Art: Life with a Shillelagh

Ireland is famous for its politics, barley whisky and angry authors, but it rarely has much to cheer about in the way of painters. A fortnight ago in Dublin, Irish critics got a look at the work of a touseled young (25) man named Paddy Swift* and tossed their caps in the air. Paddy's 30 canvases are as grey and gloomy as Dublin itself—harshly realistic paintings of dead birds and rabbits, frightened-looking girls and twisted potted plants. Their fascination is in the merciless, sharply etched details, as oppressive and inquiring as a back-room third...

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