Ceri Richards 1903 - 1979

Provenance

The Artist
Mrs Frances Richards
Marlborough Gallery, London, 1965
Private Collection, Italy

Exhibitions

Sao Paulo, Museo de Art Moderna, Six British Artists, Second Sao Paulo Biennal, 1953-1954
London, Whitechapel Art Gallery, Ceri Richards: A Retrospective Exhibition, 1960, cat no.56, illus b/w plate XX
Swansea, Glynn Vivian Museum and Art Gallery, A Selective Retrospective Exhibition of the Work of Ceri Richards, 7 - 31 March 1964, cat no.13
London, Ceri Richards Retrospective Exhibition, Marlborough New London Gallery, June 1965, cat no.20, illus b/w
Milan, Galleria Cavour, Ceri Richards, Opened 13 March 1974, catalogue a)

Literature

Roberto Sanesi, The Graphic Works of Ceri Richards, Cerastico Editore, Milan, 1973, p12, illus b/w p44
Mel Gooding, Ceri Richards, Cameron and Hollis, Moffat, 2002, in b/w studio photograph p167

Description

In this work, the theme previously explored with the Sabine Women is taken up and re-echoed metaphorically through the whole background, almost as an emanation of the spirit of musical creativity itself, while against this, the figure of the pianist seems to be constantly decomposing into a cluster of images of germinating vegetation. And out of this only the hands emerge - hands like leaves, flowing, expressive and utterly characteristic of Richard's personal symbolic iconography. But even in interpreting Red and Green Interior, one is reminded of the pitfalls of oversimplification. Here, as in any one of Richard's works, it is just not possible to assume the existence of any preformed or constant set of reference points or suggested meanings, simply because of the presence of a group of recurrent images. On a number of occasions the painter talked about his experience of primary emotive 'impulses' or 'stimuli' in the creation of a work; but here also one has to take into account the immensely varied ways in which these primary images can be filtered and focussed through new mental associations, so the unforseen and often surprising factors are introduced in the final expression of those images. In this way differing elements combine to form a unity whose meaning can no longer be determined by following an original intention through to clearly defined outlines and contours. The final image is always composite; its ambiguity is akin to that of poetry and it invites an open, unconditional 'reading' that is a new revelation each time. In fact Red and Green Interior originally had a quite different title, 'Presence of the Crucifix' - a clear demonstration of the way in which sacred and profane are brought together in all of Richards' art.
(Roberto Sanesi, The Graphic Works of Ceri Richards, Cerastico Editore, Milan, 1973., p.12)