b. 1922, London, UK
Since the 1950s Albert Irvin has been exploring the possibilities of paint, colour and the non-figurative form. Born in London in 1922, Bert Irvin was first introduced to the Irish art world in 1984 as one of the selected artists included in the ROSC international exhibition of contemporary art, where his large brilliantly hued canvases were a big hit. Since then he has exhibited widely in Ireland, including four solo exhibitions at the Peppercanister Gallery as well as at venues such as the Hendriks Gallery, the Royal Hibernian Academy, the Butler Gallery, Kilkenny and the West Cork Arts Centre in Skibbereen.
He was educated at Northampton School of Art, he then went on to join the Royal Air Force in 1941 where he remained for five years. He then went on to study at the prestigious Goldsmiths’ College of Art, London from 1946 to 1950 and in 1962 returned to the college as a member of it’s teaching staff, a post he upheld for over twenty years.
Since the war years he has exhibited widely internationally and is regarded as one of Britain’s foremost living painters. His vibrant paintings are in public and private collections worldwide including the Irish Museum of Modern Art. He was elected a full member of the Royal Academy in London in 1998. He has been the subject of numerous films and publications about his life and work, including the volume Albert Irvin: Life to Painting by Paul Moorhouse, published by Lord Humphries in 1998. He is pre-eminent in the group of modern colourists that includes John Hoyland RA, John Bellany RA and Gillian Ayres RA. He recently celebrated his 90th birthday and continues to paint daily with strength and vitality.