It is with heartfelt sadness that Temple Bar Gallery + Studios hears of the passing of Oliver Dowling.

Oliver was a passionate force for contemporary art and artists and a great encourager for generations of people working in the arts. His path was unique and brilliant. He worked on the first ROSC exhibition, 1967, supporting Chairman of the Jury James Johnston Sweeney and artist Cecil King, with the hanging of works in the magnificent installation at the RDS, designed by Patrick Scott. He set up his own gallery, Oliver Dowling Gallery (1975-1995), with a focus on Minimalism, Conceptualism, Neo-Expressionism and other avant-garde international practices. He was instrumental in bringing Joseph Beuys to Ireland in the 1970s, driving him around Ireland on this famous trip. He was Head of Visual Arts in the Arts Council (then called Visual Arts Officer). He worked on numerous exhibitions and international events including L’Imaginaire Irlandais, Paris, 1996, was co-founder of Dublin Contemporary, and recently contributed to Cecil King exhibition at the Hugh Lane Gallery, 2022, and worked with artist Maud Cotter on development of a project right up until his sad passing. Oliver was a great and dearly loved friend of Temple Bar Gallery + Studios over the years as he was for many galleries everywhere.

You would meet Oliver on the street, on his bike, and in galleries, where he would be in his element, and you would have fantastic conversations about the art on display delivered in the joyous way he had of expressing himself. We can hear his warm and fetching laugh. Rest in peace Oliver, and thank you for all you have given to so many of us.

Image description: A black-and-white photograph of a group of well-dressed people at an exhibition. They stand in a line at an angle to but facing the camera, and look off to the left. Two people wear suits, two people wear dresses, and Oliver who is third from the left wears a black pull over and grey suit pants. Two of the group hold drinks in their hands. In the background there are paintings on the walls behind them.