THURLOE CONOLLY (1918 - 2016)


Painting XVIII, 1952

Oil on Masonite
Signed, dated and titled
61 x 81 cm

Willard Gallery, New York
Private Collection, New York

Painting XVIII typifies the shift that occurred in Thurloe Conolly’s art in the immediate post-war era. From as early as 1946 he had been moving towards a newer more formal style of geometric abstraction. He had been a founding member of the short lived but influential Dublin based White Stag Group, a collection of like-minded artists and musicians including the British emigres Neville Johnson and Stephen Gilbert. The White Stag Group was responsible for bringing much needed modernisation to the Irish art scene of the inter-war period.

Painting XVIII was exhibited in one of Conolly’s solo exhibitions at New York’s ground breaking Willard Gallery which also exhibited the likes of Mark Tobey and Alexander Calder. Conolly's work was purchased from the Willard Gallery by such collectors as Walter Gropius and Philip Hofer. Conolly retired from making art in 1967 moving to France to pursue a career in architecture. His work was rarely shown in Ireland in the latter half of the 20th century, but much to the delight of everyone in attendance, at the 2005 White Stag retrospective in Dublin, the groups last surviving member made an appearance.

Thurloe Conolly: Painting XVIII