Albert Irvin studied at Northampton School of Art from 1940 to 1941. Following time spent in the Royal Air Force during the war, he returned to his studies from 1946 to 1950 at Goldsmiths' College, London. He later taught at Goldsmiths from 1962 to 1983. He won a major Arts Council Award in 1975 and in 1983 he won a Gulbenkian Award for Printmaking.
His work has been widely exhibited in the UK and abroad and he has shown in such venues as Gimpel Fils and the Angela Flowers Gallery in London.
Key Public Collections contain examples of his work such as the Arts Council of Great Britain, Birmingham City Art Gallery, the Chase Manhattan Bank, the Contemporary Art Society, Manchester City Art Gallery, Tate Britain, the Victoria and Albert Museum and Warwick University Arts Centre.
In 1999 he had a solo show at the RWA where he exhibited his paintings and prints. He was invited in the same year to become an honorary member of the RWA.