Second chance to see George Wallace exhibition at the National Gallery

Etchings, woodcuts, monotypes and drawings gifted by artist’s family to the gallery

More than 60 works by Dublin-born artist George Wallace are now on display at the National Gallery – offering a second chance to see the exhibition which opened last September but, like so many events, was affected by Covid-19 lockdowns.

Artworks for George Wallace: Reflections on Life are drawn from a collection of 250 etchings, woodcuts, monotypes and drawings gifted to the gallery by the artist’s family in 2016.

Wallace (1920-2009) was born in Sandycove, Dublin but lived in Canada for most of his life. He studied theology and philosophy at Trinity College Dublin before moving to the UK to teach, and then to Canada where he became professor of fine art at McMaster University, Ontario. He specialised in printmaking and sculpture but was also known for his insightful writings on art.

The exhibition includes early abstract etchings and preparatory drawings inspired by the clay pits at St Austell in Cornwall, as well as a series of monotype heads. These were inspired by photographs of business executives in Canada’s Globe and Mail in the 1980s.


Anne Hodge, curator of the exhibition, says Wallace’s etchings, monotypes and drypoints reflect his philosophical outlook, wry sense of humour and changing attitudes to life.

“At times humorous, and always insightful, the work of George Wallace is both personal and universal. Through powerful imagery the artist comments on everything from the boredom of suburban life to human vulnerability and ageing.”

The exhibition is now open at the National Gallery on Merrion Square West, Dublin and closes on August 29th. Visitors must book a free ticket in advance. The gallery is also offering virtual tours of the collection at

Art at Osberstown

Meanwhile, some interesting pieces of art will go under the hammer on Tuesday, July 27th when the contents of Osberstown House, Naas, Co Kildare, are offered for sale by Fonsie Mealy’s auction house.

The live auction will feature several pieces by Pauline Bewick including Lovers and Stars, a large Aubusson tapestry in wool and linen. Measuring 300cm by 216cm, it comes with an estimate of €15,000-€20,000 (Lot 233).

Lot 240 will be a familiar sight to many people. It’s a bronze maquette of the Anna Livia statue by Eamonn O’Doherty. The statue, which once graced O’Connell Street in Dublin, was rehomed in the Croppy Acre Memorial Park several years ago. The maquette measures 109cm and is estimated at €5,000-€7,000.

Other artists and sculptors represented in the sale include Patrick Campell, Orla de Brí, Gemma Billington and Brian Ballard. A William Orpen pencil drawing, Male Nudes Study, measuring 22cm by 18cm, is estimated at €700-€1,100.

As well as more than 150 paintings and prints, the auction includes furniture, glassware, ceramics, chandeliers, outdoor furniture and garden effects.