'Reconciliation' Oisín Kelly 1915 – 1981

'Reconciliation' Oisín Kelly 1915 – 1981

Circa 1950
Height 20.00cm [7.87 inches]
Width 15.00cm [5.91 inches]
Depth 4.50cm [1.77 inches]

Artist's Resale Right applies @ 4%

Kilkenny Marble

Circa 1950

Exhibition Label to Verso

Irish Exhibition of Living Art 1950 – Exhibit Number 127

OisÍn Kelly 1915 – 1981
Born in Dublin, Oisín, being the Gaelicised version of
his given name Austin, studied at night at the National
College of Art and Design whilst up at Trinity College
reading languages. On returning to Ireland after a
study exchange to Frankfurt in 1937, Kelly went on
to teach Art and French in Waterford then Dublin.
In 1947 Kelly took a sabbatical from teaching, taking
classes at the Chelsea School of Art under the tutelage
of Henry Moore, where ‘paradoxically he was cured
of Modernism by Moore himself’. In the late 1940s
his work started to be noticed with a number of
Church commissions, even managing once to exchange
a sculpture for a refrigerator! │ It is then to this
work – coming at an important time in his career –
‘Reconciliation’ (I wish to thank Elizabeth and Fergus
Kelly and William Shortall, author of ‘Life and work of
Oisín Kelly’ for all their help with research), carved in
Kilkenny marble and exhibited at the Irish Exhibition
of Living Art (IELA) nu. 127, priced at £10. The work
bears the IELA label dated 1950, which was of such
help to reintroduce this work back into his cannon.
Characteristic of his early style (influenced by his
interest in medieval Irish stone carving), two figures
face each other with corresponding high and low relief
to leave you with another vision being ‘Reconciled’ as
one face. │ Kelly continued to be at the heart of Irish
cultural society (named in Seamus Heaney’s second
Glanmore Sonnet) exhibiting with important Irish
artists of the day and working on commissions for both
Church – wooden statues of St. Aloysius Gonzaga and
St. Joseph and Child for St. Francis Xavier’s Church,
Dublin 1951; and State – ‘Children of Lir’ Garden of
Remembrance, Dublin 1971, and a statue of Jim Larkin,
O’Connell Street, Dublin 1977.