Category Archives: Art


Tony O'Malley

By Brian Lynch
Dublin, New Island Books, 2004
ISBN 1-85928-235-0

The cover of ‘Tony O’Malley’ is based on Summer Solstice, Summer Kite, 1992.
48×48 inches, oil on board

A 324 page book of essays with more than 300 illustrations, selected and introduced by Brian Lynch and first published by the Scolar Press, London and the Butler Gallery, Kilkenny, in 1996. A new and revised third edition was published in 2004 by New Island Books, Dublin. The contributors were Aidan Dunne, Brian Fallon, Patrick Heron, Patrick J. Murphy, Frances Ruane, Vera Ryan, Hugh Stoddart and James White.

O’Malley has a rare and remarkable talent. He is certainly one of the most profoundly gifted painters ever to have come from Ireland. – Patrick Heron

The following is from The Butler Gallery PR for The Visual Diaries

The Butler Gallery

Fifty Years of Tony O’Malley’s Sketchbooks
Curated by Brian Lynch
October 15–December 4, 2005
Tony O’Malley The Visual Diaries

Visual Diaries
Visual Diaries


The Butler Gallery has had a long and proud association with Tony O’Malley, a native of Callan, Kilkenny, which we are delighted to continue with this exhibition and publication Tony O’Malley – The Visual Diaries, Fifty Years of Tony O’Malley’s Sketchbooks. O’Malley’s work is beloved, and he holds an important position in the history of 20th century Irish art. To mark this position, the Irish Museum of Modern Art will open later this month with a major retrospective of his work.

Almost every day for fifty years Tony O’Malley drew and painted in his sketchbooks. These visual diaries, as he called them, are a record not only of what he saw in front of him but of what he remembered from the distant past, often with startling clarity. Portraits of himself and his wife Jane; of friends, of poets and painters, of people in streets and shops; landscapes of Kilkenny, Clare Island, Cornwall, the Bahamas, Switzerland, the Isles of Scilly; pictures of flowers, of animals, especially cats and birds, as well as experiments in pure abstraction and colour – all of these, and more, are to be found in these stunning visual diaries.1

Butler Gallery, The Castle, Kilkenny, Ireland
t +353 56 7761106 f +353 56 7770031

1 Lynch, Brian. Introduction in the publication ‘Tony O’Malley ’The Visual Diaries’, 2005