R gallery by Eric Lecoutre

By Eric Lecoutre

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My sister Margaret has lived here for the last thirty years. Even before my mother moved here when she was ninety, she and I would always come from Bradford and spend Christmas with Margaret here. As an unmarried son, I always came for the festivity. I couldn’t give an excuse. Painting Woldgate Woods, 4, 5 & 6 December 2006 Painting in situ, East Yorkshire, May 2007 Garrowby Hill, 1998 The Road to York through Sledmere, 1997 MG So why did you begin to paint Yorkshire landscapes in the late 1990s, pictures such as The Road across the Wolds and The Road to York through Sledmere [both 1997]?

DH I went into the theatre to liven myself up – and then in 1975 I did a painting based on a print by William Hogarth, which I called Kerby (After Hogarth) Useful Knowledge. That was the first picture I did using reverse perspective. The point about reverse perspective is that it’s more about you. It means that you move, because you can see both sides of the object. The Hogarth print – which I discovered when I was researching before doing the design of The Rake’s Progress at Glyndebourne – was a sort of satire on what could go wrong if you didn’t know the rules of perspective.

But at first I didn’t know what to do, so just for something to draw I spent about three weeks making two or three very careful drawings of a skeleton. The predicament that faced Hockney as an art student in the late 1950s and early 1960s was a perennial one: what to do and how to do it? This was the highpoint of the fashion for American abstract artists, in particular Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, also known as the New York School or the Abstract Expressionists. This style was then seen as the next big thing in art, the path of the future.

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