The Molesworth Gallery

John Boyd

Mimesis (a tentative equibrium) ~ oil on board ~ 70 x 90 cm


John Boyd has developed a singular style, one that hints at complex and unresolved narratives replete with a quiet but profound anguish. The people in his work - invariably male and wearing a markedly glum expression - either face the viewer directly or are in full profile. Even when masked, as is sometimes the case, they are clearly men bearing a weight of woe on their slumped shoulders. While the spirit of James Joyce has been evoked by some commentators, surely the character of Boyd's paintings is closer to Beckett, not least in their existential bleakness and sense of isolation. Boyd's figures, whether alone or keeping company with one another, are always placed against a plain backdrop, their dislocation only serving to emphasise their isolation. Just as with Beckett there is wit here but of a kind underscored by sadness.
Although he has lived in Ireland for the past 20 years, Boyd was born in Carlisle in 1957 and studied painting at London's Slade School of Art. Boyd has exhibited internationally since the late 70s, most often in London, the US and Ireland. His utterly distinctive work has garnered a loyal following and is represented in numerous major collections, both public and private, in Ireland and abroad, among them AIB, Christies London, Morgan Grenfell, De Beers, Glen Dimplex, The Merrion Hotel and Mason Hayes & Curran Solicitors.

1995-6 Newcastle College of Arts and Technology
1976-8 Slade School of Art
1978-80 University of Newcastle

Solo Exhibitions
2010 Cross Gallery, Dublin
2007 Cross Gallery, Dublin
2006 Lydon Fine Art, Chicago
2005 Cross Gallery, Dublin
2004 Lydon Fine Art, Chicago
2003 Cross Gallery, Dublin
2002 Lydon Fine Art, Chicago
2001 Cross Gallery, Dublin
2000 Archeus Fine Art, London
1999 Lydon Fine Art, Chicago
1998 Christopher Hull Gallery, London
1996 Christopher Hull Gallery, London
1996 Clayton Gallery, Newcastle
1992 Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh
1991 Christopher Hull Gallery, London
1989 Christopher Hull Gallery, London
1987 Gallerie Suzel Berna, Antibes
1987 Braggiotti Galleries, Rotterdam

Selected Group Shows and Projects
2000 Cross Gallery, Dublin
1999 Lydon Fine Art, Chicago
1996 Iontas, Sligo, Dublin & Belfast
1993 Clayton Gallery, Newcastle
1991 Hatton Gallery, Newcastle
1988 Christopher Hull, London
1987 Grey Gallery, Newcastle
1986 Chameleon Gallery, Newcastle

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