Artist Patrick Scott dies a day before retrospective exhibition

Cork-native (93) was major force in Irish art since 1940s

The Irish artist Patrick Scott has died aged 93 just a day before a major retrospective on his life is due to open at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) and in Carlow.

Scott was born in Kilbrittain, Co Cork, in 1921. He went to school at St Columba's, Rathfarnham and studied architecture at University College Dublin.

After graduating, he worked under architect Michael Scott, who later formed Scott Tallon Walker.

He became a leading graphic designer with the Signa Design Consultancy (set up in 1953 by Michael Scott and Louis le Brocquy), all the while continuing to test various ideas in his painting.


On winning a National Prize at the Guggenheim International Award in 1960 and representing Ireland at the XXX Venice Biennale in the same year, Scott became a full-time artist.

The mosaics at the Busáras terminal in Dublin were designed by him as was the black and orange livery for the CIE trains .

He was elected a Saoi of Aosdána by President Mary McAleese in 2007.

‘Patrick Scott: Image Space Light’ falls into two parts. IMMA will host the first part of the retrospective up to 1970 while VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art in Carlow will bring it up to date.

Imma issued a statement following his death this morning: “Patrick Scott has been a defining figure of Irish art for over 70 years and the retrospective exhibition due to open tomorrow is testament to his extraordinary career, life and achievements as an artist.

"He will be sorely missed by the arts community and IMMA is honoured to pay tribute to one of Ireland's most important artists with this major exhibition on which Patrick Scott worked closely with the curator Christina Kennedy, Head of Collections, IMMA." The exhibition will open tomorrow.

Sheila Pratschke, chair designate of the Arts Council described Scott as a "singularly important painter with a wholly unique, elegant and sophisticated sensibility", but more broadly he had an enormous impact on the development of Ireland as a modern, culturally sophisticated society through his wider involvement with design and architecture.

The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan said Scott was an "extraordinary talent" whose legacy is "immense".

Minister Deenihan commented: “ His work will be long cherished by all those - in Ireland and internationally - who appreciate great art. Patrick ‘gold leafed’ our lives through many decades and we are all the better for it.”

Scott became one of the oldest people to avail of Ireland's civil partnership legislation by with his partner of 37 years, Eric Pearse, in Cork last year.

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times