Michael O'Connell (1898-1976), Giant Paste Resist On Cotton
A large paste resist on cotton panel by British artist Michael O'Connell (1898-1976) circa 1950's.
Composed of two widths with central vertical join of abstract motifs, in red, blue, orange, yellow, and green, on a cream background. Top and bottom edges machine-hemmed.
The panel has been mounted on a wooden dowel.
There are a few small marks and holes the largest being 2.5 x 2.5 cm (see photos).
H 230 W 180 cm
English Modernist artist Michael O'Connell emigrated to Australia where he worked during the interwar years, before returning to England in 1937. He is best-known as a textile artist, and a number of major institutions hold examples of his work, notably the V&A, National Museum of Scotland, National Gallery of Australia in Canberra and the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. On permanent display in the Museum of English Rural Life in Reading is O'Connell's enormous wall hanging (4 metres high by 56 metres long) executed for the 1951 Festival of Britain, titled 'Diversity of British Farming'. Between 1924 and 1925 O'Connell built his own house in Beaumaris, Melbourne, using concrete blocks made from the sand there, and embellished with furniture and soft furnishings that he had made. It was named 'Barbizon' after the French school of art of the same name, and it became his studio and a gathering place for fellow artists. The building of 'Barbizon' led on to the design and production of garden furniture and sculpture - often to commission - using concrete as a medium. O'Connell also experimented with the production of linocuts, and he exhibited his paintings in Melbourne, where they were well-received; he became a member of The Arts and Crafts Society there. O'Connell was innovative and always researching new methods of creating, especially when printing onto fabric. After WWII he experimented with complex dying techniques, becoming enormously knowledgeable on the subject. Heal & Sons, Harrods, and the Edinburgh Weavers were amongst those who commissioned designs from him. His fabric designs evolved through a variety of styles and motifs, reflecting the artist's travels, interests, and the commissions he received, but without exception they are striking in colour and form.