David Ireland (artist)

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For other people with the same name, see David Ireland.
David Ireland
Born David Kenneth Ireland, Jr.
(1930-08-25)August 25, 1930
Bellingham, Washington
Died May 17, 2009(2009-05-17) (aged 78)
San Francisco, California
Nationality American
Education Western Washington University,
BFA from California College of Arts and Crafts,
MFA from San Francisco Art Institute,
Laney College
Known for sculpture, installation
Awards N.E.A. Artist Fellowship grant,
Adaline Kent Award,
The Engelhard Award,
American Academy of Art, Rome

David Kenneth Ireland (August 25, 1930 – May 17, 2009) was an American sculptor, conceptual artist and Minimalist architect.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born in Bellingham, Washington. He studied Printmaking and Industrial Arts at California College of Arts and Crafts, graduating in 1953 with his BFA.[2] After college he attended US Army service. After leaving the Army Ireland traveled Europe extensively, working as an illustrator, and eventually traveled to Africa to lead safaris.


It was not until his 40s that Ireland decided to dedicate himself to work as a full-time artist. He returned to the United States and returned to school, this time at the San Francisco Art Institute. Upon graduating from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1974,[3] Ireland spent a year working in New York, before returning to settle in San Francisco.

Upstairs hallway at 500 Capp St., with treated walls and other sculptural installations

In 1975, Ireland purchased a victorian house built in 1886[4][5] from Paul John Greub, an accordion maker, for $50,000.[6] The house is located at 500 Capp Street (20th Street and Capp Street) in the Mission District of San Francisco.[6]

In 1987 Ireland won the Adaline Kent award from San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI).[7]

"The safe gets away for the second time", part of 500 Capp St.

Ireland is most well known for creating site-specific installation art pieces; most notably, his former residence at 500 Capp Street[8] in San Francisco, where his work is also shown at Gallery Paule Anglim. Moving between two and three dimensions within the same sculptures, Ireland explores concepts of scale and vision. Known for his wide range of materials, works are made from paint cans, phone books, metal, cement, wood and, even the skull of a water buffalo.

In 1999, Ireland collaborated with sound artist GX Jupitter-Larsen remixing and re-recording tapes from the audio archives of 500 Capp St. The outcome was released as a CD on Vinyl Communications.[9]

To accompany Ireland's first solo exhibition in London, Ridinghouse published David Ireland: Sculptures, Paintings, Drawings. This catalogue features a selection of Ireland’s works from over four decades. An introduction to the work of this artist, this publication also includes an essay by Kenneth Baker, art critic of the San Francisco Chronicle.

In early 2016, the San Francisco Art Institute organized an exhibition of Ireland's work, in conjunction with the public opening of 500 Capp Street.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Baker, Kenneth. "Bay Area conceptual artist David Ireland dies". SFGATE. Hearst Communications, Inc. Retrieved 9 February 2016. 
  2. ^ "Abby Wasserman: Published Article on David Ireland". www.abbywasserman.com. Retrieved 2016-01-15. 
  3. ^ a b "David Ireland - Exhibitions". SFAI. Retrieved 2016-01-15. 
  4. ^ "David Ireland's Mission District Home Opens as a Museum". Curbed SF. Retrieved 2016-01-15. 
  5. ^ Gross, Jennifer; T, Karen (2003). The Art of David Ireland: The Way Things are. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. p. 193. ISBN 9780520240469. 
  6. ^ a b "David Ireland's Cabinet of Curiosities Opens its Mission District Doors". KQED Arts. Retrieved 2016-01-15. 
  7. ^ "David Ireland, gallery as place : Adaline Kent Award exhibition : an installation". searchworks.stanford.edu. Retrieved 2016-01-15. 
  8. ^ Riess, Suzanne B. (2001-01-01). "David Ireland, Inside 500 Capp Street: An Oral History of David Ireland's House" (PDF). Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library. The Regents of the University of California. Retrieved 2015-01-15. 
  9. ^ "David Ireland (2) And GX Jupitter-Larsen - David Ireland And GX Jupitter-Larsen". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-01-15. 

External links[edit]

Book by Betty Klausner: "Touching Time and Space - a Portrait of David Ireland" 2003, www.chartartbooks.it