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West Wing

Room 25

Room 8 of 16

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This room displays a range of art works created through the method of abstraction. Born during the 1960s and first half of the ’70s, these pieces convey a time when many artists chose to withdraw from the objective world and completely invalidate such notions as realism and symbolism. Pierre Soulages, for example, uses black to dominate the canvas in a non-figurative manner. Painted over white, there appears to be a reflection of pictorial light emerging from beneath the darkness. For Patrick Scott, whose work reveals his architectural past, his Autumnal Landscape (1964) and Purple Device (1963) signal formality giving way to abstraction. Charles Tyrrell’s Untitled (1975), stylistically similar to Scott’s work, uses the canvas to explore paint’s qualities. Like Scott, Anne Madden, Deborah Brown and Adolph Gottlieb (also exhibited in this room) drew inspiration from the world around them. For Scott, it was the bogs of Ireland, whereas Madden looked to her time spent in the West of Ireland to create abstract depictions over multiple canvases. Brown acknowledges her connection with the land around Antrim, creating specifically landscape paintings in the 1940s before progressing to abstraction. For Gottlieb, it was the Great Western Deserts of Arizona, where he lived for a number of years.