Michael Mulcahy

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Michael Mulcahy was born in Cork, Ireland in 1952. Educated at the Crawford Municipal School of Art, and the National College of Art and Design, he is one of Ireland’s leading expressionist artists.

Throughout his 45 year career he has amassed many awards. Most notably receiving membership to Aosdána, the highest honour given to Irish Artists. Not only has Michael Mulcahy had numerous exhibitions at home, but being an extensive traveller, he has had many abroad. Time spent in Papua New Guinea, India, Korea and Australia have strongly influenced his work, which often portrays indigenous people, and natural environments. The Australian Aborigines, the Malis of Africa, Hindu ceremonies on the Ganges and other experiences, have all at various times fed his psyche, and filled his canvases.

During a long stay at a monastery in South Korea, the chief Buddhist monk-artist there, gave him the name ‘Do-gong’, which means ‘empty island, clear sky’. Artists who discover the Mystic East can often just imitate oriental art. However the art critic of The Irish Times, Brian Fallon wrote, “Mulcahy’s images float amid such a dense web of colour, which hit you so full on with it’s light and energy, that there is no effort to copy oriental style. His vibrating pictorial rhythms and dynamic power, make his painting of international standard. He is one of the select few Irish artists who could walk into any major exhibition in the world, and be at home there.”

Gemma Tipton, of Circa Art Magazine said, “Mulcahy’s distinctive, expressive, vigorous art, combined with rich colour, energy and mystique, mark him as one of the most interesting Irish artists of his generation.”

Michael Mulcahy’s first public exhibition was in 1981. Within twelve years, in 1994 he had two major national exhibitions at the Hugh Lane gallery of modern art and Taylor galleries in Dublin, titled ‘Do-Gong’ series. He has exhibited nationally and in New-York, London, Paris, Brussels and the Museum of Modern Art in Seoul. Michael Mulcahy represented Ireland in the Sydney Biennale. He has illustrated two books of poetry for the Irish President, Michael D. Higgins, who has said on national television that, “Michael Mulcahy is one of our very best artist. Some of his paintings are among my favourites”

2018 Art know no Frontiers, Germany
2017 Atelier Clot, Paris
2017 Art on Paper, Pier 36, New York
2014 The Strand Gallery, Dunmore East, Ireland
2013 Gaslamp Gallery, Gorey, Ireland
2011 Listowel Writers Week, Festival Exhibition, Ireland
2010 National Opera Festival Exhibition, Spectrum, Wexford
2009 Kilkenny Arts Week, Kilkenny, Ireland
2008 National Opera Festival Exhibition, Spectrum, Wexford
2006 National Opera Festival Exhibition, Spectrum, Wexford, Ireland
2005 Irish Embassy, Brussells
2004 Portumna and Blue Leaf Gallery, Ireland
2003 Cill Rialaig, Kerry, Ireland
2002 National Opera Festival Exhibition, Spectrum, Wexford
2000 National Opera Festival Exhibition, Wexford, Ireland
1999 Galerie Médiart, Paris
1997 Ateliers Ports Ouverts dans le Marais, Paris
1996 Cill Rialaig Gallery, Dublin
1995 Butler Gallery, Kilkenny Castle, Ireland
1994 ‘Do-gong’ Series, Hugh lane Gallery of Modern Art, Dublin
1991 Taylor Galleries Dublin
1990 Triskel Art Ventre, Cork, Ireland
1989 Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin
1988 Le Grand Marche, Timbuchtou, Mali
1987 Taylor Galleries, Dublin
1986 Octagon Gallery, Belfast, Ireland
1985 Taylor Galleries, Dublin
1984 Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne
1983 Project Arts Centre, Dublin
1982 Lincoln Gallery, Dublin
1981 Gorey Arts Centre, Ireland

The Arts Council Ireland
Contemporary Irish Arts Society, Dublin
Trinity College Dublin
Ulster Museum, Belfast, Ireland
Crawford Municipal Gallery, Cork
Department of An Taoiseach (Prime Minister)
Australian National Gallery
European Investment Bank, Luxembourg
Power Gallery of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia

Living Art award to make a film, ’Silver Fish’
First Prize for drawing, S.A.D.E., Cork, Ireland
Art Council material grant
Arts Council Aosdana honor
Department of Foreign Affairs travel grant for Sydney Biennale
First Prize for painting, Townsville Arts Society, Australia