Markey Robinson has emerged, less than a decade after his death, as a mythic figure. There is now less comment about his personal eccentricities, the shambolic shopping-cart life, the Joycean extemporising, than on his inarguable brilliance and originality.
Oriel Gallery founder Oliver Nulty (1920–2004) nurtured a then-emerging talent starting in the 1960s, a low point in the painter’s fortunes. However, a growing consensus is beginning to form around the notion that Nulty and Markey were prescient, even prophetic figures, forging rather than following Irish art history.
Markey is beginning to emerge as a founding father of Irish modernism — already valued as such by knowledgeable collectors and now (albeit more slowly) acquiring that reputation amongst critics and academics. Markey seems, at any rate, to have a “take” on the post-Cézanne world more vital and original than anything that emerged from the ateliers of the Salon Cubists or their Irish followers.