Richard Harrison was born in 1954. He attained a BA in Medieval History from Trinity College, Cambridge, and a BA and an MA in Fine Art from Chelsea School of Art, London.
His first solo show in 1990 at The Berkeley Square Gallery in London was greeted with great acclaim by Brian Sewell, who declared in London’s Evening Standard newspaper that “Harrison’s pictures are wholly contemporary and could be of no other time than ours, and yet, I suspect, such old masters as Goya, Rembrandt and Delacroix might recognise him as in some sense their heir”.
Since then, many solo shows in London have followed, with other solo shows in the Czech Republic, China and the USA.
Harrison began as an abstract painter with an interest in texture and surface, often collaging burnt and charred offcuts of canvas onto the original canvas before applying the paint. He then moved on through landscape and the figure to biblical and mythical narratives that were common among the European painters from the High Renaissance to the High Olympus of Victorian art.
Temptation and the constant struggle between good and evil are themes that Harrison has returned to in recent figurative works, as is the other given in life, that one day death will be waiting around the corner.
In his book “Nothing Wasted : The Paintings of Richard Harrison”, published in 2010, Brian Sewell concluded with, “We should look at him not as a painter comfortably settled in middle age, but as a young painter with at least as much ahead of him as in his past, a young painter of undiminishing turbulent enquiry, but with all the advantages of practice, maturity, education and broad experience”.
Harrison’s paintings are included in the collections of Southampton City Gallery, Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, and The Priory Church of St. Bartholomew The Great in Smithfield, London. His works can also be found in private collections throughout the UK, Europe, Canada, USA, Australia, China, and the Middle East.
Richard Harrison: A Darkness I Keep To Myself 1st - 31st July 2020, Felix & Spear, London