Limerick, Ireland

Limerick Exhibition of Visual Art 1980

EVA 1980 (titled ‘Limerick Exhibition of Visual Art’) was adjudicated by Brian O’Doherty (Patrick Ireland*) was the Adjudicator who selected 66 works by 62 artists and seven prize winners from an open submission.

He travelled from his home in New York, where he was working as a critic and artist, to his native Ireland, describing the process of selection in his foreword in the accompanying exhibition catalogue: “When I left Ireland twenty years ago to seek my fortune, Dublin would have been hard put to display a group of works to compare with what is crowding the gallery (which has very good natural lighting by the way). Maybe you can write a great poem with only a butt of a pencil and a lick of the tongue, but to paint a fine picture of knowledge of what’s happening elsewhere is indispensable … So what did I find? A sophisticated understanding of the quarrels that start up in any city where art matters to enough people. It’s a poor city for art where you can’t start a quarrel. That’s what good art comes out of. That’s how the exhibition looks to me”.

The Limerick Exhibition of Visual Art 1980 toured to Kilkenny Castle Gallery in November 1980, and also included a number of fringe events where the exhibiting artists discussed their works with school children from the midwest region.

* Brian O’Doherty changed his name to Patrick Ireland in 1972 as a mark of protest to the British military present in Northern Ireland.