View from the Window II
View from the Window II
Height 51.5cm., 20 ¼ in., Length 33cm., 13 in.,
In a blue-black Roma frame
The Apollo Gallery, Dublin
The sculptor and painter David Marcus Robinson was born in Belfast in 1918. He attended Perth Street Public Elementary School and studied at the Belfast College of Art, however much of his art and colour co-ordination was learnt from his grandfather, Thomas Robinson. In his youth Markey boxed as "Boyo Marko" Robinson. He was also a merchant seaman and travelled extensively, while being influenced by the Incas and the Aztecs as portrayed in his authentic style of bold brush paintwork. Markey also visited Spain and France on a number of occasions and assumed certain characteristics of artists such as Matisse, Derain and Picasso. He developed and simplified their ideas making them his own with an open, almost childlike honesty, without moving into the realm of pure abstraction. Markey has been described as a primitive painter, a colourful character and a man of great complexity, over the years. In the early days he contemplated emigration due to the apathy towards his work. Oliver McNulty of the Oriel Gallery, Dublin, explained that reactions to Markey's paintings could be divided into love or hate. He continued to say that invariably those whose first reaction is the latter, convert to the former when exposed to his work. For well over half a century, Markey produced both significant and controversial works of art. Markey's landscape is probably the work for which he is best known. It is an area which he has worked on as consistenty as that of still-life, clown and figure studies Like all of the Figurists, Markey paints from memory and mind. It is interesting to note Markey's change of palette in relation to the different places he is painting. His Irish landscape is cold, damp and misty, reflected in colours of grey, blue, green and white. His Spanish scenes are executed in vivid, hot and vibrating colours of red, orange, electric blue, pink and yellow. Like George Campbell, who used varying palettes for his Irish and Spanish works, so Markey brings about an atmosphere through the use of colour and tone. Markey Robinson suddenly died early in January 1999 is regarded along with Jimmy Bingham and Dan O'Neill as one of the great Northern Masters. In a sixty year career in, Markey tirelessly mined the Irish imagination in a series of unique and vibrant paintings which fully demonstrated his genius for composition. His work was assiduously collected by none other than Queen Elizabeth II and a major biography by leading Art Historian Susan Stairs concluded, 'there is a genius in our midst'.
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