Maeve Gilmore (1917-1983) was a painter, writer, illustrator and textile artist. Her paintings range from portraits to narrative and semi-abstract works. In 1937 she saw the ‘Paris Exhibition’ which included works by Alexander Calder, Joan Miro and Pablo Picasso. This proved to be a turning-point in Gilmore’s career as she became increasingly influenced by European Surrealism and Abstraction. However, much of her work is autobiographical, depicting domestic scenes and family life.
In ‘Still Life with Pears’, Gilmore takes on the genre of still life, which was dismissed for many centuries because of its associations with femininity and domesticity. The painting is a joyful exploration of colour and form. The background takes on the vibrant tones of the pears themselves, so that the work does not simply recreate the image of a bowl of fruit, but establishes a whole atmosphere.