Visual Arts

Tony O’Malley

Born in Callan, Co. Kilkenny in 1913, Tony O’Malley began painting while recovering from an illness. In the late 1950s, he left his job as a bank official and moved to St. Ives in Cornwall, where he lived for several decades before returning to Ireland.

His abstract landscapes are noted for their use of colour, texture and spirituality. Throughout the 1980s and ’90s, he exhibited extensively with the Taylor Galleries, which held a retrospective of his works on paper in 2002. He also held solo shows at the Castlefield Gallery, Manchester (1988); Wolf at the Door Gallery, Penzance (1988); West Cork Arts Centre (1991); Butler Gallery, Kilkenny (1992); Crawford Municipal Art Gallery, Cork (1994).

He won the IMMA/Glen Dimplex Lifetime Achievement Award, the Oireachtas Exhibition’s Douglas Hyde Gold Medal (1981), the Guardian Art Critics Award (1989), and the Irish-American Cultural Award (1989). In 1994, he received an honorary doctorate from Trinity College, Dublin.

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