Colin W. Middleton
ArtValue.ca has one auction art sale record for their oil painting results, with prices in the range of C$50,000 to C$100,000.
oil on canvas
Dimensions - 30.5 cms x 40.6 cms (12 ins x 16 ins)
Lot for sale by Heffel Auction House, Vancouver
Fri, Nov 28, 2003
Estimate $55,000 - $65,000
Sold for CAD $54,625
Colin Middleton was born in Belfast on January 29, 1910. As a young man he followed his father into the linen damask designing business, but managed to attend the Belfast College of Art on a part-time basis with fellow students William Scott and F.E. McWilliam. He came to prominence as an artist in the early 1940s as an active member of the Irish Exhibition of Living Art. Together with Gerard Dillon, Dan O'Neill and George Campbell, they constituted a new and very dynamic generation of Ulster artists who came to dominate the Irish art scene of the 1950s. Middleton's art has often been referred to as eclectic because of his passion for experimentation, and indeed his work demonstrates a remarkable versatility and ability. Nevertheless, the restless transitions and varying styles of his work have made it difficult to distill out the essential quality or to easily define the central theme of his work. As a prelude to the 1943 Belfast Museum and Art Gallery show, Middleton addressed this issue, saying that "this is a first endeavour to harmonise the seemingly opposed and conflicting tendencies in human nature - in the relation of self to surrounds - and to attain in that, union." Oies Blanches was exhibited in this 1943 show and remained in the artist's possession until his death in 1983. Powerful primary colours are juxtaposed against each other and presented with bold expressionist brush-strokes. Some have suggested that the bright colours that he used at this time were a response to the violence of the war, and certainly this picture was painted shortly after the bombings of Belfast during World War II. However, the central focus of this work with its tension between the human figure and the goose, is undoubtedly the pictorial analysis of the relationship between self and surroundings.