Ian Armstrong was born on 30/12/1923 in Malvern, Victoria. He studied at the NGV School evening classes from 1945 to 1950, intermittently at the George Bell School from 1945 to 1948, at the Slade School, London in 1951 and at RMIT from 1960 to 1962.
During his time at the Slade an introduction to printmaking led to classes in etching and lithography - media in which he excelled.
Armstrong, with Fred Williams and Harry Rosengrave together purchased land at Lilydale, then rural Victoria, and paintings from this period were exhibited at Stanley Cove Gallery in 1951.
A painter of portraits, landscapes and genres, his work has appeared in many exhibitions since 1951; forty-six of his paintings and drawings were the subject of a special exhibition at the McClelland Regional Gallery, Langwarrin, April-May 1979. His earlier works are figurative,later developing into abstract expressionism. He held solo exhibitions at Eastgate Gallery, Melbourne in 1990,1993, and his work appeared in Classisical Modernism: The George Bell Circle NGV 1992
Armstrong worked as an art teacher for the Victorian Education Department from 1954 to 1961, painting and drawing master at the National Gallery School from 1961 to 1966. In 1966 Armstrong commenced a full time painting career which he continued for the rest of his life, supplemented with private classes and teaching at the C.A.E.
Ian Armstrong died in 2005
AWARDS Include the Commonwealth Jubilee Travelling Scholarship (with Michelle Wunderlich) in 1951, the Gibson prize Victorian Artists Society, 1954, Crouch Prize, Ballarat 1964, Rockhampton Prize 1973, grant, VACB 1974, residency studio Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, VACB 1988, self portrait prize, Castlemaine Regional Gallery 1991.
REPRESENTED NGA; AGNSW; AGWA; NGV; TMAG; Armidale, Ballarat, Castlemaine, Geelong, Horsham, La Trobe Valley, Mornington, Rockhampton, Swan Hill, Warnambool Regional Galleries. BIBLIOGRAPHY Germaine, AGA. Kempf, Printmakers. June Helmer, George Bell; The Art of Influence, Greenhouse, Melbourne 1985. Patrick McCaughey, Fred Williams, Bay Books, Sydney 1980. Mary Eagle & Jan Minchin, The George Bell School, Deutscher Art Publications/Resolution Press, Melbourne 1981.
Biographical details courtesy of The Encyclopedia of Australian Art, Alan McCulloch, Revised and updated by Susan McCulloch