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Lot 105: Brian Ballard RUA (b.1943)Flowers on a Window SillOil on canvas, 61 x 74cm (24 x 29'')Signed and dated (19)85As I have previously written in the Gandon monograph on the artist; ‘In the work of Brian Ballard, the simplicity of the composition beli

Important Irish Art 7th December 2016

by Adam's

December 7, 2016

Dublin 2, Dublin, Ireland

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  • Brian Ballard RUA (b.1943)Flowers on a Window SillOil on canvas, 61 x 74cm (24 x 29'')Signed and dated (19)85As I have previously written in the Gandon monograph on the artist; ‘In the work of Brian Ballard, the simplicity of the composition beli
  • Brian Ballard RUA (b.1943)Flowers on a Window SillOil on canvas, 61 x 74cm (24 x 29'')Signed and dated (19)85As I have previously written in the Gandon monograph on the artist; ‘In the work of Brian Ballard, the simplicity of the composition beli
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Description: Brian Ballard RUA (b.1943)Flowers on a Window SillOil on canvas, 61 x 74cm (24 x 29'')Signed and dated (19)85As I have previously written in the Gandon monograph on the artist; ‘In the work of Brian Ballard, the simplicity of the composition belies the complexity of its genesis. The subject of the painting is selected certainly but no other elements are predetermined. Approach, level of detail, colour choices, time spent on the painting, all aspects are gauged according to the artist’s intuitive method at the canvas….Ballard has stated, ‘I know I am not finished if I haven’t reached a crisis in the painting. Forced decisions often help make the work better. If working outdoors, perhaps the rain is coming and the correct colours must be quickly applied. It’s the balance of panic combined with a degree of control and aided by serendipity that helps create the work. I put pressure on myself and take chances.’ (Brian Ballard, Interview with Author, 6th May, 2014) Aidan Dunne observed of the Ballard Retrospective I curated in 2015; ‘But what comes across in this compact touring retrospective is the tremendous, engaged vitality of his painting. A couple of decades can be cruel to a work of art, but Ballard’s works look better and better, probably because they are so true to the moment. The terse urgency of what we see in the finished work is not an indication that the artist has taken a shortcut, but rather that he has pursued the composition doggedly, even relentlessly, until the point of resolution, and then had the good sense to stop’ (Irish Times, 27 Oct 2015).Still life is probably the most extensive genre of Ballard’s practice. This is a very attractive painting by Ballard from the mid-eighties. At this point in time his palette was generally darker than it was to become and yet it frequently reflected nuances of colour and form and dramatic use of interior light as is in evidence here. The treatment of the vases of flowers here is an approach revisited by the artist a year later in a more intimate work entitled ‘Orchids in Vase’ 1986. It is a pleasure to witness the precursor in this more complex composition. The mombretia within this composition is distinctive and the orange tones define the perimeter of the composition on the right. There is a pleasing balance of geometric blocks of colour within the backdrop and swiftly applied black lines highlight the windowsill and space before it. I have noted that ‘Ballard’s still life works from the mid to late eighties are intricate and complex compositional arrangements. They have a great deal happening within them but the balance of objects, space and background is perfectly orchestrated. His palette at this time is a delightful mix of moody autumnal colours’. The effect of these paintings is timeless; ‘Elements, particularly the flowers in vases are impressionistically treated. The backdrops are intriguing, mirrors, windows, doors, floorboards. The viewer feels as if they can literally step into the canvas and navigate the interior space’. Marianne O'Kane Boal November 2016

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