–anthology of X, A Quarterly Review, published in 1988
X, A Quarterly Reviewwas a British magazine published from 1959 to 1962. A total of seven issues were published in this short time period. The magazine was founded and edited by the artist Patrick Swift and the poet David Wright. I found it interesting that the Swift and Wright took the name from the algebraic symbol for the unknown quantity. Their first issue had no formal introduction or manifesto. They just let the work speak for itself. Some of the authors and artists that were published in the first issue of X were artists Frank Auerbach and Alberto Giacometti, poet Patrick Kavanagh, and writer Samuel Beckett. I could not find why the magazine was discontinued, but there was an anthology printed in 1988. X also featured artists Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon, as well as writer Ezra Pound.
–portrait of David Wright painted by Patrick Swift around 1960.
Wright was quoted in Poetry Nation about X: “We were out to provide a platform for the individual vision, not accepted avant-gardisme or second-hand attitudes.” Brian Fallon, the chief arts critic for the Irish Times also said of the journal, “A remarkable publication which, in some respects, was light years ahead of its time.”
–Patrick Swift in his studio in Portugal
Swift was part of an arts group from Dublin that included a pub group that drank at McDaid’s pub. Others in the group were Kavanaugh, Anthony Cronin, and Brendan Behan. Later he moved to London and started X with Wright. After that he moved to Portugal where he and his wife Oonagh lived for the rest of their lives. Oonagh married Wright in 1987, 2 years after Wright’s wife died of cancer, as Patrick Swift died in 1983 of a brain tumor. Wright died of cancer in 1994. Oonagh died in 2012, after living a fascinating life.
–picture of Oonagh Swift and portrait of her by Patrick Swift in 1953.
This group of Irish painters and artists would be an interesting group for me to research.