The peculiar cruelty of 20th-century Irish culture -- the oppression of a people who value so highly individual freedom -- informs the work of contemporary artist Patrick Graham. As it has for so many great Irish artists in other media (music, dance, literature), grief wrought by the strangulation of personal and political beliefs is channeled through artistic expression, which in Graham's paintings come from that eldritch moment when the silence of repression creates a new, separate voice. Finding his inspiration in scraps of myth and folktale as well as the transfiguring experience of the Irish Catholic experience, Graham's paintings speak in the language of the soul -- in symbol and mark, in color and shape, in memory and dream. The retrospective exhibition, Patrick Graham: Thirty Years -- The Silence Becomes the Painting, opens with a free public reception from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, September 23, at the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art on the Saint Louis University Campus (3700 West Pine Mall Boulevard; 314-977-7170 or mocra.slu.edu). The exhibit remains up through December 16, and the museum is open Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is free, but donations are graciously appreciated.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Sept. 23. Continues through Dec. 16, 2012