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Abstract Painting

Date made: 1910-1984

Artist: Milner, Allan

Description: Abstract painting by Allan Milner. Untitled. This painting forms part of a large collection of art works by Allan Milner donated to Manx National Heritage in 2011.

Allan Milner was a leading 20th century British abstract painter who came to live on the Isle of Man in 1950. His exposure to art began at a young age, whilst attending Castleford Secondary School in Yorkshire in the mid-1920s. He went on to win scholarships at Leeds Art College and the Royal College of Art in London, where he was able to hone his impressive skills in colour and composition.

He embraced an abstract style, which was cutting edge in the early 1930s. Milner’s work was celebrated across several established galleries in his early career – exhibiting at the Meyer, Redfern, Gimpel Fils and Lefèvre galleries. At intervals, the Tate and the National Gallery accepted samples of his work. After serving in the Royal Navy during the Second World War, Milner moved to the Isle of Man. His family had come to the Island for a holiday when he was a boy, and he hadn't wanted to go home. This time, he stayed for life.

Milner’s style of art was considered rather avant-garde on the Isle of Man, which at the time was used to the more traditional works of William Hoggatt and John Hobson Nicholson. Both artists exhibited alongside Milner in the Mannin Art Group's annual exhibitions. In 1951 and 1952 he exhibited his work alongside his stepdaughter, Ann Fordham, who had also developed an abstract style. The Ramsey Courier newspaper reflected:

“No doubt there will be much argument about the theories on which Mr Allan Milner’s abstract work is based…the most prejudiced of conservatives must grant him the courage of his convictions and a very high degree of originality and technical attainment. No one can fail to be impressed by his draughtsmanship and the sense of colour, form and composition which all his work displays.”

In later life Milner was made a lifelong honorary member of the Mannin Art Group, perhaps an acknowledgment of his commitment to the Manx artistic community.

Measurements: overall: 56cm x 76cm

Materials: acrylic, gouache, paper

Object name: painting

Collection: Art Collection

ID number: 2011-0004/55

Subject tags : #artgallerywall


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