Friday, 27 March 2015

Albert Irvin, 1922 - 2015

Albert Irvin, Cathay, 1979 (7' x 10')
Albert Irvin died 26 March 2015.
I am very sad to hear of the death of Albert Irvin. I met Bert in the 1980s when he was teaching at Goldsmiths and I worked in the art library there. He was a charming, generous man and a great painter. He was completely dedicated to his art -  passionate about colour and the very stuff of paint: Turner was his 'home-bred god'.
Irvin left art school in 1950 and so was of the generation to experience the fresh impact of American Abstract Expressionism, notably through exhibitions at the Tate (Modern Art in the United States, 1956, The New American Painting, 1959) and the Whitechapel (Jackson Pollock, 1958). Irvin responded to the gestural energy and large scale of the American painting and in due course fully embraced total abstraction, developing his own distinctive formal language.
For me, the work of the late 1970s and early 1980s is particularly wonderful: to enter a gallery of these large, open, gorgeously coloured paintings is a joyous experience.
The paintings illustrated here are some of my personal favourites.
Read obituary by Mike Tooby.
Watch a short video of Irvin talking about his work in the Tate  and on the occasion of his retrospective at King's Place Gallery.
Read an article by Sam Cornish at Abstract Critical.
See more work at Albert Irvin website and at BBC - Your Paintings.
Albert Irvin, Glow, 1971 (5' x 6')
Albert Irvin, Cressy, (7' x 10')
Albert Irvin, Hannibal, 1975 (8' x 14')
Albert Irvin, Nightingale, 1977 (5’10” x 6’8")
Albert Irvin, Paradise, 1979 (7' x 10')
Albert Irvin, Plimsoll, 1979 (7' x 10')
Albert Irvin, Mile End, 1980 (7' x 10')
Albert Irvin, Orlando, 1980 (7' x 10')
Albert Irvin, Sul Ross, 1981 (7' x 10')
Albert Irvin, Linden, 1983 (7' x 10')

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