Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Richard Eurich: Artist Without a Style

It seems like I've been writing a number of posts recently that deal with painters who never managed to attain a fairly consistent and clearly identifiable style. And so it goes with the present post, which is about Richard Eurich (1903-1992), an English artist who seems doomed to semi-obscurity for that reason.

His Wikipedia entry is here, and other biographical links are here and here.

Eurich was skilled enough to be able to paint well in almost any style. His earliest paintings are in the distorted, simplified representational mode of the interwar period. By the mid-1930s he was making some correctly proportioned representational works. He continued in this vein during World War 2, when he was a war artist specializing in naval subjects, and for several years beyond. In his later years, Eurich mostly painted rather flat scenes that included sketchy, distorted people. These might have been influenced by postwar abstract art, though he does not seem to have made any or many pure abstractions.

This book contends that Eurich "was one of the greatest British painters of the twentieth century" (back cover). Me? I'd say that he might have been one of the more versatile British painters of his generation, but I fail to detect greatness, especially among his early and late works.


Mrs. Green - 1930
Very much of its time stylistically.

Lime Regis - 1930
Again, of its time, but nicely composed.

Portrait of Mavis - 1935
Mavis Pope was Eurich's wife and also an artist. This is a representational portrait featuring a traditially painted face combined with a Manet kind of minimalist setting.

December, Work Suspended - 1940
An early wartime scene where workers were diverted from civilian to war tasks.

Survivors from a Torpedoed Ship - 1943
The toll of civilian-manned cargo ships from attack by submarines was high around the time this was painted.

Capital Ships Bombard Salerno - 1943
Here Eurich connects with his inner Turner.

The Argument - 1983
Low Tide Fun - 1991
Examples of his late work.

1 comment:

dearieme said...

"Fun" is what this set lacks. "Drear" more like.