About Patrick Reel

Patrick Reel was a very prominent abstract artist in the late 1960s and early 1970s, with a solo Exhibition in 1973 in the Prestigious Project Arts Centre in Dublin. Due to circumstances, he produced very little abstract art again until after 2005, when he was aged in his early seventies. In the intervening period though he produced very fine realism work, mostly for sale in Navan and surrounds.

A Life in Paint

He came to national prominence again, with A Retrospective of his work, ‘A Life in Paint’, in Dublin Castle State Apartment Galleries, which ran from 10 March to 1 August 2022. A Book/Catalogue by one of the co-curators, was prepared for this (see Michelle Boyle, editor, A Life in Paint: A Retrospective of Artist Patrick Reel, Zest Publications Dublin, 2022), a copy of which is available on request.  An article on the life and works of Reel in the Irish Scholarly Quarterly, Studies Summer 2022, is available on request as well. There are also two large newspaper coverages of this Exhibition at:  https://www.meathchronicle.ie/2022/03/22/reeling-in-the-years/
and https://www.independent.ie/life/the-quiet-man-who-makes-great-art-in-a-room-above-a-sweet-shop-41440834.html

Mary Lavin, well-known AmericanIrish author, with Patrick Reel in 1973, at the Opening of his Solo Exhibition in the ProjectArts Centre, Dublin

Creative Brain week in March 2022

Prof. Ian Robertson who opened the Exhibition, and was Co-Organiser of Creative Brain week in March 2022, included the following in his opening address:

The sheer tactile intensity of the paintings impacts me greatly. I could almost feel my boots being sucked from my feet by the ancient Bog. I wanted to feel the wet, cloying soil beneath my nails. I almost felt the rough, glinting granite of the ancient cross under my palm. …. Patrick, you have made a profound contribution to the world in these paintings, in this life, in this work.

The view, the silence, the smell of paint

The poet Tom French noted in his chapter for the Boyle book, after visiting the artist at his studio/home, the following:

I think again of the upstairs room, the view, the silence, the smell of paint. Out of silence, and seeing the images come and find their form through him. He has stopped time in the process, and his sensibility is one that has been honed by silence and seeing and dedication. Now, after more than half a century of ‘going at it’, approaching the quiet centre of his self, nothing is beyond him.

Always moving the work forward

Mary Heffernan,Office of Public Works (OPW) and co-curator of the Exhibition, summed up his work aptly as follows:

Ultimately across his many decades of art making across several genres it is the observational skill, the draughtsmanship, his love of his native town Navan, his love of nature, the mystical majesty of the primeval Boyne landscape and inherited archaeology that leave a distinctive trace in his entire oeuvre, always moving the work forward searching for new ways to express and release the creativity within that must be released.

Recent Works