The sources of Robert Armstrong’s paintings include references to art history, ancient geological maps, and current environmental catastrophes. The paintings present images of landscape, mountains, caves, clouds, water, and floods - familiar landscape motifs in a changing world.
The paintings are not depictive of particular places or events, but instead reveal the struggle between the certainty of the photographic source and the process used to create the image. The paint – whether thick or thin, opaque or transparent – mostly depicts itself. Regard for the material properties of paint and the methods of its application can obliterate or blur the image in favour of the autonomous pulse of the new painting.
In contrast to digital imagery, which can be grasped quickly and flicked away, the intention is to make paintings which demand and reward slow looking.
Born in Gorey, County Wexford, Ireland, in 1953, Robert Armstrong lives and works in Dublin, and is represented by the Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, also in Dublin. He is a Founder Member of Temple Bar Gallery + Studios and was Head of Painting at the National College of Art & Design (NCAD) from 2002 until his retirement in 2018, having taught at the college since 1991. He has exhibited regularly in Ireland and abroad for more than forty years. His work is included in many private and public collections and has been the subject of essays by writers including Aidan Dunne, Declan Long and Colm Tóibín.
Selected exhibitions include Vision X, curated by Diana Copperwhite, RHA Gallery, Dublin. Participating artists include Norbert Schwontowski, Joyce Pensato, Thomas Nozkowski (2019); Water Mountain – Made in Hong Kong, (solo) AVA HKBU, Hong Kong (2019); Squeegee Paintings, (solo) Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin (2019); Slips and Glimpses, Robert Armstrong and Anna Bjerger, Kevin Kavanagh Gallery (2016); VOLTA New York, Solo Presentation with Kevin Kavanagh Gallery (2015).