John Behan R.H.A. is a leading Irish sculptor. His contribution to Irish Art is remarkable and his influence is visible for over 50 years. His decades of dedication to artistic expression has endowed Ireland and the World with a rich source of imagery. From the beginning his work has been influenced by Celtic Mythology and more recently his inspiration is stimulated by his reading on classical civilizations especially concerning Grecian culture.
Born in Dublin 1938.
NCAD Dublin 1957 - 60.
Ealing Art Collage London 1960-61
Founder member of the Project Art Centre Dublin 1967.
Royal Academy School Oslo 1968.
Co-founder the Dublin Art Foundry 1970.
Associate member, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin 1973.
Member, Arts Council of Ireland 1973 - 78.
Elected member of Aosdána 1978.
Elected full member of Royal Hibernian Academy 1989 Appointed member of the Cultural Relations Committee, Department of Foreign Affairs Dublin. 1995.
Appointed Board Member Irish Museum of Modern Art 2000.
Conferred Doctor of Literature, National University of Ireland Galway 2000.
Awards Gold Medal, Oireachtas Exhibition 1972.
The Ford Spirit of Art Award (in conjunction with The Sunday Independent).
1990. ESB Silver Medal Royal Hibernian Academy 2005.
Jorgensen Fine Art Award, Royal Hibernian Academy 2006.
Ireland-US Council’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts 2008.
John Behan has had numerous solo exhibitions and has been been invited to exhibit in many group exhibition.
In 1985 he illustrated Seamus Heaney’s ‘From The Republic of Conscience’ published by Amnesty International, Dublin.
In 1999 he was the subject of the documentary film ‘Famine Ship’ directed by David Shaw Smith, Parzival Productions.
He has spent time in the Heinrich Bőll Cottage on Achill and much of the work he has created for this exhibition is related to island life.
The work includes many of John Behan’s themes which include Irish Mythology, Music, The Sea, The Irish Famine, and the Irish Jewish relationship explored through James Joyce’s Ulysses.