This is the first retrospective of British abstract expressionist artist Albert Irvin, and a 60th anniversary celebration of the seminal exhibition The New American Painting.
Albert Irvin RA OBE (1922-2015) was one of Britain’s most important post-war painters and printmakers. He is best known for his large-scale abstract colourist paintings – some of the most distinctive to have ever been produced in this country.
In 1959, Irvin visited an exhibition called The New American Painting at Tate. It brought the boldest and best new artistic talent from across the Atlantic to London. The exhibition redefined what was possible for a generation of British artists. For Irvin, it was an epiphany.
Albert Irvin and Abstract Expressionism will bring together works by Irvin and the major abstract expressionist artists that inspired him, including Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Grace Hartigan, Barnett Newman, Sam Francis and Adolph Gottlieb. These will be shown alongside other UK abstract artists, such as Peter Lanyon, Basil Beattie, Gillian Ayres, John Hoyland, Sandra Blow and John Eaves.
The show will also chart Irvin’s earlier practice in a room featuring the British ‘Kitchen Sink’ artists including Edward Middleditch, John Bratby and Peter Coker.