CON SPIRITO | Excerpt from Appassionata

Lila Lewis Irving:
Gaining a Voice Through Abstract Painting
Joan Murray

(An Excerpt)

Ask most people what they think when they hear the phrase “abstract painting,” and they’re likely to pause before replying. But if they thought of the work of Lila Lewis Irving, they would be able to answer more quickly. Hers is the kind of painting that expresses what abstraction is, and can be, and makes a convincing case for the emergence of individual genius.

A big surprise is how much of Irving’s mission — with its explicitly personal direction — feels relevant, from the effort to develop colour dramatically, often through subdued earth tones set off by touches of contrasting hues, her massive shapes and her explosive, spontaneous effects. She’s something of a harvester of process; an artist who knows how to use creatively the accidents caused by the painting process itself.


Full essay available in Appassionata, a publishing project initiated by artist Lila Lewis Irving and produced in collaboration with the Art Gallery of Mississauga. Appassionata is available for purchase at the Art Gallery of Mississauga. $45 / $40.50 AGM, MAC, VAM members. 96-pages, hardcover, full colour illustrations.

 Appassionata also includes a DVD of Lila, a film of Lila Lewis Irving at work in her studio. Produced by Joss Monson of Mucho Motion, Lila features Irving as she creates Gotterdammerung. The film is screened daily at the Gallery.

Abstraction Revisited | Joan Murray
Saturday, March 17, 3 pm

Meet Joan Murray at the Art Gallery of Mississauga in a weekend afternoon tea and walk-through of Con Spirito. Murray will be giving a short lecture on Lila Lewis Irving’s work in the context of Canadian art history.

FREE | RSVP 905 896 5088 /

Appassionata Book Signing
Saturday, April 28, 3 pm

Come and meet the artist and writers who have contributed to the Appassionata publication project.

FREE | RSVP 905 896 5088 /

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s