Adam's IMPORTANT IRISH ART 8th December 2021

62 41 GEORGE CAMPBELL RHA (1917-1979) Clifden, Connemara Oil on board, 80 x 105cm (31½ x 41¼’’) Signed Provenance: Previously in the collection of the film director John Huston; Private Collection. Exhibited: ‘ George Campbell and the Belfast Boys ’, The Ava Gallery, Clandeboye, Co. Down, 6th Au- gust-3rd September 2015, catalogue illustration no.96. € 15,000 - 25,000 In the 1960s, Campbell began to make a series of trips to the West of Ireland and in particular to the town of Clifden. His fascination with the place led to the creation of a body of work centred on this townscape. They are similar in compositional arrangement to his paintings from further afield of the Spanish city of Toledo and island of Tenerife as well as another popular Irish coastal village, Roundstone. Originally the Clifden series was more topographically focused, this became looser and more fluid in lat- er years as he continued his exploration of the atmosphere of the place rather than trying to capture the exact appearance of it. Key landmarks do reappear across the paintings, such as the soaring octagonal spire of St Joseph’s Church. In other examples, we are looking side on at the town but in this instance, Campbell has given the viewer an unique position from above, looking down over the buildings and out onto the bay and towards the Atlantic beyond. The town, positioned in an arc, hugs at the edges of the bay, water lapping against it shores, with the unique landscape of Connemara stretching out to either side. We are reminded that Clifden is set amongst rugged and rural surroundings. We can imagine the rain coming in off the coast, with the rough and unsettled waters taking on an ominous inky black. As a town it is at the will of the natural elements, and Campbell uses a muted tonal palette of whites, greys and browns, and soft blurring brushstrokes, to create an image of the west coast town on a blustery, winter’s day. Niamh Corcoran, October 2021