The Chairman, Board, Director and staff of the Irish Museum of Modern Art today (Thursday 26 April 2012) extend their sympathies to the artist Anne Madden, wife of the great Irish artist Louis le Brocquy, and their sons Pierre le Brocquy and Alexis le Brocquy, on the death of Louis Le Brocquy.
In terms of his own work, and in what he has done for art in this country, Louis le Brocquy has been a defining figure for more than 70 years. His work has received much international attention and many accolades over a lifetime of creative practice. He has been widely acclaimed for his evocative heads of literary figures and fellow artists, including his friends Samuel Beckett, Francis Bacon and Bono. In recent years his early Tinker and Family series have attracted headline attention on the international art market, placing him in the same select group as Bacon, Lucian Freud and David Hockney. His work has been celebrated by museum retrospectives worldwide, including the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris, the New York State Museum, the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne and here at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in 1996. In 2006 IMMA celebrated the artist’s ninetieth year with a display of seven major works by the artist.
Louis le Brocquy’s work is represented in the collections of numerous museums in the USA, the UK, France, Switzerland, Italy, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Brazil, Japan, India, Korea, New Zealand and, of course, Ireland. IMMA holds some 40 works by le Brocquy in its Collection. Highlights of his career include winning the prestigious Premio Acquisto Internationale at the Venice Biennale in 1956, where he represented Ireland, and the first IMMA Glen Dimplex Award for a sustained contribution to the visual arts in Ireland in 1998. In 1975 he was made a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur. He holds Honorary Doctorates from the University of Dublin, the National University of Ireland, Dublin City University, Queen’s University, Belfast, and in 1994 he was elected Saoi of Aosdána. He was awarded the Freedom of the City of Dublin in 2007 and was conferred with an Honorary Associate from NCAD in 2006. In all of this he has had the unfailing support of his wife, the distinguished artist Anne Madden, and of his sons Pierre and Alexis.
In addition to being the perfect ambassador for Irish art abroad, he has also been a wonderful representative of his chosen profession among his fellow countrymen. His painting A Family is included in the RTE documentary Masterpiece: Ireland's Favourite Painting. He is greatly loved and admired not only for his outstanding body of work but also for himself – for his graciousness and courtesy, seen to such effect in Joe Mulholland’s major documentary on his life and work.