Liam Belton RHA

9 Sep - 2 Oct 2010

Liam Belton has been sensitive to the abstraction that underlies all art since his student days. Though he painted in a representational manner for many years, he has now moved on to complete abstraction to give free rein to his imagination. This new collection of dramatic abstract paintings will intrigue, and perhaps surprise his many admirers.

The exhibition will be formally opened by Hugo MacNeill.

Artist Statement

Art is an abstraction

When I studied at the National College of Art in the sixties I came across two quotes which left a lasting impression on me. The first was written by Gauguin in 1886 to his friend Schuffenecker;

“Do not copy too much from nature, Art is an abstraction. Draw it forth from nature by dreaming in front of her.”

The second quote was from Maurice Denis (1870-1943);

“A picture before being a painting of a nude or war-horse is first of all a series of shapes and colours disposed across a rectangle.”

I was conscious therefore, of the abstract layout, composition and concept when approaching my work. Lately I have become more and more interested in pure abstract and in my last two shows in the Peppercanister Gallery half of the work has been abstract.

I like the way the abstract has little or no literal baggage. It expresses visually that which cannot be put into words. As Gerhard Richter says;

“It’s like a substitute for thinking – a different way of thinking”

This ineffable or visceral approach can educe a more numinous, more internal landscape.

The titles of some of the works in this show e.g. Dendrites, Synapses and Pontine are all to do with the cellular workings of the mind echoing this internal approach.

One of the works in the show, “Dublin City Boogie Woogie” is based on a study I did in 1969 in the College of Art. So there has always been that toing and froing between the abstract and figurative in my work and I’m sure this will continue.

Liam Belton