A painting by Warrington’s “secret Lowry” Eric Tucker has been unveiled at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery with a major exhibition set to follow.
The piece, topically entitled Ready for Christmas, is now hanging in the Warrington Art Treasures exhibition, giving the recently discovered Warrington artist the recognition he deserves.
A solo exhibition has also been scheduled for November next year.
The move comes after talks with Mr Tucker’s family, who discovered a huge hoard of paintings and drawings at his modest terraced house in King George Crescent following his death in July.
His brother Tony welcomed the announcement, saying, “It’s wonderful news. It was my brother’s last wish that his work might be seen at the town’s gallery.”
Art lovers queued for hours to view the family’s tribute exhibition in Mr Tucker’s home, which was also his studio, where several hundred paintings and several thousand drawings were tucked away. warrington-worldwide was on hand to film the exhibition.
The work garnered massive local and national interest, and resulted in Mr Tucker being dubbed the ‘secret Lowry’.
Eric’s brother Tony attributed the interest to the “honesty and humanity” of his portrayal of working class life which “seemed to touch all who visited, whatever their background or from wherever they came”.
“Now this retrospective is a real opportunity to feature in depth the full character and range of his art,” he added.
Eric had no formal art training and was modest about showcasing his talent during his lifetime.
But he was reluctantly persuaded to enter Ready for Christmas in the annual Warrington Arts Purchase Prize exhibition staged by Warrington Arts Council at the art gallery in the early 1990s.
The picture won and Eric’s work became part of the town’s collections.
Janice Hayes, heritage manager for Culture Warrington, the charity which runs Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, said: “Eric’s work immediately struck a chord with people from that first showing.
“The street scene is immediately recognisable and there are some real characters among the crowd.
“It always makes me smile when I see it and it seemed fitting to put it on show as a tribute to Eric by including it in our current Warrington Art Treasures exhibition which highlights the best of Warrington’s artists, just in time for Christmas.”
This opportunity to see Mr Tucker’s work is just a taster of what the public can expect from the major exhibition which will take place in 2019.
The display will showcase a range of Eric’s work set against a parallel exhibition capturing the Warrington he knew, his influences and a recreation of his studio which proved so popular with those lucky enough to visit his home in October.
Eric’s sister Karen Kenna added: “Eric devoted his life to painting and it was fantastic that the people of Warrington appreciated and supported the exhibition at his house.
“It’s fitting that this is now being extended to an exhibition at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery which, hopefully, will be enjoyed by many more people.
“Eric would have been amazed and touched by this and no doubt a little amused.”
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