Archive for category Subject: Art History
This slim volume, which accompanies an exhibition at the RWA Bristol, manages to provide a comprehensive history of the Abstract Impressionist movement in Britain. This began with the 1959 Tate Exhibition, The New American Painting, which introduced the style to what I think one might call a surprised audience.
For young artists, the freshness of new ideas was intoxicating and the exhibition (and this book) includes works not just by Irvin, but many of his contemporaries, including Peter Lanyon, John Bratby and Gillian Ayres, who picked up the Transatlantic baton and ran with it.
As well as the superbly reproduced paintings, analytical studies look at the history of the movement and some of Irvin’s creative practices. There’s a great deal to get stuck into in the 88 pages that are here and the book covers more ground than many twice its extent.
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Between 1637 and 1644, the Dutch artist Frans Post travelled to Dutch territories in what is now part of Brazil to record the exotic flora and fauna found there. The paintings he made after his return to Europe became celebrated and were the first time many had seen creatures so far from their personal experience. These finished works are now in galleries around the world.
The original drawings on which the paintings were based were presumed to have been lost, but were recently discovered in an archive in Haarlem. It is these that form the basis for this exhibition, on loan to the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin. For those unable to visit, the reproduction in this slim volume that accompanies it gives an excellent indication of the closeness and accuracy of Post’s observation as well as the opportunity to compare the drawings with the conventionality – in European terms – of the full paintings.
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