2017-11-22-2017-11-18 --- 2017-11-18 23:14:56--18
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LOT :87
Gerard Dillon (1916-1971)
The Wall
Oil on canvas, 36 x 56cm (14¼ x 22'')
Estimate EUR : €25,000.00 - €35,000.00
Auction Date : 22-11-2017

Description

Gerard Dillon (1916-1971)
The Wall
Oil on canvas, 36 x 56cm (14¼ x 22'')
Signed

Exhibited: Gerard Dillon Retrospective, The Ulster Museum, Belfast, November - December 1972, Municipal Gallery, Dublin January-February, 1973, Catalogue No. 10.

 

Born into a Nationalist family off the Falls Road in Belfast, Dillon returned to London after the War and moved into the basement flat of his sister Mollys house in 102 Abbey Road. The basement flat had a separate entrance, which allowed friends to contact Dillon directly and it also provided privacy from Molly, his overprotective sister. In the 1950s, Abbey Road formed part of the London Borough of Camden which attracted artistic, musical and literary people, but by the mid 1950s, houses formerly broken into apartments were converted back into houses. Subsequently Dillons basement flat became a drop-in center for friends and family which led Dillon to embark on several works depicting his busy life at Abbey Road. Works from this period include, Self-Contained Flat (Ulster Museum) and Memory House. (Private Collection)

 

In an urban setting, a male figure stands on a path of flagstones as two cats engage in territorial behavior on a small front lawn. It was thought the identity of the male figure could be Gussy Keeney, who visited his friends in London during his struggle with alcoholism, but similarities with another painting Gerard Dillon, Abbey Road would suggest the model in The Wall is Joe Quilty (1914-1995). For several years in the 1950s Dillon took up teaching posts to supplement his income at an L.C.C. school at Shepherds Bush and then at Gloucester Road. Joe Quilty attended Dillons adult evening art classes and became friendly with his circle of friends. The Council employed Dillon to teach art classes twice a week but was only paid on the condition that each class had the required quota of pupils. If the quota wasnt reached, Dillon rallied around friends in the area, which included Sylvia Higgins, Noreen Rice and Phil Rafferty. Occasionally Dillon had to stand-in as the model for the class if the booked model canceled at the last minute.

 

In Quiltys, Gerard Dillon, Abbey Road, the focus is a basement flat with a cat, front garden and dustbin. Flagstone steps lead to a lawn and over a brick wall, a figure resembling Dillon is depicted in a dark jacket. In The Wall a dark-haired male with his hands in his pockets faces the viewer. A wall separates the front garden from a row of houses. In the 1950s Dillons interest in his community life at Abbey Road coincided with his preoccupation with colour, shape and design. In this composition, Dillon experiments with the balance and harmony of colour as well as the design and shapes in the flagstones, houses and brick wall.

 

Karen Reihill

October, 2017

 

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