Eric Tucker: The Secret Painter

5 July - 6 August 2021

Connaught Brown and Alon Zakaim Fine Art are delighted to present an exhibition of forty of Eric Tucker's paintings. 

 

Largely unknown as an artist during his lifetime, Tucker left school at 14 and worked as a manual labourer, painting in between shifts and after hours, often late into the night. Self-educated in art, he was a regular visitor to the galleries of nearby Manchester. However, highly unforthcoming about his talent, it was only following his death in 2018 that he came to public attention when his family discovered over 400 pieces of artwork stored in his small, terraced house in Warrington. 

 

Following this discovery, his family opened his terraced house as a gallery and thousands flocked to see Tucker’s work and a retrospective at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery followed. Critics praised Tucker as ‘a real discovery’ and the ‘a remarkable, important find’, drawing comparisons with, amongst others, L.S. Lowry and Edward Burra.

 

“Now that his art has at last been rescued from undeserved obscurity, it enables us to share a whole range of vividly defined emotions and experiences at the very heart of northern working-class life”, added Richard Cork, critic and art historian.

 

 

About Eric Tucker

 

Eric Tucker was born in Warrington in 1932. He left school at 14 and went into unskilled manual labourer, alongside fighting as an amateur and, briefly, a professional boxer. He drew from a young age and started painting in oils in his 20s - but was extremely unforthcoming about his talent. He never married or had children and he never left home. Few beyond close family were aware that he painted at all - and even they had no idea of the scale of his production until, at the end of his life, they discovered hundreds of paintings and thousands of drawings stashed around his end-of-terrace house.

 

Making good on a final wish that his work be shown, his family opened his house as a gallery shortly after his death in 2018; the exhibition drew a crowd of thousands. A retrospective a year later at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery quickly became one of the most popular exhibitions in the museum’s history. A selection of 14 of the artist’s watercolours, offered for sale in an online exhibition in Dec 2020, sold out in a matter of hours.

 

 

 

To celebrate the exhibition, Warrington craft brewery Twisted Wheel Brew Co is releasing a limited-edition beer to commemorate the artist. Brewed with British hops, ’Tucker’s Palette’ is an extra strong bitter - a nod to the artist’s favourite tipple. It will be available on tap for a limited period in a selection of pubs and bars nationwide, including The Albion in Tucker’s hometown of Warrington, one of the very pubs in Warrington that Eric Tucker used to sit and paint.