Armfield, Maxwell Ashby (1882-1972)

(1882-1972) The British painter and illustrator Maxwell Armfield is often associated with the North American school; a seven-year sojourn in the U.S.A. (1915-22) inspired some of his most significant landscapes and he achieved renown among the native artistic community. The juxtaposition of flat coloured and densely patterned surfaces lends his work a pronounced decorative quality. Armfield painted landscapes, portraits and still life. His work possesses an idiosyncratic charm and occasionally incorporates surreal elements. He subtly subverts conventional treatments. The strong graphic aspect and overall finish of Armfield’s work means that it preserves its impact when broken up or viewed in its entirety. Portraits such as that of Geoffrey Barker or Keith Henderson represent the sexually ambivalent ideal of the belle-epoque.

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