George Campbell

George Campbell RHA (1917-1979)
Campbell was one of Ireland's most pre-eminent painters of landscapes and still life. Born in Arklow, Co. Wicklow, the son of the highly respected artist Gretta Bowen, Campbell first began to paint in the early forties in response to the bombing of Belfast. An early friend of Gerard Dillon (q.v.), the pair painted in the Connemara in the 1940s. In 1951 Campbell first visited Spain, and the atmosphere of the country had such a profound effect on the artist that he returned there on painting trips nearly every successive year. He had his first exhibition at the Mol Gallery, Belfast, in 1944, in conjunction with his brother Arthur, who was also a painter. In 1946 he first showed with the Waddington Galleries, Dublin, thus beginning a long-standing and fruitful relationship with the art dealer Victor Waddington. He also exhibited with the Ritchie Hendriks Gallery, Dublin, the Tom Caldwell Gallery, Belfast and Dublin, and at the RHA, the IELA, the Oireachtas, and the WCSI. One-man exhibitions were also sponsored by the Northern Irish Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts (CEMA) in 1949, 1952 and 1960, and by CEMA's successor, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland in 1966 and 1972. He is represented in most major public and private Irish collections.