Derrick Greaves, Painter in the 1950s “Kitchen Sink” Style Who Later Developed a Brighter Palette and Adopted Pop Art – obituary
Alongside John Bratby, Edward Middleditch and Jack Smith, Greaves represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 1956. It was, however, the critic John Berger’s inclusion of his paintings in the group exhibition “Looking Forward at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1952 which cemented his reputation.
Greaves, along with the other featured artists, provided “raw material for a socialist art,” Berger wrote. He hopes “the new patrons will be trade unions, local democratic councils, community centers etc.”
Greaves was ambivalent towards the “kitchen sink” label. “Bratby wanted us to be known as a band,” he recalled. “But the rest of us felt the job was about being an individual. Be responsible for your own thing. Everything happened in parallel with what I was doing.
A residency in Rome illuminated his palette as he moved away from the murky grays and browns of his earlier work, embracing the bucolic light of Italy, and in the 1960s he turned to Pop Art. , a style he explored over the next six decades. Cooking and everyday life remained a focus, however, his subjects including utensils, vases, fruit, flowers, trees, dogs and goldfish – although now rendered in a flat, colorful graphic style.