Resists The Tendency Towards Abstraction
Charles Brady was born in New York, America, in 1926. Following time spent in the US Navy aboard an aircraft carrier in the Pacific, he studied at the Art Students’ League and worked as a guard in the New York Metropolitan Museum. Brady moved to Waterford, Ireland in 1955 and then to Dublin, finally settling in Dun Laoghaire with his wife Eelagh in 1962.
Brady resisted the tendency towards abstraction that was popular on both sides of the Atlantic throughout much of his career, instead his practice focused on portraying insignificant or banal objects of everyday life such as bus tickets, envelopes and wallets. His appraoch was minimalistic and sparse, transforming these everyday objects into pieces of monumental significance.
“ I realise that I am part of an old American tradition of painting the subject. It goes back over a hundred years to Peto, Charles Sheeler, Preston Dickinson, William Harnett….I enjoy painting. It’s as simple as that”. – Charles Brady
As Patrick T. Murphy notes in the foreword to the Royal Hibernian Academy’s catalogue produced to coincide with the gallery’s retrospective of Brady’s work in 2002, Brady’s painting “redeems ordinary objects, re-presenting them to the viewer as if to say ‘here, it is these things that your life is made from’. These modest haikus rarely fail to captivate and almost always penetrate deeply into our appreciation of art and life.”
Charles Brady won the Douglas Hyde Gold Medal at the 1973 Oireachtas Exhibition, the PJ Carroll Award at the Living Art Exhibition 1978, the Landscape Award at the 1975 Oireachtas and the Keating/McLoughlin Medal awarded by the ESB at the 1996 RHA Annual Exhibition.
He was one of the founding members of the Independent Artists and their annual group shows that took place from 1960 onwards. In 1994 Brady was elected as an Honorary member of the Royal Hibernian Academy and he was also a member of Aosdána.
His work has been exhibited widely in both his native America and Ireland, with solo exhibitions in the Urban and Babcock Galleries in New York; Davis Gallery, Dublin; and Grant Fine Arts, Belfast.
The RHA held a major posthumous retrospective of his work in 2002 and his work is included in the public collections of Bank of Ireland, the Ulster Museum, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, AIB, the Arts Council of Ireland and the Arts Students League, New York. Charles Brady died in 1997.
Born in New York, 1926
Selected solo Exhibitions
Grant Fine Art, Belfast, 1994
Taylor Galleries, Dublin, 1987- 1995
Taylor Galleries, Dublin, 1984
Taylor Galleries, Dublin , 1979- 1981
Davis Gallery, Dublin, 1971
Babcock Gallery, Dublin, 1967
Urban Gallery, New York, 1955
Selected Group Exhibitions
Gateway to Art, Aer Rianta, Dublin Airport, 1990
Charles Campbell Gallery, San Francisco, 1987- 1990
“Two Artists” (with Rosaleen Davey), Caldwell Gallery, Dublin, 1977
“Two Artists” (with John Middleton), Caldwell Gallery, Dublin, 1975
Penn Academy, Philadelphia, 1967
Babcock Gallery, New York, 1965
Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1950
Landscape Award, 1989
P. J Carroll Award, Irish Exhibtion of Living Art, 1978
Douglas Hyde Gold Medal, Oireachtas, 1973
Player Wills Open competition, 1971
The Arts Council/An Comhairle Ealaion
The Arts Council of Northern Ireland
Bank of Ireland
Northern Bank Finance Corporation
Allied Irish Bank
Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art
Arts Students League
Duchas- The Glebe Gallery, Co. Donegal
Wexford County Council