Albert Irvin OBE RA HRWA (1922-2015) studied at Northampton School of Art from 1940 to 1941, before serving as a navigator in the RAF during World War II. He went on to study at Goldsmiths College where he later returned to teach between 1962 and 1983. He also taught at art colleges throughout Britain.

Albert Irvin image
Albert Irvin image

Irvin's first solo exhibition was held in 1960 at 57 Gallery, London. A major retrospective of his work from 1960 to 1989 was held at the Serpentine Gallery, London in 1990. He continued to exhibit regularly at Gimpel Fils, London. Irvin was awarded a Travel Award to America by the Arts Council in 1968 and later received an Arts Council Major Award. He was elected a Royal Academician in 1998.

Irvin's work developed from a time when he considered that in order to give the necessary gravitas to a painting it had to be dark and sombre, through to a growing realisation that high key colour can be crucial in the achievement of full expressive and communicative force. His work has a restless energy and freshness and communicates the sense of an artist in love with his chosen activity.

Selected Exhibitions since 1990

1990 Gimpel Fils, London; Serpentine Gallery, London - toured Spacex Gallery, Exeter and Oriel and Chapter,

Cardiff; Castlefield Gallery, Manchester; Gallery Monochrome Brussels

1991 Peter Scott Gallery, Lancaster University; Playhouse Gallery, Harlow; Flowers East, London

1992 Galeria Punto, Valencia, Spain; Galerie Lupke, Frankfurt; Gimpel Fils, London;

1993 Campo Vlaamse Kaai, Antwerp: Bodilly Gallery, Cambridge; Flowers Graphics, London

1994 Gimpel Fils, London; Powell Moya Partnership, London; Chapter Gallery, Cardiff; Wasserman Galerie,

Munich; Woodlands Art Gallery, London

1995 RHA Gallagher Gallery, Dublin; Original Print Gallery, Dublin

1996 Atkinson Gallery, Somerset; Oriel Theatre, Clwyd; Gimpel Fils, London

1997 Cambridge Contemporary Art; Galerie Stuhler, Berlin; Galerie Wassermann, Munich

1998 Dean Clough, Halifax; Centre d'Art Contemporain, Meymac; Edwin Scharff Haus, Neu Ulm; Vonderau

Museum, Fulda; Galerie Markt, Bruckmuhl; 'Retrospective Print Exhibition 1980-1998', B206-The

Gallery, Advanced Graphics London; Gimpel Fils, London

1999 Royal West of England Academy, Bristol; Orion Gallery Brussels

2000 'A celebration of twenty years of printmaking', Advanced Graphics London

2001 Riverstation, Bristol; 'Paintings and Prints 1991-2001' West Cork Arts Centre, Ireland

2002 'Four Score' Gimpel Fils, London; 'Prints', Advanced Graphics; 'Malerei', Galerie Stuhler, Berlin

2003 'Albert Irvin - Paintings and Prints', Storey Gallery and Peter Scott Gallery, Lancaster; 'Recent Paintings',

Peppercanister Gallery, Dublin

2004 'Midsummer', Gimpel Fils, London

2005 'New Monoprints and Editions', Advanced Graphics London

2006 'Recent Paintings', Peppercanister Gallery, Dublin

'Urban Journey', Gimpel Fils, London

2008 'Recent Paintings', Peppercanister Gallery, Dublin

'Six Paintings', Kings Place, London

'A Retrospective', Kings Place Gallery, London

'The Nebraska Suite', Advanced Graphics London

'Albert Irvin', Manton Wing, Tate Britain, London

2009 'A Retrospective', University Gallery and Baring Wing, Northumbria University

'Peintures Récentes', Galerie Gimpel and Müller, Paris

Chelsea Arts Club, Gala Exhibition

2010 'The Current Prints', Advanced Graphics London

'The Complete Prints', Kings Place Gallery in association with Advanced Graphics London

2011 'Inextinguishable', Gimpel Fils, London

'Albert Irvin', Bohun Gallery, Henley-on-Thames in association with Advanced Graphics London

2012 'Albert Irvin at 90', Clifford Chance, London

'Fidelio', Gimpel Fils

'Royal Oak', Advanced Graphics London

2013 'Crosstown' Advanced Graphics London

'The Complete Prints', Atkinson Gallery, Millfield, Somerset

2017 'Early Work', Whitford Fine Art, London

2018 'Albert Irvin and Abstract Expressionism', Royal West of England Academy, Bristol

Public collections

Aberdeen Art Gallery

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

Arts Council of Great Britain

Birmingham City Art Gallery

Blackburn Art Gallery

British Council

Huddersfield Art Gallery

Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin

Manchester City Art Gallery

Mappin Gallery, Sheffield

Neue Gallerie der Stadt Linz, Austria

New England Regional Art Gallery, NSW, Australia

Pensecola Museum, Florida

Schindler Collection, Zurich

Städtische Kunstsammlungen, Ludwigshafen, Germany