b. 1959, Derry, Northern Ireland.
Since the 1980s, Willie Doherty has been a pioneering figure in contemporary art film and photography.
At once highly seductive and visually disorientating, Doherty’s artworks tend to begin as responses to
specific terrains (most often mysterious isolated settings; places, we suspect, with a troubled past) and
evolve as complex reflections on how we look at such locations – or on what stories might be told about
their hidden histories.
The primary point of geographical reference for Doherty during the three decades of his remarkable
career has been his native city of Derry – a city famously defined and demarcated according to the
traumatic divisions of the Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’. From early conceptual photo-text works – focusing
on the impossibility of establishing any ‘objective’ perspective on this territory of sectarian segregation
and military surveillance – to diptych and serial works in film and photography that set contradictory
points of view against each other, Doherty has returned again and again to Derry as source and subject,
revisiting and re-viewing familiar places from alternative positions.
Willie Doherty has exhibited in many of the world’s leading museums, including the CAM Gulbenkian,
Lisbon; Museum De Pont, Tilburg; IMMA, Dublin; SMK, Copenhagen; Fruitmarket, Edinburgh; TATE,
London; Modern Art Oxford; Dallas Museum of Art; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York;
Neue Galerie, Kassel; Kunsthalle Bern; Kunstverein München; Kunstverein Hamburg and the Musée
d’Art Moderne de la Ville, Paris. He was nominated twice for the Turner Prize and has participated in
major international exhibitions including Documenta, Manifesta, the Carnegie International, and the
Venice, São Paulo and Istanbul biennales.
Willie Doherty (b. Derry, Northern Ireland) studied at Ulster Polytechnic in Belfast.
Doherty’s work has been the subject of many solo museum shows including Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane (2011); The Speed Art Museum, Kentucky (2011); Institute of Contemporary Art, Toronto (2009); Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2009); Lenbachhaus, München (2007); Kunstverein, Hamburg (2007); Laboratorio Arte Alameda, Mexico City (2006); and Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2002). Group shows include dOCUMENTA 13 (2012); Manifesta 8 (2010); 3rd Auckland Triennial (2007); Venice Biennale (2007, 2005 and 1993); MOMA PS.1, New York (2006); Istanbul Biennale (2003); and the Carnegie International (1999). Doherty was shortlisted for the prestigious Turner Prize in 1994 and 2003. Doherty was commissioned by The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon to produce work for the touring school show ‘A Special Place’ (1988).
Aside from The Arts Council /An Comhairle Ealaion, Doherty’s work is included in the collections of 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 ModernaMuseet, Stockholm; The Weltkunst Foundation, London; Sammlung Goetz, Munich; among many other major collections.
Widely regarded as one of Ireland's most important living artists Willie Doherty (b.1959) has exhibited extensively across the world including in Documenta, Venice Biennale and Tate Britain. Twice nominated for the Turner Prize his work is held in many collections including the Ulster Museum, MOMA New York and the British Council.