2017-09-27-2018-05-20 --- 2018-05-20 11:10:14--18
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LOT :16
Colin Middleton RHA RUA MBE (1910-1983)
Seated Woman (1964)
Oil on board, 91 x 46cm (35¾ x 18'')
Estimate EUR : €10,000.00 - €15,000.00
Auction Date : 27-09-2017


Colin Middleton RHA RUA MBE (1910-1983)
Seated Woman (1964)
Oil on board, 91 x 46cm (35¾ x 18'')
Signed with monogram; also signed and inscribed verso

Provenance: With the Tom Caldwell Galleries, Dublin.

Exhibited: "The UTV Art Collection" Exhibitions including this work held at:
The Linen Hall Library, Belfast, January 1991; Belfast Civic Festival, Linen Hall Library, May 1993; Monaghan County Museum, September 1993; The Crawford Gallery, Cork, April / May 1994; The Townhall Limavady, October 1994; Armagh County Museum, January 1995; Clotworthy Arts Centre, Antrim, March 1995; The Waterfront Hall; "40 Years of Ulster Art", The Waterfront Hall, November / December 1999


Literature: "Word of Mouth" Book of Poetry, September 1996, illustrated front cover. 'UTV Art Collection', 2009, illustrated p.11.


One might read many of the changes in Colin Middletons work across his career as a continuing shifting between two particular aspects of his creative identity, as both designer and painter. Aged seventeen, Middleton had followed his father into his linen design firm and increasingly struggled to reconcile the techniques of this work with his ambitions as a painter, writing about this dialectic and, at times, attempting to integrate both identities within his work.

Seated Woman (1964) demonstrates Middletons re-engagement with design in very deliberate ways that mark a break with the expressionist painting that had dominated the 1950s, the first period during which he had been able to paint full time and had not had to work as a damask designer.

The formal simplification and abstraction of the subject allows Middleton to bring together various ideas within this single image. There is a clear reference to the series of paintings from this period of his wife, Kathleen, at the piano, as well as suggestions of landscape, which Middleton always saw as visually and symbolically interconnected with the female form. The head and a breast in profile are the most clearly identifiable features of the image, but they also interrupt the pattern and introduce horizontals into a composition dominated by verticals.

Above all the painting is about pattern, the artist using design as a tool to break down form and to unite the flat picture surface by creating a rhythm across it that is independent to the image. Middleton mimics the effects of looms and the nature of fabric in a manner that recalls a number of paintings of the 1940s, but that is here explored more fully, becoming the dominant element within the work.

Dickon Hall, September 2017




Hammer Price : €10,000.00
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