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Colin Middleton, b.1910

Fish and Chips1939

Colin Middleton was deeply affected by war in Europe, firstly by the Spanish Civil War and then by World War II and the Belfast Blitz. The almost impressionist views of the city which he painted in 1939-42 may represent a need to blot these horrors from his consciousness but the blackout certainly inspired such paintings as ‘Fish and Chips’. After the worst moments of the Belfast Blitz the decision to restore and re-open the Belfast Museum and Art Gallery brought with it an invitation to Middleton to have a solo exhibition. He showed 115 paintings and John Hewitt who curated the exhibition described how Middleton hung the pictures – “Seventy four of them in groups of eight, combined in different thematic arrangements.”*

*John Hewitt, ‘Art in Ulster: 1’, Belfast, Blackstaff Press, 1977

MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions46 x 61 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Heritage Gift from the McClelland Collection by Noel and Anne Marie Smyth, 2003
Item NumberIMMA.1148 MCCL
Image Caption
Colin Middleton, Fish and Chips, 1939, Oil on canvas, 46 x 61 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Heritage Gift from the McClelland Collection by Noel and Anne Marie Smyth, 2003

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About the Artist

Colin Middleton 1910–1983

Northern Irish painter Colin Middleton studied at Belfast College of Art and from 1947 worked as an art teacher. Middleton’s prolific output in a variety of modernist styles is characterised by a strongly surrealist vision and lifelong interest in documenting the lives of ordinary people. A major retrospective of Middleton’s work took place at the Ulster Museum and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane in 1976. An extensive exhibition ‘Colin Middleton: Paintings and Drawings’ was held at IMMA in 2001.
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