Godolphin Gallery, Dublin;
Crane Kalman Gallery, London
Dublin, Godolphin Gallery, Roderic O'Conor, a selection of his best works in Ireland, 1978, no. 25.
Executed circa 1923 - 27.
O'Conor never ceased to be absorbed by the challenge of painting flowers, from his earliest Breton still lifes of the 1890s right through to later works such as Iris (bought for the Contemporary Art Society by Roger Fry and now in Tate Britain) and Le pot chinois (acquired in 1927 by the French state and now in the Musée d'Orsay). The subject enabled him to exercise his skills as a master colourist, to translate his sensuous enjoyment of the flowers’ appearance and perfume into a blaze of directly applied streaks, stains and smears of oil paint. In order to retain the freshness of his initial response he generally worked directly onto the canvas without any underdrawing.
The majority of O'Conor's flower paintings dating from the 1920s were vigorously executed in a thick impasto using a palette knife. However, there were a few exceptions to this rule, one of which is the present work with its riot of two dozen or so late spring blooms including poppies, daisies and tulips. Such works are characterised by their greater painterliness and richly varied brushstrokes (from delicately feathered to creamily scumbled), picking out the flowers and leaves in bright tints against a background of a contrasting dull hue such as grey or brown.
In Still life with red and yellow flowers O'Conor has daringly cropped the china vase of all but its top three or four inches, thereby giving greater visual emphasis to the bouquet of flowers which almost fills the entire central zone of the picture. The flowers have been composed in a near symmetrical arrangement and positioned level with the artist’s gaze, so that the rim of the vase registers as a straight line rather than an ellipse. The net result of these compositional strategies is that the viewer's experience is rendered highly immediate: by pushing the flowers right to the front of the picture plane we are almost led to feel we can experience them through our senses of smell and touch, as well as sight.
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale