Albert Irvin OBE RA 1922 – 2015

Abstract | Watercolour | Print
“As with the opening bars of a Beethoven symphony, don’t ask – what’s that supposed to be? – it just is!” Albert Irvin

Irvin often said that he wanted to express the human condition – to convey the sense of what it means to be human – with the same directness and immediacy as musical compositions. His celebratory approach to the creative process epitomised the idea of painting as the expression of the life force within the space of the image.

His work is typified by dynamic brushwork and fluidity of colour which became ever more vibrant as he grew older. Greatly respected by his peers throughout his career, established success within the wider art-world eventually came to him in middle age, leading him to joke that he was “the oldest up and coming young artist in Britain”.

Paul Moorhouse, Tate curator and author of the book Albert Irvin: Life to Painting, wrote of him:
“even to those familiar with his work, seeing a new painting by Irvin can be an extraordinary experience akin to discovering a young, energetic artist in the first flush of ambition. ”
OBITUARY Mike Tooby | The Guardian March 2015