A Very Powerful Queen signed 'Thurloe Conolly' (upper left), further signed, inscribed and dated 'A VERY POWERFUL QUEEN/THURLOE CONOLLY/MAY-AUGUST 1949' (verso) oil on board 91.5 x 76 cm. (36 x 30 in.)
PROVENANCE: With The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA, where purchased by Frederick Wight Thence by descent
EXHBITED: Artists of Ireland, no.1
Thurloe Conolly was born in Cork and once he committed fulltime to painting (encouraged by friend Evie Hone), his work was exhibited widely. He became a part of The White Stag group in 1942 and showed in 1943 at the IELA, at the 1944 Exhibition of Subjective Art in Dublin, and in 1945 at the first show in the Dublin Painters Gallery. He had a successful one man show at Victor Waddington's Gallery in 1949, and a series of exhibitions in America including Boston and New York, as well as in England, Holland and Sweden. A major retrospective was held in Dublin in 1993. Initially his work was figurative and romantic but a change of direction in 1948 showed a growing interest in pattern and abstraction.
The present work, executed in 1949, was included in the Waddington exhibition of the same year. At the show, one reviewer placed him "in the very first rank of our advanced painters" and praised the artist for his quiet and delicate colouring and "extraordinary sensitivity". (Peter Murray, Irish Arts Review, Vol.24, No.4, p.101).