Remembering Albert Irvin
Albert Irvin, who has died aged 92, will be remembered as a friend, an artist and as an inspiration to the world of contemporary art.
Bert became the inaugural Honorary Fellow of Plymouth College of Art in October 2012, and Plimsoll, a solo exhibition in August–September 2013, explored his relationship with the birth of abstraction in Britain from the late 1950’s onwards, was his last solo exhibition and an insightful retrospective of his works.
These events provided rare occasions for Bert to speak publicly about his inspiration and his practice, and on the second of these occasions he recorded an interview with the curator of Plimsoll, Barry Phipps:
"Bert was an artist who sought to enhance people's lives through his paintings. His free, expressive use of colour and abstracted simple forms, use traditional pictorial space to create an expanse we can enter, a landscape the mind can play in.
"The works are a guardian in darker times of something that human beings need to be able to imagine and believe in. Happiness is a human aspiration; Irvin rendered it beautifully."
"I've lived through a period in which painting has been rejected; we've been told that painting is dead...If the young artist is a painter, I would say: 'Stick to it. Keep going. Don't let the bastards grind you down."
Albert Henry Thomas Irvin RA, OBE (21 August 1922 – 26 March 2015)
Mike Tooby’s Guardian obituary of Albert Irvin is here.