November 22, 2005

Markey Robinson : Painter


A primitive painter, a colourful character, a man of great complexity; are all descriptions which have characterised Markey over the years. Son who, what or which was he? Perhaps, a little of all three.

Markey Robinson was born in Belfast in 1918. The son of a house painter, he attended Perth Street Public Elementary School, studied for a time at the Belfast Collage of Art and visited Paris on a number of occasions. He drew upon his extensive travelling experiences for the diversiry of subjects and ideas which he portrayed throughout his life.

Rev. Dr. A L Agnew opened several of his exhibitions and gave much encouragement to the artist along with the avid collector Zoltan Lewinter-Frank, whose collection was shown at the Belfast Museum and Art Gallery in 1958 and included some of Markey's works. The 1950's was the busiest decade for exhibitions in Belfast for the artist.

For well over half a century, Markey produced both significant and controversial works of art. He, however, appeared indifferent to the blinkered views of those who failed to understand or appreciate his work.

Art is born out of and is a progression of what has come before. Markey's work is no exception. He assumed certain characteristics of artists such as Matisse, Derain and Picasso, developing and simplifying their ideas, making them his own, without moving into the realm of pure abstraction.

In a world of complexity, Markey has maintained an open, almost childlike honesty. There is a purity and sincerity in his work and yet we never cease to be reflective of, or challenged by his work.

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