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About the Collection

The IMMA Collection is a unique resource which is made available to the public through a vibrant programme of temporary exhibitions and projects. Collection Exhibitions may explore the work of an individual artist, or address a theme or historic period.

Let’s explore the artworks of British artist Albert Irvin. He was born almost 100 years ago in 1922.

Albert Irvin was best known for his exuberant paintings, watercolours, screenprints, and gouaches. Have a look at his artwork Trinity I  from IMMA’s Collection. What colours can you see? Look at how he created these colours in his artwork: lines of colour go up and down, or sideways back and forth, or drip and splash. What do you feel when you look at these colours, lines, and shapes? Why? Albert Irvin’s art explores and captures the experience of being in the world. He made colour sweep and spray over his canvases giving the illusion of depth and creating complex and dynamic marks and gestures using a brush.

What you will need:

  • Large sheet of white paper
  • Paints (also, something to mix your paints on and water to clean up)
  • Brushes as many different sizes as you can find
  • Objects and tools that might add interesting textures and surfaces
  • Sponges


Now let’s get to work:

  • Begin by mixing up as many different colours from the paints that you can find. What colours can you create?
  • Apply one colour for the background, don’t leave any paper showing through, let it dry
  • Start the next layer, with different colours in blocks, using different textures and types of lines, again let it dry
  • Make a final, top layer.


Always take a photograph of your creation when you’re finished! And please, share your results, your experiments, and artworks with the hashtag #ExploreratHome

About the Artist

Albert Irvin b.1922

British painter Albert Irvin studied art at Goldsmith’s College, London. He later returned to Goldsmiths in 1962 where he taught art for over twenty years. Irvin is best known for his exuberant paintings, watercolours, screenprints and gouaches. His art tends to focus on capturing and exploring the experience of being in the world. Irvin was elected a member of the Royal Academy in 1998 and appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2013.
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