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 Martin Gale  (1949 - )

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Lived/Active: Ireland/England      Known for: figure, townscape and landscape painting

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Tennis in the mountains
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Martin Gale RHA (b.1949)

The Irish figurative painter and landscape artist Martin Gale was born in Worcester, England, in 1949, but moved to Ireland at a very early age.  He learned drawing and fine art painting at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin.  In 1975, Martin Gale held his first solo exhibition in the Neptune Gallery in Dublin, since when his artworks have been widely shown in Ireland, England, Europe and the USA.  In 1973, he joined the Visual Arts Committee of Project Arts Centre, Dublin followed by the Figurative Image Group in 1979. He represented Ireland in the XI Biennale de Paris in 1980, and in other later events.

In the early 1980s, Gale was the subject of an Arts Council touring exhibition, travelling throughout Ireland. In 2004 Gale was the subject of a major retrospective, held first in the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) Gallagher Gallery, and subsequently in the Ulster Museum in Belfast in 2005.

Martin Gale became a member of Aosdana in 1982, an associate member of the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) since 1992 and a full member since 1996. He has won numerous awards, including: 1973 Oireachtas; 1985 Irish Book Design Award for Best Illustration, The Lucky Bag; 1991 Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA), Award Winner.

Martin Gale's finely detailed approach to landscapes and townscapes - a combination of early twentieth-century realism and more modern photo-realism - can be seen as a response to how the contemporary Irish landscape is used and interacted with, by its inhabitants.  His paintings frequently offer an uneasy commentary on rural life in modern Ireland and how the country is shifting. (What were once fields may now be housing estates, bungalows or ruins.) Above all, Gales paintings are not picture-postcard Irish images.  They often express the isolation and uncertainty of people in the landscape.  His output includes both oils and watercolours.

Martin Gale's pictures are represented in many public, corporate and private collections, including: Allied Irish Bank; Arts Council of Ireland; Bank of Ireland; Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery, Dublin; Waterford Municipal Art Gallery; National Self Portrait Collection, University of Limerick; and many others. Gale shows regularly with the Taylor Galleries in Dublin and the Fenton Gallery in Cork.

Online Encyclopedia of Irish and World Art

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Born in Worcester, England, Martin Gale studied at NCAD and represented Ireland at the Paris Biennale in 1980.  He has long favoured a form of post-modern hyper-realism which attempts to mimic yet also transcend photography, capturing with painstaking detail not just the fleeting moment but also "a bewildering wealth of impressions" and thereby demonstrating "the extraordinary in the prosaic" (Aidan Dunne, Contemporary Irish Art: A Documentation, Wolfhound Press, Dublin, 1982, p.16).
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