Seán McSweeney

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The Irish landscape artist Seán McSweeney, HRHA, one of Ireland’s leading painters, was born in Dublin in 1935. Despite not attending art college or taking any classes in painting, he began exhibiting his pictures regularly in the 1960s, in the Irish Exhibition of Living Art and the Oireachtas. McSweeney has also had five one-man shows at the Dawson Gallery in Dublin (from 1965 until 1977), ten solo shows at the Taylor Galleries in Dublin, and numerous others at the Kenny Gallery in Galway, Vanguard Gallery in Cork and at the Fenderesky Gallery, Belfast.

In 1990, Seán McSweeney had a retrospective exhibition organized by the Galway Arts Festival which travelled to the Royal Hibernian Academy Gallagher Gallery, Dublin and other venues in Ireland. In 1996, McSweeney had a two-person exhibition with sculptor Conor Fallon in the RHA Gallagher Gallery and the Model Arts and Niland Gallery, Sligo. Seán McSweeney’s landscape painting focuses on the phenomenon of the bog pool – deep rectangular incisions in the surface of the bog that are caused by the practice of harvesting turf – and the rugged Sligo coastline. He lives and works in Ballyconnell, Sligo, from where most of his artistic inspiration derives.

During his career as a painter, Seán McSweeney has won numerous awards including: the Oireachtas Award (1968), the George Campbell Travelling Award (1980), the Carroll Award, IELA (1987), a Winner’s Medal for the Claremorris Open Exhibition (1987-8), and in 1989 he was awarded Bonn An Oireachtas. He is a member of Aosdána and his work is represented in the collections of the Arts Council of Ireland; the Crawford Art Gallery, Cork; the Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin; the Ulster Museum, Belfast; Aer Lingus; Art Council of Northern Ireland; Dublin City University; Sligo Museum and Art Gallery; Trinity College Dublin.

Selected Solo Exhibitions
2007 Retrospective, organised by the Model Arts and Niland Gallery, Sligo, touring to Triskel Art Centre, Cork and the Solstice Art Centre, Navan
2003 John Martin Gallery, London
2003 Family Collection, The Gallery, Civic Theatre, Dublin
2002 Taylor Galleries, Dublin
2000 Fenderesky Gallery, Belfast
1998 Glebe Gallery, Donegal
1998 Romanischen Kellers, Salzburg (with Charles Tyrell)
1995 Fenderesky Gallery at Queen’s Belfast, Taylor Galleries Dublin
1992 Vanguard Gallery Macroom, Shoreline & Bog, Sligo Taylor Galleries Dublin, Narrow Water Gallery Warrenpoint
1990-91 Retrospective 1965-1990 Galway Arts Festival, Sligo Art Gallery, Cootehill Festival, Cavan, RHA Gallagher Gallery Dublin
1989 Kerlin Gallery Belfast, Riverrun Gallery Limerick
1988 Sligo Art Gallery1986,88~The Gordon Gallery Derry
1986 Carroll Gallery Longford
1985 The Kenny Gallery Galway
1982 Belltable Arts Centre Limerick

Selected Group Exhibitions
2005 Fenderesky Gallery, Belfast, with Pat Harris
1998 Romanischen Kellers, Salzburg, with Charles Tyrrell
1996 Living Landscape ’96 West Cork Arts Centre Skibbereen, Two-Person Show with Conor Fallon, RHA Gallagher Gallery, Dublin
1995 Poetic Land, Political Territory NCCA Sunderland & touring UK, Sligo Connections Model Arts Centre Sligo, Two-Person Show with John Coen Calerie d’Art Saxon
1994 Two-Person Show with Jill Dennis Vangard Gallery Macroom
1993 Two-Person Show with John Behan Foxford Arts Centre
1992 Gateway to Art Dublin Airport, Island Connections Stone Art Gallery Spiddal
1991 Art of the State touring Ireland, Figurative Image
1990 Austen/Desmond Fine Art London, Images of Ireland, Brussels
1989 The Living Landscape West Cork Arts Centre Skibbereen
1988 Longford, Royal Hospital Kilmainham Dublin
1988 Bicentennial Celebrations WIAA Sydney, Canberra
1986 Western Artists Galway Arts Festival, Nine Painters
1985 Fourteenth Festival of Painting Cagnes-Sur-Mer France
1980 The Delighted Eye, A Sense of Ireland London
1971 Celtic Triangle touring Ireland, Scotland & Wales
1970 Landscape Then & Now Arts Council touring exhibition
1966 Cuimhneachán 1916 Dánlann na Cathrach Baile Atha Cliath
1962-63,66Irish Exhibition of Living Art
1958 Cavendish Gallery Dublin