Roderic O’Conor & the Moderns: Between Paris and Pont-Aven

This nicely produced and generously illustrated book is the catalogue of an exhibition at the National Gallery of Ireland between July and October 2018.

Born in County Roscommon, O’Conor (1860-1940) moved to France and divided his time between Paris and rural art colonies such as Grez and Pont-Aven. This brought him into contact with a variety of influences at a time when art movements were developing and groups forming. An initial glance at his work tends to place him as an Impressionist or Post-Impressionist, but wider contact is evident. The exhibition shows his work alongside that of Gaugin, Van Gogh, Emile Bernard and others.

There are 66 illustrations in the book, mostly by O’Conor, but also others, reflecting the catholic nature of the exhibition. Drawings and etchings as well as paintings reflect the variety of media in which the artist worked and many have not previously been publicly exhibited.

Both the exhibition and its catalogue provide an excellent overview of a major artist whose work is perhaps not as widely known as it could be.

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