Albert Irvin London, UK, 1922-2015


Albert Irvin OBE RA was a prolific British artist, best known for his expressionist paintings, watercolours, screenprints and gouaches. He was born in London and continued to live and work there throughout his life.  His art focusses on capturing and exploring the experience of being in the world. 


Born in London he was evacuated from there during World War II, to study at the Northampton School of Art before being conscripted into the Royal Air Force as a navigator. When the war was over, he resumed his course at Goldsmiths College where he would later go on to teach. He then began a screenprinting career in 1980 with Advanced Graphics London. The collaborative approach of screenprinting, although a new and very different outlet from painting, still allowed Irvin to display many of his characteristic traits as an artist. He would quickly affirm his reputation as one of Britain’s foremost printmakers. His influences included Walter Sickert, Henri Matisse, JMW Turner, Jack Smith and Edward Middleditch. Irvin was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to the visual arts. He was elected to The London Group in 1955 and won a major Arts Council Award in 1975 and a Gulbenkian Award for printmaking in 1983.


His work is widely exhibited both in the UK and abroad, in such places as Arts Council of Great Britain, Birmingham City Art Gallery, the Chase Manhattan Bank, the Contemporary Art Society, Manchester City Art Gallery, Whitworth Gallery Manchester, Leeds City Gallery Tate Britain, the Victoria and Albert Museum Oxford University, Cambridge University and Warwick University Arts Centre.