Arthur Armstrong


 King of Connemara 


Arthur Armstrong was particularly interested in the abstract nature of form and texture. He emphasised the miniscule details of light and colour over structural composition in his paintings. This interest was developed through his study of Cubism in France and Spain, where he experimented with abstract still life as a means of analysing colour and shape.


Born in county Antrim, Armstrong focused on the Irish landscape in his work, largely in oils. His paintings were preoccupied with the elements, and he used different brushstrokes to delineate the varied textures of earth, sky and sea. Creating a specific colour palette for each individual form, Armstrong used colour gradations to indicate the shape of an object. His interest in form as a reaction to light, colour and the elements was probably derived from his studies in Architecture at Belfast University. This interest was maintained throughout his career and he later designed sets for the Abbey Theatre.


Armstrong's work contains a meditative quality, as the viewer is forced to contemplate the textures of the work in order to interpret its subject-matter. In his pen and ink wash: "King of Connemara", an imposing shadow set against a cobbled wall, reflected in the water beneath, dominates the painting. This ephemeral shape suggests a range of possible subjects from a human head to the shape of beast, or even a boat on the water beneath. It is for the viewer to find the connection between the dominant form of the work and its folkloric subject-matter.


Arthur Armstrong died in 1996 after achieving considerable recognition as an associate of the RHA and recipient of the Douglas Hyde Gold Medal.



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Arthur Armstrong Arthur Armstrong
King of Connemara
29/45 Signed Ltd. Ed., Framed
32cm x 23cm (12.5" x 9")

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