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Colourful exhibition highlights work of two British artists

PUBLISHED: 11:54 10 July 2019

Albert Irvin whose works on on show at an exhibition in Diss. Picture: Joe Hague

Albert Irvin whose works on on show at an exhibition in Diss. Picture: Joe Hague

Joe Hague

A showcase of works by two important British artists is bringing a splash of colour to Diss over the summer.

O’Connell (1995) by Albert Irvin one of the works on on show at an exhibition in Diss. Picture: Advanced Graphics LondonO’Connell (1995) by Albert Irvin one of the works on on show at an exhibition in Diss. Picture: Advanced Graphics London

Exuberant, bold and very colourful, the paintings and prints of Albert Irvin and John Golding, both at the fore of British response to the revolutionary post-war Abstract Expressionist movement, are on show at Diss Corn Hall until August 23.

When thinking about the abstract expressionist movement, artists such as Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko immediately spring to mind. Yet the work of their British counterparts is often overlooked.

Nebraska VIII (2008) by Albert Irvin one of the works on on show at an exhibition in Diss. Picture: Advanced Graphics LondonNebraska VIII (2008) by Albert Irvin one of the works on on show at an exhibition in Diss. Picture: Advanced Graphics London

The artistic movement revolutionised American post-war art and influenced British art in the 1950s and 1960s, although the work in this country frequently had figurative references.

But Albert (Bert) Irvin and John Golding, whose careers started in the 60s, were two artists who pursued pure abstraction, said David Case, who has curated the Diss show.

John Golding whose works on on show at an exhibition in Diss. Picture: Becky CohenJohn Golding whose works on on show at an exhibition in Diss. Picture: Becky Cohen

He said: "Bringing the paintings and prints of these two artists together shows that there is as much variety in abstraction as there is in figuration.

"Albert Irvin's early work tended to be in dark, sombre colours in the belief that this gave his paintings gravitas, and it was only later that he decided that colour in a high key can be crucial in creating fully expressive paintings and prints."

Phoenix (1986-88) by John Golding on show at an exhibition in Diss. Picture: Diss Corn HallPhoenix (1986-88) by John Golding on show at an exhibition in Diss. Picture: Diss Corn Hall

By contrast, John Golding's work is more contemplative and ethereal; using thinner colours and more subtle marks.

Mr Case said: "Golding's work deserves to be better known, for such a brilliant and sensitive artist. His art took second place to his teaching at the Courtauld School of Art, where he was a major influence on a generation of our museum directors, painters and critics."

Yellow Thunder (1982) by John Golding on show at an exhibition in Diss. Picture: Diss Corn HallYellow Thunder (1982) by John Golding on show at an exhibition in Diss. Picture: Diss Corn Hall

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The exhibition includes a number of public events including a free talk on July 20 by Mr Case on John Golding's paintings and Bob Saich who worked directly with Irvin for over 30 years.

A mini print festival titled Print in Action from July 17-August 27, in collaboration with Diss craft and art hub Designermakers21, will feature the work of 10 regional printmakers.

There will also be free printmaking demonstrations and taster sessions at the Corn Hall and Designermakers21 on July 27 and a colourful art-making session on August 6 suitable for all ages.

- Albert Irvin and John Golding: A Splash of Colour runs at Diss Corn Hall from July 11-August 23, Mon-Sat 10am-4pm, admission free

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