Visual Arts

Colin Davidson: Selected Paintings and Drawings

Curated by Kim Mawhinney, National Museums NI



Sep 16, 2023 – Dec 17, 2023



Irish Arts Center 
726 11th Avenue 
Hell's Kitchen, NYC


To complement Silent Testimony, Irish Arts Center will be showing a curated selection of Davidson’s more recent work. From his portraits of some of Ireland’s cultural heroes or figure life paintings to urban interpretations of his home city, Belfast, this exhibition gives background to some of the themes that have dominated the celebrated artist’s practice for decades.

Mondays through Wednesdays, Dec 4–13: 6pm to 8pm
Saturdays: 1pm to 5pm
Sunday, Dec 17: 2pm to 5pm


Colin Davidson is not only an internationally important artist, he is a humanitarian who understands the power of art and how it can converse with the viewer. Silent Testimony may have been seen by over 100,000 people to date, but it still has the power to stop people in their tracks and demand their attention. Each of the eighteen portraits tells a personal story of loss during the thirty-year period of our history commonly referred to as the Troubles. This exhibition is the most powerful and emotive exhibition I have ever had the privilege to curate, openly bringing people to tears, since its first showing at the Ulster Museum, Belfast, in 2015. 

With Selected Paintings and Drawings, it was important for us to put Silent Testimony in the context of Colin Davidson’s existing artistic practice. While he is known for large-scale portrait paintings of famous people, Colin continues to explore many different themes in his work, some of these can be viewed around the rest of the building. Through looking at the various themes in these other paintings we can see commonalities between the landscape of the city and the landscape of his faces and how the window reflection painting relates to the reflections in each sitter’s eyes. Colin’s work is always evolving from each series to the next, as he constantly experiments with the potential of paint.

—Kim Mawhinney, September 2023

Presented with generous support from Culture Ireland.


Our Supporters

Irish Arts Center programs are supported, in part, by government, foundation, and corporate partners including Culture Ireland, the agency for the promotion of Irish arts worldwide; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office and the New York City Council; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature; Howard Gilman Foundation; Jerome L. Greene Foundation; the Charina Endowment Fund; the Ireland Funds; the Shubert Foundation, Inc.; the Irish Institute of New York; the Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, New York; the Charles Lawrence Keith & Clara Miller Foundation; Northern Ireland Bureau; the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Consulate of Ireland in New York; British Council; Morgan Stanley; Tourism Ireland; and thousands of generous donors like you.


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