Dick Lee was born in Rhodesia, served in the navy in the last war and then studied at Camberwell School of Art, where he was awarded a major scholarship. He taught at Camberwell from 1953-1982 and was among its more influential teachers when it was still a serious school of painting. It was also a time when the Euston Road group, under the leadership of Coldstream, was highly influential. Dick was successful in avoiding some of the school’s more questionable practices and developed into a very fine and much admired landscape painter, one of the most sensitive of his generation. His work has been exhibited widely in the UK, in France and in Spain.
The work in this exhibition is mainly of the unchanged beauty of the landscapes of East Anglia and Normandy. They convey the essence rather than the direct appearance of the places he loved. There are also a small number of interiors and still lives. The landscapes were all painted on the spot. The work follows the tradition of English landscape painting. Dick’s approach to the smaller works is fresh and direct and confidently ambitious in the larger ones. He has the ability to record a particular moment of light with a handling which is deceptively casual, with brush strokes which are loose and free. The works are enriched by their own life and spirit. They are images of beauty.
Dick was widely recognized by fellow artists as great a landscape painter. Among comments were: ‘Dick Lee has a great awareness of light…he strikes the right note in colour’ Anthony Eyton, ‘His perfect eye for tone makes his work both unique and important’ Francis Hoyland, ‘..an ordered tonality that is unparalleled in contemporary painting’ Sargy Mann.