T.P. Flanagan: Painter of Light and Landscape
Artist(s): T.P Flanagan
Author(s): S.B. Kennedy
Year published: 2013
Publisher: Lund Humphries
Publisher Location: London
Total Pages: 200
Illustrations: Includes 100 colour and 50 b&w illustrations
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This is the first comprehensive assessment of the career of T.P. Flanagan (1929-2011), generally regarded as the major landscapist working in Ireland in the second half of the twentieth century and the most significant watercolourist of his generation in Ireland.
Educated at the Belfast College of Art, in his work Flanagan placed great emphasis on drawing and the rendition of forms through tonal relationships. As a painter he always eschewed abstraction and instead maintained what he called a ‘respect’ for nature and a ‘human identity,’ his work being the outcome of deep meditation rather than recorded observation – an approach which chimes with Flanagan’s accomplishments as a writer and his strong connections with Ireland’s literary circles. Significant works such as Boglands (for Seamus Heaney) – which inspired his life-long friend Seamus Heaney to write the poem Bogland in turn – underline the contemplative nature of his oeuvre.
Although he painted portraits and still-lifes, landscape was Flanagan’s main interest. His explorations of form and his experimentation with materials have left a rich body work, from pictures capturing the subtleties of refraction and reflection to those tackling challenging themes such as Northern Ireland’s ‘Troubles’. Skilfully drawing together the many strands of Flanagan’s prolific career, S.B. Kennedy presents the definitive account of the life and work of one of Ireland’s foremost artists.