Robert Armstrong lives and works in Dublin. His practice often refers to Renaissance paintings. By focusing on apparently insignificant background details, Armstrong seeks to undermine the narrative meaning of those classical works and focus instead on new painting language connected to an older tradition. His paintings indulge skepticism about representation and meaning and ‘slip and glimpse’ between the two. Often the materiality of the paint plays with revealing or obliterating the image. Elemental forces are set against extreme physical landscape or post-industrial scenes where an apocalyptic scene emerges... or elsewhere a Renaissance saint flies about unperturbed.
“Armstrong’s paintings re-order the fragments of a disorientated image culture. They attempt to penetrate through multiple layers of appearance, offering an incidental practice of looking in which, as T.J. Clark proposes in relation to Poussin, the image, “breaks up, re-cystallizes, fragments again, persists like an afterimage”. ”
- Declan Long, Robert Armstrong: Afterimages (2007)
Robert Armstrong is Head of Painting at the National College of Art & Design since 2002 and is a Founder Member of Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Dublin. He is represented by the Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin.