Emma Chester Zoo, 2013
Signed, dated and titled verso
Pen and acrylic ink on Indian cotton rag paper
11 3/4 x 11 3/4 in, 30 x 30 cm
As a tutor at the Slade School of Fine Art, Richards belongs to a long list of distinguished artists who have taught there, including Frank Auerbach, Lucian Freud and Stanley...
As a tutor at the Slade School of Fine Art, Richards belongs to a long list of distinguished artists who have taught there, including Frank Auerbach, Lucian Freud and Stanley Spencer, and like whom he has developed an expressionist style with which to explore the human form. Bordering on abstraction, Richards captures the very essence of his sitters through nuances of line and seemingly spontaneous, gestural marks.
Following on from his collaborative project with London Zoo between 2009 and 2011, Richards has also been drawing animals and birds. Attracted to their ‘tremendous drama’, he describes the changing movements of their skin, hair, paws, beaks and eyes in works that are equally dynamic and reflective. These works have also begun to possess a textural quality akin to the densely painted and scraped away early drawings of Auerbach and Kossoff. Forcefully working into the paper, he captures with power and poignancy the vulnerability of both Animal and Man.