Born in Dublin in 1936, he studied at Trinity College, Dublin and Columbia University in New York. In addition to painting, video and performance work, he has spent much of his career in education, as director of the National College of Art & Design in Dublin from 1980 to 2002, with a four-year hiatus to inaugurate and direct the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts in Australia. He represented Ireland at the 1962 UNESCO Convention of Young Painters in Paris, and won the Carroll Prize for painting at the Living Art exhibition in Dublin in 1965 and 1969. He was director of the Experimental Art Foundation in Adelaide, Australia from 1975 to 1980 and won the Emeritus Medal for cultural contribution from the Australia Council for the Arts (1994). In 2001, the Royal Hibernian Academy held a retrospective exhibition of his work and in conjunction with this Four Courts Press published a book, On Reflection.
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