Basil Blackshaw, Northern Irish artist, Died at 84


Basil Blackshaw was born in 1932, in Glengormley, County Antrim, Northern Ireland and died on May 3, 2016.

He was a Northern Irish artist.

He was a student at Methodist College Belfast and studied at Belfast College of Art (1948–1951).

He was awarded a scholarship by the Committee for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts, during 1951 to study in Paris.

Basil was first acclaimed for his mastery of traditional approaches to painting.

He continued to evolve as an artist, which made him most highly regarded for his very loose gestural application of paint and a very distinctive and subtle use of colour.

Blackshaw’s paintings of such sports as horse racing and boxing made him especially popular but Blackshaw was also a talented portrait painter.

His work designs are very often figurative in form, but with a non-naturalistic palate which rebalances the composition in an expressionist, even abstract way.

Basil’s concepts are very Irish and often rural; greyhounds, Irish Travellers and the landscape.

Blackshaw has produced portraits and has designed posters for Derry’s Field Day Theatre Company.

And the Arts Council of Northern Ireland organised a major retrospective of his work in 1995, which travelled from Belfast to Dublin, Cork and many galleries in the United States.

During 2001, Basil Blackshaw received the Glen Dimplex Award for a Sustained Contribution to the Visual Arts in Ireland.

The Ulster Museum held a major exhibition of his work in 2002 and a major book was published by Eamonn Mallie on the artist in 2003.

For a 2005 exhibition at the Fenton Gallery in Cork, Blackshaw worked exclusively over the previous 20 months creating a dramatic collection of 15 new paintings.

Basil Blackshaw choice of arguably earthly subjects, The Studio Door, Car, Wall, Six Trees, expressed both an engagement with tradition and a watchful detachment.

During the year 2006, Blackshaw’s work was exhibited at the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris.

Blackshaw was elected as an associate of the Royal Ulster Academy of the Arts in 1977 and elected an Academician in 1981.

Basil Blackshaw passed away at 84 yrs old.