Joseph Walsh Biography

Joseph Walsh’s work reflects his passion for expression through material and form. From monumental scale sculptures to one-of-a-kind site-specific commissions and collectible design editions, every piece within his dynamic body of work reveals an intuitive relationship with making, a sympathetic use of materials and an expressive engagement with form.

Inspired by the free, uplifting and ever-changing grace that can be found in nature, Joseph Walsh has developed a creative process which captures the fluidity and immediacy of a sketch – of the moment of inspiration – and in which the final form is only defined through its making.
Joseph Walsh was born in 1979 in County Cork on the south coast of Ireland where he established his own studio and workshop at age 20 and is still based today. With no formal training, he began to explore his passion for making, visiting master makers around Europe and developing his own mastery of wood working and deep knowledge of the material. From the outset he pursued innovation in making based on traditional techniques, often from other craft forms, which enabled new making methods and forms. This led to significant early commissions for various ecclesiastical clients, the Embassy of Japan and the National Museum of Ireland.

From these early years of experimentation and development, Joseph Walsh began to break some of the traditional rules of making, and even his own rules, in order to create the truly bold and expressive forms for which he is known today, realised in an ever-widening range of materials, including wood, marble and bronze. His achievements in design have been recognised by an honorary doctorate from University College Cork, a major commission for the National Gallery of Ireland and the acquisition of works for many major international collections, including most recently the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Permanent Collections

  • Metropolitan Museum Of Art

    New York, USA

  • National Gallery of Ireland

    Dublin, Ireland

  • National Museum of Ireland, Decorative Arts & History Collection

    Dublin, Ireland

  • The Devonshire Collection, Chatsworth House

    Derbyshire, United Kingdom

  • Centre Pompidou

    Paris, France

  • Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum

    New York, USA

  • Mint Museum of Craft & Design

    North Carolina, USA

  • DaLisca Family Church

    Verona, Italy

  • Museum of Arts and Design

    New York, USA

  • Embassy of Japan

    Dublin, Ireland

  • Park Hotel Kenmare County

    Kerry, Ireland

  • Rafael Viñoly Private Collection

    Uruguay

  • John H. Bryan Private Collection

    Illinois, USA

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2018

    • RINN Solo Exhibition

      Yufuku Gallery, Sogetsu Arts Centre, Japan

  • 2017

    • Joseph Walsh Exhibition

      Yufuku Gallery, Tsubaki Shrine, Japan

    • Reveal

      American Irish Historical Society, New York, USA

  • 2014

    • Solo Exhibition

      The Roche Court Educational Trust, New Art Centre, UK

    • Lilium

      Oliver Sears Gallery, Dublin

  • 2011

    • ENIGNUM & Other Stories

      Oliver Sears Gallery, Dublin, Ireland

  • 2008

    • Realisations

      American Irish Historical Society, New York, USA

Selected Group Exhibitions

  • 2020

    • Design Miami/

      Miami, Florida, USA

    • Centre Pompidou x West Bund

      Shanghai, China

    • West Bund Art Fair

      Shanghai, China

  • 2019

    • Design Miami/

      Miami, Florida, USA

    • West Bund Art Fair

      Shanghai, China

    • Magnus V

      DesignMiami/Basel, Basel, Switzerland

  • 2018

    • Earth Wind Fire

      Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, Ireland.

  • 2017

    • Making/Breaking

      Cooper Hewitt Museum, New York, USA

    • 'Narratives in Making' Portfolio

      Craft Council, Kilkenny National Gallery, Ireland

    • Design Miami Basel Sarah Myerscough Gallery

      Basel Switzerland and Miami USA

    • Pavillion of Art & Design Sarah Myerscough Gallery

      London, UK

    • Salon of Art & Design Sarah Myerscough Gallery

      New York, USA

  • 2016

    • Masterworks

      Long House Reserve, East Hampton, New York

    • Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

      London, UK

    • In Residence II

      Oliver Sears Gallery, London, UK

    • DesignMiami/Basel, Sarah Myerscough

      Basel, Switzerland & Miami, USA

    • Pavillion Art & Design

      Sarah Myerscough Gallery, London, UK

    • Salon Art & Design

      Sarah Myerscough Gallery, New York, USA

  • 2015

    • Objects In Flux

      Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA

    • Make Yourself Comfortable at Chatsworth

      Chatsworth, UK

    • Side by Side An Exhibition of work from PORTFOLIO: Critical Selection

      Design & Crafts Council of Ireland. Paris, France and Dublin & Kilkenny, Ireland

    • In Residence I

      Oliver Sears Gallery, London, UK

  • 2014

    • Design Show: Joseph Walsh, Daniel Naude and Johannes Nagel

      Artist House, The Roche Court Educational Trust, New Art Centre, UK

    • Collective 2, Skylight at Moynihan Station

      NY, USA

    • FOG: Design & Art

      Fort Mason Festival Pavilion, San Francisco, USA

    • Against the Grain: Wood in Contemporary Art and Craft

      Bellevue Arts Museum, Washington, USA

  • 2013

    • Against the Grain: Wood in Contemporary Art and Craft

      Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA

    • Cheongju International Craft Biennale

      Cheongju, South Korea

    • Modern Makers

      Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, UK

    • COLLECT

      Claire Beck at Adrian Sassoon, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK

    • Against the Grain: Wood in Contemporary Art and Craft

      Museum of Art and Design, New York, USA

  • 2012

    • Against the Grain: Wood in Contemporary Art and Craft

      Mint Museum Uptown, Charlotte North, Carolina, USA

    • COLLECT

      Claire Beck at Adrian Sassoon, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK

    • Salone del Mobile

      Nilufar Gallery at Palazzo Durini, Milan, Italy

    • Wallpaper Handmade at Palazzo Brioni

      Milan, Italy

    • Design Days Dubai

      Nilufar Gallery, Dubai, UAE

    • Dubh: dialogues in black

      Oliver Sears Gallery, Dublin, Ireland

  • 2011

    • SuperDesign

      Nilufar Gallery, The Dairy, London, UK

    • Black & White

      Oliver Sears Gallery, Dublin, Ireland

    • DesignMiami/Basel

      Nilufar Gallery, Basel, Switzerland

    • Pavillon des Art et du Design

      Nilufar Gallery, Paris, France

    • Nilufar

      Salone, Milan, Italy

    • COLLECT Claire Beck at Adrian Sassoon

      Saatchi Gallery, London, UK

  • 2010

    • MATERIAL Poetry

      American Irish Historical Society, New York, USA

    • Portfolio

      National Craft Gallery, Killkenny, Ireland

    • Pavillion of Art & Design

      Todd Merrill Studio Contemporary, London, UK

    • DesignMiami

      Todd Merrill Studio Contemporary, Florida, USA

  • 2009

    • Pavilion of Art & Design

      Todd Merrill Studio Contemporary, London, UK

    • Grassimesse, Grassimuseum

      Leipzig, Germany

    • DesignMiami/Basel

      Cristina Grajales Gallery, Basel, Switzerland

  • 2008

    • SOFA

      The National Craft Gallery, Chicago, USA

Lectures & Talks

  • 2018

    • Earth Wind Fire

      Crawford Art Galllery, Cork

  • 2015

    • Art Out Loud: Literary Festival

      Chatsworth, UK

  • 2012

    • Joseph Walsh: In Conversation Mint Museum Uptown

      Charlotte North, Carolina, USA

  • 2009

    • Realisations: A Reflection on 10 Years of Making

      The National Museum of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland

  • 2008

    • Materiality and Construction

      Harvard University, Graduate School of Design, Boston, USA

See full portfolio