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Cecil King gave up a successful career as a businessman to become a painter. Self-taught (apart from some classes with Neville Johnson), he was drawn to the formalist aesthetic of Clement Greenberg, who stressed that the primary concerns of painting should be with colour and flatness, with the properties of the medium itself. At first glance King’s paintings seem to epitomise this self-obsessed approach, but the internal dynamics of colour and shape generate tensions which link the work to the external world, as in ‘Sounion’.

MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions Unframed, 122.1 x 183.2 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Gordon Lambert Trust, 1992
Item NumberIMMA.278 GL
Copyright For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].
Image Caption
Cecil King, Sounion, 1975, Oil on canvas, Unframed, 122.1 x 183.2 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Gordon Lambert Trust, 1992

For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].

About the Artist

Cecil King 1921–1986

Self-taught Irish artist Cecil King was a successful businessman, who began to paint in his mid-30s. Initially King painted in a semi-realist style. From the late 1960s figurative elements in his work were replaced by plain fields of colour and geometric forms. King was a founding organiser of Rosc. He was the subject of a major retrospective at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane in 1981, and a solo exhibition at IMMA in 2008. King’s work is held in numerous public and private collections.
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