Summer

1958

Lee, Richard
Lee's enthusiasm for art began whilst at school in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe where he used to draw caricatures of members of the teaching staff. Later, serving in the Royal Navy Volunteer reserve during World War II, he continued to draw, creating cartoons of officers, including Lord Mountbatten. The opportunity to fully devote his time to art was the result of chance. After demobilisation, Lee planned to work as a cartoonist on a Canadian newspaper, but he missed the boat from Cape Town. Instead, he suddenly decided to sail to England and became a student and then lecturer at the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts. Living in London, he was inspired by the war paintings of William Coldstream whose aim of recording in 'good prose' was something that appealed to Lee when creating his own works. In 'Summer', Lee conveys the feeling of a hazy summer's day in a garden. Lee sought to avoid the use of overheated colour or stylised mark making in his paintings, in order to retain a sense of purity. Lee worked in this way as he aimed to depict the essence of the subject in his paintings. This is a very different approach to the 3D relief works he created at Camberwell School as a means to alert students to upcoming exhibitions. The 'notices', as they were called, were made out of scrap material such as broken china and toys. He portrayed fellow colleagues and artists as quirky but recognisable caricatures and they remain an excellent record of the important players in post-war British painting. Charlotte Booth
  • Artwork Details: 76.2 x 63.5cm
  • Edition:
  • Material description: oil on board
  • Credit line: © the artist
  • Theme: Landscape
  • Medium: Painting
  • Accession number: AC 472

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The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

With more than 8,000 works by over 2,000 artists, it can be seen in exhibitions and public displays across the country and beyond. This website offers unprecedented access to the Collection, and information about each work can be found on this site.