Wednesday, 13 December 2017

William Crozier: The Edge of the Landscape

I was really glad that I went to see the painting exhibition William Crozier: The Edge of the Landscape at IMMA (The Irish Museum of Modern Art). I had only recently heard of Crozier (1930-2011) because of advertising for this exhibition and another exhibition of his work in Cork.


From black and white ads, however, I have to admit I wasn't hugely interested, so it was a great surprise to see large, vibrant paintings when I found myself at the show!


Because of the layout of the exhibition space, I  was coming at the show from more recent work and moving backward through time.


This was fine as I encountered the really colourful, oft-times politically engaged work that he created after moving first to Spain in the 1960s and then to the west of Ireland in the 1970s.


I was attracted to the wild colouring of his paintings


and also to the drawing aspects within the paintings.


When I got to the final rooms (actually the historical start of the exhibition)


I was intrigued by the starkness of the images


but again there was the beautiful painterly drawing! I even thought it quite beautiful the way Crozier incised his signature, rather than painting it (something that oil painting allows easily).


These are works painted in Britain in the 1960s, expressing a bleakness and sorrow for the post-war world. Crozier was a young teen at the end of the war and horrified by post war images that came out of Germany and he later associated with the philosophy of Existentialism.