Albert Irvin is a prolific artist, well known for his exuberant, colourful paintings and prints. Born on the 21st August 1922, he celebrated his 90th birthday in 2012, and was awarded an honorary Fellowship by Plymouth College of Art in the same year.
Irvin is one of an extraordinary generation of British painters, who were profoundly influenced by the exhibition of American painting organised by the Tate in 1956. Irvin recalls the experience of seeing the Abstract Expressionist pictures as ‘like a bomb going off’.
The exhibition explores Irvin’s relationship with the birth of abstraction in Britain from the late 1950s onwards, and will include works drawn from 1960 (Slow Black Night) to 2012 (Memory II). Although the artist is noted for his bright, dazzling paintings, the colour blue will be common to the exhibited works. Over the past decades these ‘blue paintings’ have appeared irregularly but repeatedly in his output. These lesser-known blue and blue-green paintings, warmed by other colours, are an essential part of Irvin’s artistic practice. They are studies in the metaphysical quality of painting and one of the key drivers in Irvin’s work.
The exhibition runs from 19 August – 14 September, with a curator’s talk on Wednesday, September 5
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