Irish painter and designer, born in Dublin. Studied chemistry at Trinity College, Dublin, and worked in the family business 1934-8. Left Ireland in 1938, studied the paintings in the London National Gallery, the Louvre, Venice and the Prado collection then at Geneva, and began to paint, self-taught, in 1939. Returned to Ireland 1940, and became founder-member of the Irish Exhibition of Living Art 1943. Painted at first in a style influenced by Manet, Degas and Spanish painting, then in 1945 turned to the theme of Irish tinkers. First public one-man exhibition at Gimpel Fils, London, in 1947, and moved in the same year to London, in touch with Adler, Scott, Bacon and others. From 1950-5 made grey paintings with stylized figures in shallow space; also active as a designer of textiles, tapestries and mosaics. Awarded the Praemio Prealpina at the 1956 Venice Biennale. Married the Irish painter Anne Madden in 1958 and went to work in the French Midi; began to paint white pictures. Settled at Carros, Alpes-Maritimes, 1960. From 1964 painted an extensive series of heads, including studies of W.B. Yeats and James Joyce.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.411