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Lot 86: George Campbell RHA (1917-1979)Still Life: Things in My StudioOil on board, 89.5 x 74cm (35¼ x 29'')SignedExhibited: ‘Two Irish Painters, Arthur Armstrong & George C Campbell’ (Dos Pintores Irlandeses Arthur Armstrong & George C Campbell) Galerie

Important Irish Art 7th December 2016

by Adam's

December 7, 2016

Dublin 2, Dublin, Ireland

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Description: George Campbell RHA (1917-1979)Still Life: Things in My StudioOil on board, 89.5 x 74cm (35¼ x 29'')SignedExhibited: ‘Two Irish Painters, Arthur Armstrong & George C Campbell’ (Dos Pintores Irlandeses Arthur Armstrong & George C Campbell) Galerie Kreisler, Madrid, June 1977; 'George Campbell and the Belfast Boys' Adam's summer loan show, Dublin, July 2015, The Ava Gallery, Clandeboye, August/September 2015, Cat. No.136.Literature: 'George Campbell and the Belfast Boys' by Karen Reihill, 2015, illustrated p.141.After the death of their close friend, Gerard Dillon in 1971, George Campbell and Arthur Armstrong supported one another other by holidaying in Spain and Connemara together which led them to having joint shows in Galway, Dublin, Belfast and Spain in the 1970s. In 1972, they became friendly with Spaniard Ángel Ancunción Goñi who was in Dublin to learn English. Campbell and Armstrong introduced him into their close circle of friends and he remained friendly with the artists after he returned to Madrid. In 1976, Angel Anunción Goñi arranged with Juan Pujol at the Kreisler gallery, to have an exhibition for his friends the following summer. This abstract work, ‘Still Life: Things in My Studio’ is listed as number four, ‘Cosas en mi Estudio’ in the catalogue. No sizes or catalogue numbers are listed with the twenty six paintings but Campbell inserted a photograph of this painting in his scrapbook ‘Kreisler, June 1977’ along with other photographs and memorabilia including newspaper cuttings, tickets and an invitation to the opening of the show on Tuesday, 14th June, 1977. The exhibition was opened by the Irish Ambassador to Spain, Mr Charles Whelan and received favourable mention in the media in Spain and Ireland. In the 1960s, Campbell explored abstract painting commencing with a series of works ‘Play of Shapes’. Writing in the Artist magazine in 1969, Campbell commented on his abstract works and said that they 'were kind of visual music and a series of shapes and textures and colours’ and added he didn’t feel his abstract work was any different to his figurative painting, ‘the figurative is in the abstract anyway. Any abstract thing I paint is, painted from my backlog of things. If I have done by job properly, a painting should have thousands of terms of reference’. In Campbell’s handwritten list to the Galerie Kreisler in 1977, this work is listed as ‘Mi Estudio’, which is probably a reference to the things he called to his mind when painting this work. Reviewing the exhibition, an art critic in a Spanish newspaper commented that the two Irish artist’s work didn’t complement each other. ‘Realism is for Armstrong pure definition whereas for George Campbell is it mere evocation… Campbell can make reality fade so as to build it up again in his way, always in charming shades of grey and blue.’ (‘Arte’, 15 June, 1977)Karen Reihill November 2016

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