Work by renowned British painter, designer and war artist to go on show

3 August 2012

An exhibition of celebrated 20th century British artist and designer Eric Ravilious will open to the public tomorrow [Saturday 04 August] at Aberdeen Art Gallery, Schoolhill.

On show alongside his distinctive watercolour "Train Landscape" are WWII watercolours and lithographs, a series of wood engravings and pieces from a Wedgewood dinner service, designed by Ravilious in 1937.

Ravilious [born London in 1903] attended the Design School of the Royal College of Art. Intricacy, texture and strong tonal variations were characteristic of his engraving work and the prints on display span his career, many of which were created for book illustration.

From 1937, Ravilious was increasingly preoccupied with painting Sussex and other southern landscapes in watercolour and his last book of wood engravings illustrations was in 1938.

In his career, commercial graphic design, illustration and private press work took up much of his time and he had a profound influence upon modern graphic design in the mid 20th century.

During the World War II, Ravilious was appointed as an official War Artist to the Admiralty and his life ended tragically when a plane bringing him back from an official mission was lost off the coast of Iceland in 1942.

Olga Ferguson, curator of the display, said: "The work of Eric Ravilious is very current right now, as there has been increasing interest in mid 20th century art and design. This display demonstrates Ravilious as a multi-faceted artist-designer. His life was cut tragically short in 1942 during his service as a war artist and had he lived longer I feel sure we would have seen more work from him as a furniture designer, a textile designer and an industrial designer.

"This exhibition is a marvellous opportunity to view woodcuts made in the 1920s and 1930s, which are not normally on display to the public and to view his late watercolours and a dinner service that he designed for Wedgwood."

Olga Ferguson will give a free lunchtime talk about the exhibition at 12.30pm on Wednesday 08 August at Aberdeen Art Gallery. Booking is not required.

The exhibition is on show until Saturday 24 November 2012.