Felim Egan (b.1952)

Shore Edge

Mixed media painting

45cm x 45cm

Courtesy of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland

Born in Ireland in 1952, Egan studied in Belfast and Portsmouth before attending the Slade School of Art. Best known for his restrained abstract paintings, Egan exhibited widely across Europe with major exhibitions at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester, the Irish Museum of Modern Art and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. He represented Ireland at the Paris Biennale in France in 1981 and Sao Paulo Biennial in Brazil in 1985. He won the prestigious UNESCO international prize for painting in Paris in its inaugural year of 1993.

He is best known for his monochromatic paintings marked with ghostly geometrical shapes. He had a technique of building up colour by applying layer after layer of thin acrylic mixed with powdered stone. He worked on his paintings on a flat table, viewing the work from all angles, watching the paint change intensity and colour as it soaked into and dried on the linen or canvas.

Describing his practice, he said “This unknown part of the process can create ’happy’ incidents or problems to resolve, beyond my immediate control, creating a freedom with the work”.

Felim Egan died following a short illness on 19th November 2020.