Nevill Johnson 1911 - 1989
Nevill Johnson (1911 - 1989) "Seated Figure" Mixed media, 16" x 18½"
Nevill Johnson was an English born artist, who moved to Ireland in the 1930's, living in both Belfast and Dublin. In addition to his contribution to modern Irish art, he was also an accomplished writer, photographer and film maker. Having seen the work of Picasso and other cubist painters in Paris for the first time in 1936, he came under their influence. As Dickon Hall writes 'He introduces a range of repeated block-like shapes, planes and colours that clash and engage, as if replacing the structure of energy and dynamism that drives the universe and the human life within it. His painting is romantic and very impassioned, yet there is also an intellectual detachment that enriches rather than dominates it.' As a painter, he had no formal training, but worked with the Irish artist John Luke in Belfast in the 1930's. He achieved success in the 1940's when his work was shown at the Victor Waddington Gallery in Dublin alongside other notable Irish artists, such as Jack Butler Yeats, Louis le Brocquy, Gerard Dillon and Colin Middleton.