Moon and Sleeping Girl

DERRICK GREAVES (born 1927) Biography

Moon and Sleeping Girl (United Kingdom, 1972)

Acrylic on canvas
Signed, dated and inscribed with title


156.00cm high
143.30cm wide
(61.42 inches high)
(56.42 inches wide)
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Description / Expertise

Born 1927 in Sheffield, England, Derrick Greaves is a highly regarded twentieth century British painter and printmaker. He studied at the Royal College of Art from 1948 and was awarded the Abbey Major Scholarship in 1952 to complete his education in Italy. Greaves work gained critical acclaim in the 1950s as a member of the Beaux Arts Quartet, the so-called Kitchen Sink realist painters. His first one-man exhibition took place in 1953 at the Beaux Arts Gallery, London. He was awarded the Gold Medal for Painting at the Moscow Youth Festival in 1953 and he was chosen to represent Britain in the Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition in 1956. Greaves taught painting at the St Martin's School of Art from 1955 and at the Royal Academy Schools during the 1960s.

As still life motifs had been prominent in the artist’s work in the early 1960s; so the figure became his primary theme in the second half of the decade. His work moved away from realism to a figurative style verging on abstraction. As in Moon and Sleeping Girl, Greaves often employs a sharp pale line to divide two darker elements in the composition, giving an impression of a photographic negative. Precise, elegant, classical, a master of line and colour, have all been phrases employed by various critics to his work. Greaves’s Pop-Classical paintings were showcased in his one-man show at the Whitechapel Art Gallery exhibition of 1973.

Derrick Greaves’s work is represented at the Tate Gallery, the British Museum, the Castle Museum in Norwich and Art Galleries at Leeds, Reading, Southampton, Dublin, as well as Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, Johannesburg and Adelaide.