Life and work
Doherty was born in Derry, Northern Ireland, and from 1978 to 1981 studied at Ulster Polytechnic in Belfast. As a child he witnessed Bloody Sunday in Derry, and many of his works deal with The Troubles. Some of his pieces take images from the media and adapt them to his own ends.
These and other works by Doherty explore the multiple meanings that a single image can have. Doherty has again suggested that this interest may stem from his witnessing of Bloody Sunday and subsequent knowledge that many photos of the incident did not tell the whole truth. Some of Doherty's earliest works are of maps and similar images accompanied by texts in a manner similar to the land art of Richard Long, except that here the text sometimes seems to contradict the image.
Doherty has acknowledged the importance of the Orchard Gallery in Derry as a venue where he could see modern art in his formative years. Doherty was shortlisted for the prestigious Turner Prize in 1994 and 2003, and has represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale in 1993, Great Britain at the São Paulo Art Biennial in 2003 and Northern Ireland at the 2007 Venice Biennale. He was a participant in dOCUMENTA (13).
Represented in Collections
- Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York
- Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas
- Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Dublin
- The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin
- MOMA, New York City
- The Tate Gallery, London
- The Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh
- The Moderna Museet, Stockholm
- The Weltkunst Foundation, London
- Sammlung Goetz, Munich.
- Kiasma, Helsinki
- De Appel, Amsterdam
- MOMA Collection: WIllie Doherty
- Tate Collection: Willie Doherty
- Kerlin Gallery: Willie Doherty
- Matt's Gallery: Willie Doherty
- Alexander and Bonin: Willie Doherty
- An interview with Doherty by Tim Maul
- Derry-Londonderry City of Culture 2013: Willie Doherty