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 Charles Michael Brady  (1926 - 1997)

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Lived/Active: New York / Ireland      Known for: small scale abstract still life and landscape painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Charles Brady HRHA (1926-1997)

An early and persistent painter of landscapes, Charles Brady is more widely known as a still-life artist.  He was born and educated in Manhattan, New York before joining the US Navy in World War II.  After the war, he returned to New York and took a series of mundane jobs whilst studying drawing at night class.  In 1948 he entered the Art Students League of New York and took a year long course.  After art school he continued painting, and in the early 1950s began to exhibit his paintings.  He had his first solo exhibition in the Urban Gallery (New York) in 1955 but lack of money and a chaotic lifestyle began to take its toll.

In 1956 he left New York and travelled to Ireland where he began painting the Irish countryside. Although he returned home in 1958, he moved back to Ireland the following year, settling first in Dublin and then Dún Laoghaire. Lack of resources forced him to paint small pictures which duly became a kind of trademark.  He concentrated on still-lifes of mundane items such as envelopes and tickets, which led one art critic to comment on his skill in converting an every day object into a work of art through subtle composition and muted colours.  Brady became a lecturer in painting at the National College of Art and Design from 1976 to 1983.

Brady's paintings were shown in solo exhibitions at the Urban (1955) and Babcock (1967) Galleries in New York, while in Dublin his work was most often shown by the Taylor Galleries (1979-81, 1984, 1987-93, 1995). In addition, he has also had solo shows at Davis Gallery, Dublin (1971) and Grant Fine Arts, Belfast (1994).  Brady's artworks have also appeared in many group exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Babcock Gallery, New York, and in Philadelphia and San Francisco.  He has also exhibited regularly with Figurative Image, Irish Exhibition of Living Art, Oireachtas, and the Royal Hibernian Academy.

Charles Brady was elected an Honorary Member of the RHA in 1994 and his work is represented in many private and corporate collections in Ireland and North America. Among his many artistic awards were the Douglas Hyde Gold Medal, Oireachtas (1973); PJ Carroll Award, Living Art Exhibition (1978); Landscape Award, Oireachtas (1975); and the Keating/McLoughlin Medal awarded by the ESB and RHA (1996).

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