Basil Blackshaw

Basil Blackshaw was born in Antrim, Ireland in 1932 and studied at Belfast College of Art. Blackshaw's oeuvre offers a broad selection of subjects including nudes, portraits, landscape and figuration. His paintings, grounded in landscape, are given over to his great love of dogs and horses, whose figures are often present in his large scale paintings. His work is anchored in draughtsmanship, though at a glance seems to be intuitive. Having studied under Sir Alfred Munnings (1878-1959), his teachers influence is apparent as much in his depiction of animals as his style. Also of influence is the work of Paul Cezanne (1839-1906) and to a lesser degree Henri Matisse (1869-1954).

Blackshaw's work, ever self reflective, and always evolving, from 1980s emerged in a looser and more free way as he developed his own individual visual language, independent of, yet associated with the new expressionism of the decade.

His work was commended throughout his lifetime as he received recognition on a number of occasions from the Arts Council or Northern Ireland including a 1995 major retrospective in honour of his work which was shown through Northern Ireland, Ireland and USA.

He is championed by art critic Brian Fallon as being the best Irish artist since Jack B Yeats.
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