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Rigby Graham - Watercolours 2017


Directness and a lack of pretence typified all aspects of Graham’s life, none more so than his watercolours. A disciple of the school of Minton, Place and Towne and a young contemporary of Piper and Sutherland, artists who reinvigorated the English school of watercolour painting, Graham was drawn to the medium’s immediacy and returned to it regularly throughout his long career. Such painting was always undertaken outside and ‘in the moment’, making of each work a record of the place, the experience and all its concomitant frustrations: heavy rain, gales, an undergrowth that fought back; difficult weather and scenery, and the even more difficult temperament of the artist.

Few native landscape artists can lay claim to the strength of vision and the conviction of touch that characterised Graham’s work. In his lurid reds and yellows, sapphire blues and shocks of green all tamed by an assertive black pen line, he brought to an all-too-often tired category of painting an energy that was sorely lacking. We are confident that, with the passing of time, re-evaluation of the history of British topographical art will see Graham take his place alongside the best this country has ever produced.


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