Derrick Greaves Paintings and Drawings 1952-2002

12.03.2003 • 09.05.2003

Derrick Greaves Paintings and Drawings 1952-2002


This major exhibition, Derrick Greaves's first in London for many years, spans 50 years of drawings and paintings.

Derrick Greaves first gained acclaim in the mid 1950s as a `kitchen-sink' painter, whose work was celebrated for its bold, matter of fact presentation of prosaic subjects drawn from the external world. In the years since then, the artist has also increasingly drawn inspiration from dreams and the unconscious to create an epic personal language that gives an extraordinary coherence to half a century of achievement. As the artist recently explained:

`I don't think one paints for any other reason than to produce something new. My painting now has little resemblance to that of the 1950s - as though one has any choice about one's own development. All one can do is follow one's own path, respond to the last painting and hope that the present painting leaves a clue for the next one.'

In following his own path Greaves has depicted everything from still lives, interiors and landscapes to imaginary compositions in a language that is always his own. An iconographic boldness transforms subjects into emblematic motifs that are both solid and dignified, witty and sexy.

The exhibition gives particular prominence to Greaves's painting of the last five years. Combining intense colour and precise line, these recent pictures deserve to become the artist's iconic images, standing proudly alongside the youthful paintings with which the artist first established his reputation.

The exhibition coincides with the publication of an extensively illustrated new book on the artist. There will also be a deluxe edition of this book, for which the artist has specially made a silkscreen with watercolour. This will be available from the gallery in an edition of just 20.

Derrick Greaves is one of the most important Modern british Artists of the last sixty years. He is represented by James Hyman Gallery


A witty and inspiring example of how to keep creative work fresh. Derrick Greaves first won acclaim back in the mid-Fifties as a 'kitchen sink' painter, depicting prosaic subjects in a bold, matter-of-fact style. Since then, he has turned inwards for his inspiration, finding his own intensely colourful language in dreams and the unconscious. Hephzibah Anderson, Metro Life, Evening Standard

Famous in the 1950s and 1960s as a leading "kitchen sink" painter, Greaves then moved towards abstraction. These are serious but satisfying paintings that bring a long-neglected artist back into the spotlight. Sunday Times 30 March 2003

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