Patrick Ireland

Patrick Ireland (b. 1928) is the “deceased” alter ego of Brian O’Doherty. Trained as a physician, O’Doherty holds a medical degree from University College Dublin and conducted research in experimental psychology at Cambridge University. He earned a master’s degree in public health from Harvard University after emigrating to the US in 1957. O’Doherty has worked professionally in many capacities, but his most durable identity has been as an artist and writer. He joined the New York Times as an art critic in 1961, was the editor of Art in America from 1971 to 1974, and has published many critical essays and several books, including Object and Idea, American Masters: the Voice and the Myth, Inside the White Cube: Ideologies of the Gallery Space, and Studio and Cube. As an artist, O’Doherty has exhibited at Documenta and the Venice Biennale and shown widely in Europe and America. He has had several retrospectives, including a 2007 exhibition at New York University’s Grey Gallery. Frequently intrigued by issues of identity, O’Doherty began signing his work under the name Patrick Ireland as a response to the “Bloody Sunday” killings in his native Ireland in 1972. He maintained the pseudonym for 36 years until formally burying the identity after Ireland established an all-party government in 2008.

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