A painting bought for £23,000 and looking like a blank canvas goes on display in Dublin.
Purchased by the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery the canvas was part of a 12-piece exhibition of modern art by both Irish and International artists. On closer inspection the Agnes Martin work titled 'Untitled 7' is not completely blank. It has got eight parallel stripes in pastel shades which are not immediately visible on first look.
The gallery has also acquired another piece of minimal art by Spanish artist Fajardo titled 'Limit, 1980' purchased for around £3,000, which also appears blank.
Ned Brennan of the gallery's art advisory committee comments,
I have opposed the purchase of those pictures. I don't see any artistic merit in them...
While many city councillors have been critical of the purchases, Councillor Mary Flaherty likes the "blank" painting saying,
With a little looking you begin to see a great deal in it.
Councillor Mary Freehill is hopeful that the people of Dublin will come to see the paintings for themselves.
Curator of the exhibition Eithne Waldron defends the acquisitions saying that she plans to introduce more modern works into the gallery.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 22 January 1981. The reporter is Reg Cullen.