Connaught Brown and Alon Zakaim Fine Art are delighted to present a selection of fourteen watercolours by Eric Tucker.
Whilst Eric Tucker had no desire for artistic recognition and all its trappings during his lifetime, he was an extraordinarily dedicated and talented painter. It was only towards the end of his life that he finally decided he wanted his work to be seen by his friends, family, neighbours and the wider community that had been his models and source of inspiration. He expressed a wish that his work be shown at the Warrington Museum & Art Gallery.
Upon his death in July 2018 his family found in his house the life’s work of an outstanding artist. It filled every floor, draw and crevice of the house. This did lead to a solo exhibition of his paintings at Warrington Museum (November 2019 – February 2020). The exhibition proved to be one of the gallery’s most popular shows. The unearthing of his work marks an important contribution and discovery of an artist that has been hidden for too long.
Born and raised in Warrington, Tucker painted the world he knew and was a part of – the working class industrial North. The watercolours in this exhibition, focus upon Tucker’s bustling pub and street scenes and are an ode to his community and its people. His paintings capture the eccentricity of everyday life, portraying his subjects with warmth, liveliness and humour.
Tucker was a self-taught artist, spending hours studying the works of Georg Grosz, the Pre-Raphaelites and Rembrandt in Manchester’s museums and galleries. However, it was the work of Edward Burra and L.S. Lowry that had the greatest impact on his art.
During the 1930s Edward Burra travelled the world portraying the people he met.
Working largely in watercolour, he rejoiced in the bar scenes of Marseilles, Harlem and Toulon, making keen observations with wry humour and satire. His sharp social commentary inspired Tucker, who was also drawn to representing those on the fringes of society. Both artists elevate the ordinary, creating surreal and playful depictions that capture the drama of life.
Eric Tucker’s work has been compared to that of L.S. Lowry, who he once met at a gallery in Manchester. Like Lowry, Tucker’s paintings of life in industrial areas of Northern England exude vitality. However, while Lowry’s work is often more removed, surveying the area from afar, Tucker’s paintings are more intimate. The men and women seated at the pub jostle for space in the frame in animated conversation, each with their own unique personality.