Lot 203: Albert Victor Ormsby Wood (1904-1977)A Morning IdyllGouache, 26.5 x 70cm, (10.5 x 27.5)Signed with initials and dated '48Original Artist's Exhibition Label verso (NFS)Provenance: 'Important Irish Art Sale', these rooms December 2007, Catalogu
December 7, 2016
Dublin 2, Dublin, IrelandLive Auction
Description: Albert Victor Ormsby Wood (1904-1977)A Morning IdyllGouache, 26.5 x 70cm, (10.5 x 27.5)Signed with initials and dated '48Original Artist's Exhibition Label verso (NFS)Provenance: 'Important Irish Art Sale', these rooms December 2007, Catalogue No.183, where purchased by current owner.Victor Wood (1904-1977) was a reclusive figure artist who specialised in somewhat fantastical paintings of women, particularly maids, typically set in Edwardian times. Although there is a mild undercurrent of eroticism evident in much of his work, it was only after his death that his notebooks and sketchbooks revealed the mind of an eroticist and voyeur, so much so that an exhibition of his work in the Michael Parkin Gallery, London in 1992 was called 'A Voyeur in Art'. His father was Albert E. Wood, KC, patron and friend of Harry Clarke (1889-1931) the stained glass artist. Wood was an imposing, jovial man, remembered by Harry Clarke's son, the artist David Clarke (1920-2005), for his booming laughter which filled their house when he was a boy. In a nostalgic letter to David in 1969, Wood wrote of how much he missed his father and Harry Clarke, 'the two brightest stars in my life'. In his twenties, before moving permanently to England, Wood worked for a short while at the Harry Clarke stained glass studios, an experience which left an indelible impression on him. More than fifty years on, he claimed never to draw a line of paint without hearing Harry Clarke's voice say in his ear 'make it miraculous, as though the hand of man had never touched it'. Although Wood served as a driver for the British Secret Service in World War II and was badly wounded in the Blitz, these inscrutable paintings from the close of the war depict women oblivious to external reality, rapt in a world of their own.