We are delighted to invite you to join us for the opening of our new exhibition celebrating the work of Rigby Graham, running from 9th April – 1st May.
The show includes oil paintings, watercolours, woodcuts, linocuts, lithographs, drawings and stained glass and opens Saturday 9th April.
Rigby Graham (1931-2015) was a man of remarkable energy, prolific and driven, beholden to nobody and for whom art was the whole of his existence. He worked long hours at great speed, pitting himself against the elements and continuing to work in the open air in front of a subject despite the rain and winds that frequently blew his spectacles off.
Through his oils and watercolours, and in printmaking that embraced lithography, etching, monotypes and linocuts, Graham left an impressive record of his wide travels within Britain, Ireland, Malta and beyond. An adept writer and author himself, Graham was also a hugely prolific book illustrator and a reluctant teacher. Though he said of education that it was a subject he knew nothing about and cared even less, past students who have visited the gallery continue to remember him and his guidance with great fondness.
While his sense of colour and line was influenced to some extent by Neo-Romantic artists such as Graham Sutherland, Paul Nash and John Minton, he also looked back to an earlier tradition of nature painting. As Graham said himself: The landscape tells you a good deal and Turner and Cotman talk to me from the clouds.
The great John Piper wrote, I have known Rigby Graham and have admired his work for a good many years. He has an unusual and indeed enviable capacity to make romantic and dramatic images out of ‘simple scenes’… He is a real graphics man, and that would nail him down and mark him out, were he not such a good landscape painter and draughtsman too.
Alongside a broad range of work, this exhibition features the very last of Graham’s extraordinary woodcuts made right at the end of his life. Lying on his back in his bed, holding the Japanese blocks aloft with his left hand and cutting with his right hand, he made art to the end.
The exhibition in Uppingham opens on the 9th April and will run until 1st May 2016.