Ceri Richards

CERI RICHARDS CBE 1903 - 1971

 

Ceri Richards was born in 1903 at Dunvant, near Swansea, of a Welsh-speaking family where music and poetry, always influences on his work, were positively encouraged. Ceri Richards was an artist of great versatility, able to absorb many influences without sacrificing his originality.

 

In 1921, at the age of 18, Richards enrolled full-time at the Swansea College of Art, then under the direction of William Grant Murray. During his time at the College he spent less time in painting than in drawing from classical casts and studying industrial design and graphics. The strongest impact on him during these years appears to have been the week's summer school in 1923, which he spent under the direction of Hugh Blaker at Gregynog Hall, the country house of Gwendoline and Margaret Davies, where he first saw the canvases of Renoir, Van Gogh, Monet, Cézanne, Corot and Daumier, the sculpture of Rodin and sheets of old-master and modern drawings. The experience confirmed him in his vocation; and in the same year he applied for, and won, a scholarship to study in London at the Royal College of Art.

 

From 1933, under the influence of Picasso, he worked on a series of relief constructions and assemblages which were described by John Rothenstein as 'original creations of a rare order, and unlike anything else done in Britain at the time'. Much of his work was inspired by his love of music and the poetry of Dylan Thomas.

 

Selected Solo Exhibitions:
Glynn Vivian Museum & Gallery, Swansea; National Museum of Wales, Cardiff; Redfern Gallery, London; Aldeburg Festival, Oslo; Galleria M'Arte, Milan; Gallery Wolfensberger, Zurich; National Museum and Gallery of Wales, Cardiff.

 

Public Collections Including:
Tate, London; Glynn Vivan Museum and Gallery, Swansea; National Museum of Cardiff.