The family of retired boxer Eric Tucker were astounded by the huge queues at his former home where, for the first time, the works of this quiet Warrington man were open to public viewing
Eric Tucker was a former boxer and building labourer who lived almost his entire life in the same end-terrace house on St. Georges Crescent in Warrington.
When he died in July 2018 his family were amazed to find more than 370 paintings, stacked up in every room and airing cupboard and on top of wardrobes. They even found many hundreds of sketches in the garden shed.
Although Eric produced his paintings for more than 60 years,until arthritis prevented him from holding a brush, this modest man almost completely refused to exhibit or sell his work. The paintings had remained unseen until this weekend when the family of the prolific painter decided to convert his former home into an astonishing gallery and museum to display some of his best works for the people of the town m, in a free two day exhibition entitled “Eric Tucker – 60 years of unseen art”.
Not sure how popular the exhibition may prove the former Monks Hall workers family were overjoyed and overwhelmed by the huge queues which stretched around the streets with some people queuing for hours to get a glimpse of not only the art but to also see the untouched living room studio where these works of art were created.
Over 1500 visitors are estimated to have passed through the seemingly unremarkable terraced house which kept its secret safe for many years.
The obvious comparisons with L.S. Lowry are understandable as Eric painted Northern working-class industrial scenes with a similar theme to those made famous by the Salford painter m, yet Tuckers works also captured many local pub and club scenes in a style all of his own yet bringing to mind the works of Renoir and Lautrec.
Eric was inspired by his favourite artist Edward Burra, best known for his depictions of the urban underworld, black culture and the Harlem scene of the 1930s.
Not only are Tucker’s paintings beautiful works of art, they are a potted history of a time gone by and provide a fantastic social history that is very relevant to Warrington and it’s people.
Warrington-Worldwide were fortunate to be given a private preview of the exhibition on Sunday and got the chance to meet Eric’s family and to chat to them about their memories of the man and his art.
The painter’s sister, Karen Kenna said “Eric was older than me but as a youngster I remember he was always drawing or painting and he would encourage myself and my other brother Tony to be interested in art.”
“Eric loved to go to the pubs of Warrington and Manchester where he would sit quietly with a pint, his sketchbook on his knee and draw the characters that he would see.”
“Eric was 86 when he died and we knew there were a lot of paintings as we were brought up with them in the house, what we didn’t realise were just how many there were.”
Only when Eric’s brother Tony began to catalogue the paintings did the huge extent of the lifetime of work become apparent. Even up until the day before the exhibition Tony was finding new boxes of sketches out in the garden shed. A unique trove of 6 decades of art were left by the local painter which is so much more than art, it documents the town’s people and places throughout the years that Eric painted.
The family are now in contact with Culture Warrington representatives and it is hoped that an exhibition at Warrington Museum and Art gallery can be held next year as the family are keen to share this local man’s talent with his hometown.
Live from King George Crescent, Padgate for a private showing of the amazing works of local artist Eric Tucker before it opened up to the public
Posted by Warrington worldwide on Sunday, October 28, 2018