Collage on Moving Space

Gerard Dillon (1916 – 1971)

  • Artist
    Gerard Dillon
  • Title
    Collage on Moving Space
  • Date
    c. 1963
  • Dimensions
    54 × 29cm
  • Medium
    Mixed media
  • Collection
    Niland Collection
  • Provenance
    Purchased by Sligo County Library and Museum, 1963

The artist Noreen Rice, who lived and worked with Dillon in London, recalls the enthusiasm with which he greeted new developments in international art. During the early 1960s both artists embraced abstraction (1). In a letter to the art historian James White, Dillon expressed his delight and excitement with his new aesthetic:

“I’ve been working with terrific vigour and I’ve gone complete abstract!!! I’m trilled by what I’ve done and so much so that I can’t get to sleep for looking at them”(2).

Initially creating abstract compositions from paint and sand, Dillon later began to incorporate both collage and found objects into his work. He was stimulated by the element of chance involved in this method and, as he explained to James White, he considered abstraction to be natural:

“I now find abstractions are more true to nature in the long run — they are actually more natural; as if they happened by nature. They have part of the quality of the ‘found object’ interpreted individually by each artist” (3).

Although Collage on Moving Space belongs to this period, the composition can be read as an abstracted landscape that inevitably echoes Dillon’s earlier studies of the west of Ireland.

1. Noreen Rice, ‘Memories of Gerard Dillon, Gerard Dillon: A Retrospective Exhibition, Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda, 2003, unpaged.
2. Gerard Dillon to James White, 1957, quoted by White, Gerard Dillon: An Illustrated Biography, Dublin, 1994, p.77.
3. Gerard Dillon to James White, 20 February 1958 quoted by White, p. 77–78.

Written by Riann Coulter

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