Evin Nolan, Irish painter, Died at 86


Michael Evin Nolan was born on July 21, 1930, and died on July 22, 2016.

He was an Irish abstract painter and sculptor.

Evin was much inspired by Henry Matisse, Piet Mondrian, Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, and Jacques Lipchitz.

Nolan work was often distinguished by vibrant colours and geometric forms.

His parents were Lieutenant Colonel Martin Leo Nolan (the first teacher at the Cadet College there in 1928) and his wife Mary Florence Carroll.

The family relocated to Dublin in 1933, where Nolan later attended Terenure College and the National College of Art in Dublin’s Kildare Street.

Evin Nolan won two Royal Dublin Society-sponsored Taylor Awards in 1954, and another for landscapes, and first exhibited at the Irish Exhibition of Living Art in 1955 and at the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1956, before relocating to London for a few years.

Since 1960s, he was back in Dublin drawing cartoons for Dublin Opinion and other publications, while his art gradually transitioned from watercolours and oil landscapes to abstract art and sculpture.

Evin Nolan first solo show was at the Dublin Painters Gallery in 1963, and he was an active member in the establishment of the Project Arts Centre in Abbey Street in 1966-67.

Over the years, Evin Nolan continued to exhibit at the Irish Exhibition of Living Art, as well as taking part in the annual RHA exhibitions and at the Oireachtas festivals.

Evin Nolan had one-man exhibitions at Dublin’s United Arts Club, Kenny Gallery in Galway, Northern Ireland Arts Gallery in Belfast, the Grafton Gallery in Dublin, as well as at several at the Project and at the Royal Hibernian Academy.

Nolan solo April 1976 show at the Project was opened by Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh, president of Ireland. His last show was a major retrospective ‘Works 1984 to 1999’ at the RHA Gallagher Gallery in Dublin in 1999.

He was notable commissions include one for Scott Tallon & Walker Architects, an 18-foot long work for University College Galway, and an outdoor sculpture for Mayo County Council.

Regardless, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland awarded him “Art in Context” First Place in 1975.

For a short while in the 1970s and 1980s he taught at the Dún Laoghaire College of Art and Design.

Evin Nolan work was represented in the collections of the Arts Council of Ireland, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, University College Dublin, National University of Ireland Galway, St James’s Hospital (Dublin), the Bank of Ireland, The National Self-Portrait Collection at the University of Limerick, Raidió Teilifís Éireann, Crawford Art Gallery (Cork), and in numerous private collections.

And the Public installations of his sculpture have included works put on permanent display at Dublin Airport, Castlebar (Co. Mayo), and Jordanstown (Co. Antrim) .

Reportedly of his own oeuvre Nolan said, “My works are a unity of painting and sculpture: spatial-colour-structure.

He had a lifelong passion for physics and astronomy; two of his uncles, JJ Nolan and PJ Nolan, were prominent physicists.

Evin also wrote an unpublished humourous play, in which Eratosthenes’ ancient Greek quest to calculate the circumference of the Earth was placed in a Dublin context.

Evin Nolan passed away at 86 years old.