Felim Egan

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Felim Egan, (1952 – 2020), was born in Ireland. He studied at the Slade School of Art in London and at the British School in Rome on a scholarship from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Though his work is often described as abstract, it does take influence from landscape scenes around his home in Sandymount Strand, Dublin.

He is known as a painter of restrained eloquence, who sparingly deploys a vocabulary of hieroglyphic motifs over monochromatic expanses of colour. His paintings are built up slowly with layers of thin colour applied to the surface and stone powder ground into the acrylic. The work is universal in spirit and emotionally intimate. His paintings are epiphanic, in that they convey to us the essential nature or meaning of something of which we were previously unaware. He is an artist of quite formal abstract images, and yet his work is tied to place, to the long horizons, big skies and empty sands of the Strand and sea beside his studio. In this way his abstract paintings are almost landscapes, with a magical quality that his neighbour, the poet Seamus Heaney, has aptly described ‘a balance of shifting brilliances’.

A member of Aosdána, Egan has exhibited widely across Europe with 54 solo exhibitions since 1979 including major shows at the lrish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, 1996 and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, 1999. In 1981 he represented Ireland at the Xie Biennale de Paris and in 1985 at the San Paulo Bienal. In 1993 he won the prestigious UNESCO prize in Paris, and in 1995 the Premiere Prize at Cagnes-sur-Mer. His work hangs in numerous public collections including the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; the Ulster Museum, Belfast; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the collection of the European Parliament. Major Commissions include; Dublin Castle; National Gallery of Ireland: O’Reilly Hall, UCD; Meeting House Square, Temple Bar; Pavilion Theatre, Dunlaoghaire; City Quay Building, Dublin; New Providence Wharf, London, and the National Gallery of Ireland.

Selected Exhibitions
2005 New Paintings and Watercolours’ Fendereksy Gallery, Belfast
2005 Vangard Gallery, Cork
2005 New Paintings, Brigite Schenk Gallery, Koln, Germany
2004 Paintings & Works on Paper, Cavanacor Gallery, Deonegal
2004 Nobokov Museum, St. Petersburg
2004 4 Painters?, Purdy|Hicks Gallery, London
2004 In the Time of Shaking, Irish Artists for Amnesty International, IMMA, Dublin
2003 Robert Brown Gallery, Washington D.C.
2002 Kerlin Gallery, Dublin
2001 Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, UK
2001 Gallerie De Rijk, Den Haag
2000 Galway Arts Centre
1999 Galerie Michael Schultz, Berlin
1999 The West Space, New York
1998 Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
1996 Felim Egan & Wolfgang Tolk, Galerie Brigitte Schenk, Koln, Germany
1996 Austin/Desmond Fine Art, London
1995 Felim Egan/AR. Penck, ZARM Institute, Bremen
1995 IMMA, Dublin
1994 Adams House, Harvard, Cambridge, MA, USA

1993 Premier UNESCO Prize for the Arts in Paris
1995 Premiere Prize at Cagnes-sur-Mer
1997 Gold Award at Cagnes-sur-Mer

Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin
Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery, Dublin
Ulster Museum, Belfast
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Collection of the European Parliament
AIB, Ireland
Deutsche Bank, London