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    Wednesday, May 8th, 2019

    Nurses (1953) by Nevill Johnson which comes up at Whyte’s sale of Important Irish Art in Dublin on May 27 is one of his few surviving paintings of the 1952-53 period. In a catalogue note Dickon Hall notes that the artist’s affection for Dublin was that of an outsider, an Englishman who had lived in Belfast for twelve years before moving there in 1946 in response to becoming one of the group of young artists whom Victor Waddington put under contract to his gallery. Hall writes: “This group of nurses relaxing in a garden suggests a specific experience seen and recalled by the artist, but by reducing each figure to their uniform Johnson emphasises the abstract formal arrangements within the composition, as well as creating a dreamlike quality that is reinforced by a muted palette lifted by unexpected pink tones”. Hall adds: “Nurses is a painting that balances satisfying aesthetic qualities with the surreal incongruity that Johnson recalled so nostalgically from his Dublin years and creates an ambiguous and mysterious mood that seems to define the elusive tone of the post-war world”. It is estimated at 10,000-15,000.

    NURSES, 1953NEVILL JOHNSON (1911-1999)

    The sale will include works by George Barret, William Leech, Sir John Lavery, William Orpen, George Russell (“AE”), Jack Yeats, Paul Henry, Lilian Lucy Davidson, Frank McKelvey, James Humbert Craig, Laurence Stephen Lowry, Colin Middleton, Louis le Brocquy, Basil Blackshaw, Hughie O’Donoghue and others.