Although born in Manchester, as was his father, Hughie O'Donoghue is considered to be an Irish artist, not least by himself. Born of an Irish mother and of Irish descent on his father's side, he spent much of his childhood in Co. Mayo. As soon as he was able he built an enormous studio in Ireland in which to work, near Thomastown in Co. Kilkenny.
O'Donoghue studied at Goldsmiths College and upon graduation became artist-in-residence, first at Drax power station in Yorkshire and then, in London's National Gallery.
O'Donoghue's work is concerned with history, and he has presented this concern variously throughout his career. His early, monumental series' Sleeper and Red Earth interpret the history of the ground itself, exploring what the soil may hold and why: examining the bodies placed in it or that may have fallen or otherwise come to be there. His father's experiences throughout the Second World War became a starting point for a prodigious consideration of that period through the medium of richly surfaced paint. History as memory is another facet of this muse.
Discovered and given his first serious exhibitions by Fabian Carlsson in London in the late 1980s, within ten years O'Donoghue was showing more frequently in institutions than he was in commercial galleries. Some curious choices of representation have protracted the advancement of his career, however he was signed by Marlborough Fine Art in 2011 and should now be well placed to be considered one of Great Britain and Ireland's most important living painters.
ARCHEUS / POST-MODERN are principal dealers in Hughie O'Donoghue's early works and his graphic works.
The following institutions hold his work:
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
Ashmolean Museum of Art, Oxford, England
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham, England
British Museum, London, England
Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Bradford, England
Cleveland County Museums, Middlesbrough, England
Djanogly Art Gallery, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, England
Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, England
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, England
Huddersfield Art Gallery, Huddersfield, England
Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland
Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow, Scotland
The Imperial War Museum, London, England
The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland
Mayo General Hospital
The National Gallery, London, England
St John's College, University of Oxford, England
Trinity College, Dublin, Irealnd
Ulster Museum, Belfast, Northern Ireland
University of Michigan, Museum of Art, Ann Arbour, USA
Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, England
Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester, Manchester, England
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, USA