2017-09-27-2018-06-23 --- 2018-06-23 18:27:31--18
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LOT :10
Gerard Dillon (1916-1971)
The Artist in the Country
Oil on canvas, 64 x 44cm (25¼ x 17¼'')
Estimate EUR : €15,000.00 - €20,000.00
Auction Date : 27-09-2017


Gerard Dillon (1916-1971)
The Artist in the Country
Oil on canvas, 64 x 44cm (25¼ x 17¼'')

Exhibited: "The UTV Art Collection" Exhibitions including this work held at:
City Hall, Limerick, September 1994; Armagh County Museum, January 1995; Town Hall, Ballymoney, December 1995; Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda May / June 1996; Harmony Hill Arts Centre, Lisburn, October 1996; Waterfront Hall, Belfast, January 1997; Monaghan County Museum, March 1997; Fermanagh County Museum, September 1999; O'Rahilly Building UCC, March 2002; The Waterfront Hall, April 2003; The Naughton Gallery, Queens University Belfast, January / February 2006; The Gray's Printers Museum, Strabane, January / February 2004;
"40 Years of Ulster Art", The Waterfront Hall, November / December 1999;

Literature: 'UTV Art Collection' 2009, illustrated p.3;

This work was used as the invitation image for the UTV exhibitions at :- Monaghan Co. Museum 1997, Down Co. Museum 1999, Fermanagh Co. Museum 1999, Drochead Arts Centre 2001, Dundalk Country Museum 2001 and NUI Galway 2001.

From the mid 1960s following a series of traumatic events in Dillons life, a clown and later a pierrot figure appeared in his works that lasted till his death in 1971. In 1962, the first of his brothers Joe died of heart related problems; Patrick died two years later in 1964 from stomach cancer and in 1966, John died from a heart attack. In 1965, Clown images reflected the artists psychological state of depression and two years later, a white pierrot figure appeared which helped him to search for answers to these traumatic events through dreams which showed aspects of his subconscious and consciousness in relation to his fear of dying like his brothers at the age of fifty-five.

The narrative of this work relates to the artists past, present and future life. In confronting the death of his brothers, Dillons subconscious reveals a vision of Connemara. The present is represented by a masked pierrot in the act of painting, the dark striped lines suggesting the proximity of death. The past is represented by this world, an earthly life of farmed land and cottages on an island. In 1951, Dillon rented a cottage for a year on Inishlacken island. A ruined illuminated cottage with strange black windows indicates the permanence of death, the Pierrots next life.

In 1967, Dillon suffered a heart attack, and in the following years painting at his solo exhibition at the Dawson Gallery a transformation in the colour of his palette was evident. This work, Artist in the Country dates from this period when Dillons palette indicated a new optimism, warmth and calmness. His premonition that he would not live beyond the age of fifty-five may have imbued him with a new surge of creativity. First visiting the West of Ireland in 1939, Dillons dream reveals his after life in his beloved Connemara, where he drew inspiration from and where he claimed, one could liveǪ forever. (Ireland of The Welcomes, May/June, 1955)

Karen Reihill
August, 2017



Hammer Price : €39,000.00
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