51 x 71cm (20 x 28'')Signed; AR PH120 inscribed versoProvenance: Tom Caldwell Galleries.Exhibited: 'Patrick Hennessy Exhibition', The Victor Waddington Galleries, Dub

Important Irish Art 7th December 2016

by Adam's

December 7, 2016

Dublin 2, Dublin, Ireland

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Patrick (1915) Hennessy (1915-1980) Please Register/Login to access your Invaluable Alerts

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Description: Patrick Hennessy RHA (1915-1980)Still Life with Champagne BottleOil on canvas, 51 x 71cm (20 x 28'')Signed; AR PH120 inscribed versoProvenance: Tom Caldwell Galleries.Exhibited: 'Patrick Hennessy Exhibition', The Victor Waddington Galleries, Dublin, March 1948, Cat. No.8; 'Patrick Hennessy Retrospective Exhibition', Dublin Painters Gallery, 1949, Cat No.18;'Patrick Hennessy Exhibition', The David Hendriks Gallery, November 1973, Cat. No.22; later shown at the Tom Caldwell Gallery, Belfast (label verso).This still life by Patrick Hennessy is very close to the onlooker. The subject takes up all the canvas with no background, just the rough timber table and the objects to be painted. The glass jar is central to the composition. All the other objects are off-centre to the right - an empty champagne bottle and two bright yellow lemons emerging from crumpled white wrapping paper. The large scale of the picture creates the need for greater detail. Hennessy obliges by the lettering on the bottle label, the texture of the lemons and the white paper edges seen through the glass of the jar and bottle. Perhaps this is just an academic exercise in painting but it adds to the visual pleasure and feeling that is not always evident in still life painting. It could be argued that the composition in this painting is not contrived but a natural combination.Kevin A. Rutledge November 2016Patrick Hennessy RHACork 1915 - London 1980The two recent exhibitions of Patrick Hennessy’s work have been held. In “The Language of Dreams (Dreams and the Unconscious in 20th Century Art)”, hosted by the Crawford Gallery Cork from October 2015 to February 2016, the Hennessy exhibits served as a mini-centenary tribute. In Dublin, IMMA, the tribute to Hennessy “De Profundis”, March - June 2016 was a welcome and long overdue event in the establishment of Hennessy as an important and often overlooked figure, seen by many as an outsider or a purely academic painter without an obvious Irish or nationalistic style. This current sale of four paintings gives a view of his varied subjects and talents.Sometimes Hennessy’s choice of subject bordered on the controversial and perhaps has been overanalysed to fit into a convenient controversial slot. The danger of this is that it distracts from the appreciation of what can only be called a fine painting, while attempting to find hidden detail or emotions that are not evident or don’t exist.Patrick Hennessy’s vast array of subject matter, painted with confidence and ease, moved him into the mainstream of successful artists of his era working in Ireland and it started from the date of his arrival back home from Scotland in 1939. He had a loyal group of patrons and collectors and never had to compromise to achieve popularity with them. The four paintings on sale are all different in subject matter, but consistent in demonstrating his very high technical standard.Kevin A. Rutledge2016

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