Michael Farrell was born in Kells, Co Meath in 1940 and attended St. Martin’s School of Art from 1956 to 1960 where he obtained his National Diploma in Drawing and Painting.
His work has been exhibited worldwide, and is held in private collections in Europe, Africa, North and South America and Australia. Joyce was a constant theme of his work since 1990.
He won numerous awards during his career: Prix de Rome, Brittanique (1964) Carroll Prize (1964, 67, 69, 74) Macaulay Fellowship (1966) Laureat, Biennale des Jeunes, Paris (1967) Sculpture Prize, Irish Exhibition of Living Art (1968) Prix de la Ville de Liège (Belgium), Prix dEurope Ostend (1976) Gold Medal, 3ème Biennale de Gravures, Florence (1972) Douglas Hyde Gold Medal (1976) German Scholarship, Villa Romana Florence (1977) and Mosman Prize and Camden Prize, Sydney (1985).
He died in 2000
‘Art is above politics, but not humanity. As an artist and a man, I have never used my work for any political end. I am so moved by wrong and know what is right with regard to the horrific happenings in the north of this island. This is a personal statement. I am withholding my work from the north of Ireland. I will not let it go to be shown in a gallery supported by that regime. I will in the future not allow my work to go north and this will be made a condition of sale until that state has achieved the basic fundamentals of a decent society.’ (The Irish Times, 21 August 1969).
His solo exhibitions included:
Dawson Gallery, Dublin (1966, ‘96, ‘70, ‘72, ‘75, ‘77) Retrospective 1953-1978, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (1979)
Taylor Galleries, Dublin (1979, ‘81, ‘84, ‘86, ‘91, ‘96)
Foire International dArt, Atelier Champfleury, Stockholm (1981)
Origrafica, Malmo (1981, ‘91) G
alerie im Schlosspavillion, Munich (1984)
Robin Gibson Gallery, Sydney (1986, ‘90)
CTT, Brussels (1987)
Galerie Ouverte, Paris (1988)
Galerie Vannoni, Lyon (1990) Galerie Bosquet, Paris (1995) and S.A.G.A. Cillaprint, Paris.
Group shows included Irish Art 1941-‘73, ROSC, Cork (1980)
Muswell Brooke, New South Wales (1985)
Robin Gibson, Sydney Galerie Vernière, Lyon (1986)
Taylor Galleries, Dublin (1987)
Images of Ireland, Brussels (1990) and Forum de lImmoblier, Paris and a two-person exhibition with John Lalor (1991).