A Gathered Radiance:
(Rupert Brooke)

Late and Early Drawings and Paintings by
RICHARD EURICH
O.B.E.,  R.A.  (1903 – 92)

Sat 29th June – Sun 28th July 2013

Open at WEEKENDS 10.30am – 6pm
To fix visits at any other times
phone 023 8046 2723 [for short notice]
or e-mail [for, e.g., 24hrs. notice]


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THE GASWORKS, ILKLEY    1982    39.5 × 60cm / 15⅝ × 23⅝"

Paintings here are all in oils on traditional hardboard, except where noted.  Exact details can be supplied on request.

For technical simplicity, the images below are all reproduced at the same height, irrespective of actual size, which I recognize doesn’t help in assessing the scale of each.  That’s something we may work on in future.

  “The†First”†Gallery  has had links with the painter Richard Eurich and his family for over 25 years.  As well as showing his work, including a one-man on his Centenary ten years ago, the archive of his late photographer son, Crispin, is based here.  Our most successful paintings show ever was Out of the Shadows  by his daughter, Philippa Bambach, in 1999.
  Eurich belongs in that group of artists (including, inter alia , Lowry, Stanley Spencer and Carel Weight) who appear on the UK scene unpredictably, whose style eludes pigeon-holing — an attribute “The†First”†Gallery  encourages!  His inner quietude ill suits current art-media coverage, one reason why he often slips beneath the cultural radar.  Furthermore, attention to detail, embodied in Eurich’s hallmark painterly surface-texture, is considered passť .
  The Spectator ’s Andrew Lambirth, among others, considers Eurich’s reappraisal is long overdue.  We agree:  hence (in a modest way) this exhibition, almost entirely of works from the first and last decades of his output (i.e. 1920 – 30, and 1982 – 92).  Including his very last painting, it shows a progression from strongly defined compositions to apparently unstructured imagery, at its most obvious in the unaccountably under-rated sea paintings and the greenery-inspired works, also less often exhibited.

  Richard Eurich had a long distinguished career in painting, including a stint as a War Artist, producing masterpieces which now hang in public collections (e.g. Tate Britain, The Imperial War Museum, Southampton City Art Gallery).  His other work falls into distinct phases, including:
    † detailed urban scenes, from about the 1950s (the most sought-after), some peopled with partly fantasy figures

    † complex finely-wrought early drawings, which almost ruined his sight and are so high-key they are hard to reproduce well, hence less widely known

    † a more private series of paintings with foliage as a motif, likewise seldom seen, expressing his grief over the premature death of Crispin, his photographer son, and other distressing family events.
  Eurich’s later brushwork became almost pointillist†/ impressionist, sparkling as his theme crystallized round his first love:† the sea (specially The Solent from Lepe Beach, near his home for all his married life).  His unceasing study of it, in all its fleeting moods, stems from early in his career.  In mastery of this subject, catching its evanescent yet eternal character, his hero J. M. W. Turner may have been Eurich’s equal but not his superior.

  Though comprising some 50  STOP PRESS:  now 75!  works, this is still an intimate show with examples of the early and late phases described (though not – sorry! – any of the “detailed urban scenes”), and rewards quiet reflection.  Most of the works are for sale.  You can see more images online (though those do not mirror the balance or scope of A Gathered Radiance ) at RichardEurich.co.uk


EDGE OF THE WOOD    1983    20cm sq. / 7⅞" sq.
One of a series of rarely-shown paintings featuring mostly green foliage, understood to be a reaction
to a number of family tragedies, one of which was a drowning on RE’s beloved Lepe Beach, whose
then melancholy associations caused him and his wife to seek other nearby locations to explore.



THE SHADOW, ECLIPSE OF THE SUN    c1920    25 × 31cm / 9¾ × 12¼"
Maybe an early presage of RE’s middle-period fantasy elements.



THAMES BARGE    1986    25 × 33cm / 9¾ × 13"
Unusual later example of a depiction of a specific vessel-type.



A CONNOISSEUR    1936    16.5 × 14cm / 6½ × 5½"
Powerful small work, but perhaps RE wasn’t keen on “connoisseurs”?  :-)



WINTER SEASCAPE    1983    29 × 68cm / 11½ × 27"



THE ALTAR ROCK, ILKLEY    1978    pencil / crayon on paper     27 × 37cm / 10½ × 14½"
RE was born in Bradford, hence the number of early works (and later ones, like this) featuring images of the area.



THE SEA    1989    43 × 62cm / 17 × 24¼"
RE’s mastery of the subject stemmed from ceaseless study.  In his early days, while staying at Chesil, it was a
standing joke that, if there was a storm, he would be out on the Bank trying to capture it, until his easel
and materials blew away!



CHEESE    1984    20 × 36cm / 7⅞ × 14¼"
Some works, this one included, bear a specific date to the day (4/4/84), suggesting this was completed at a single sitting.



ENCOUNTER ON THE SHORE    c1990    15 × 26cm / 6 × 10¼"



KEIGHLEY GATE    1922    24 × 32cm / 9½ × 12⅝"
One of several highly structured landscapes on show, contrasting sharply with the highly fluid compositions of RE’s maturity.



COWES WEEK    1980    28.5 × 44.5cm / 11¼ × 17½"
Early appearance of style where subjects, especially figures, are painted onto a background that isn’t filled in.  This date seems
to suggest it was not a result of RE’s failing sight.  Later, it becomes a motif of calm:  here it gives a sense of busy movement.

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