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Sean McSweeney - The Road

The Road

Seán McSweeney (b.1935)

© Estate of Sean McSweeney. All rights reserved

  • Artist
    Seán McSweeney
  • Title
    The Road
  • Date
    1965
  • Dimensions
    120 × 100cm
  • Medium
    Oil on canvas
  • Collection
    Niland Collection
  • Provenance
    Purchased in 1969
Description

Sean McSweeney moved to Sligo in the 1980s when his work has become synonymous with the county. His mother came from Ballyconnell in Co.Sligo and McSweeney spent his childhood holidays there. His present studio is in the former schoolhouse where his mother attended classes. Thus the locality in which the artist lives and works and which he paints has very strong personal associations.

The Road is a relatively early work which predates the artist’s move to the West. It was painted while he was living in Wicklow, close to Dublin where McSweeney grew up and became an artist. Largely self-taught like many of the leading Irish painters of his generation, McSweeney learnt about art from looking at the paintings of Paul Henry and Jack Yeats in public collections. His work also shows his awareness of international post-war painting. It reflects his willingness to experiment with colour and form and to develop a strong personal style which is inspired by landscape. Roadways and bogholes – evidence of man’s interference and man’s presence in the land form the focus of many of McSweeney’s paintings. In this work a roadway leads up a steep mountain side where it appears like a cascade of colour incapable of penetrating the summit. The act of painting the landscape has transformed it into a luminous almost abstract image. The use of different brushstrokes and techniques of applying the paint are evident, creating a richly textured surface. Colours have been multilayered revealing sudden contrasts of tone. McSweeney’s relationship to the landscape is ultimately a romantic one in which he struggles and succeeds in capturing its essence through paint.

Written by Roisin Kennedy

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  1. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - Maunder’s Fishshop, Chelsea
  2. Percy French (1854 - 1920) - A view of Sligo Quay
  3. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Metal Man
  4. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - The Great Breath
  5. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - Portrait
  6. Jack B. Yeats - White Shower
  7. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats
  8. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - The Gathering
  9. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Cúchulainn mounting into his chariot
  10. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child
  11. Kathy Prendergast (b.1958) - Untitled
  12. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Shruna Meala, Rosses Point
  13. Nick Miller - Portrait of Barrie Cooke
  14. atrick Hall - Jesus Walking on the Sea
  15. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Augusta Gregory
  16. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Sea and the Lighthouse
  17. Norah McGuinness (1903 - 1980) - Hanrahan’s Vision (Illustrations for The Stories of Red Hanrahan)
  18. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Mare and Foals
  19. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Head of a Boy
  20. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Jennie Mitchell
  21. Patrick Scott (b. 1921) - Bog Sun (16)
  22. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - To Measure the Immeasurable
  23. Sean McSweeney - The Road
  24. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Fortune and her wheel