Updated: Nov 16, 2020
To my eye, the paintings of Dick French split into two categories, and it’s a real love hate thing.
Most of his paintings, especially the more recent ones, seem to come at me with a fiery rage. They are bright, messy, chaotic, and full of people. The portrayal of movement and colour is overtaken by an ugly, overwhelming noise. Not that they aren’t beautifully crafted, they just make my head hurt.
Onto the other handful from his collection and it’s a different story altogether. His odd quiet paintings are more simple but his use of light and slightly more subtle colour gives them an almost otherworldly, science-fiction feel to them.
Oddly, out of the three I’ve shown here my favourite is the Tokyo image, which is crawling with people. That said, they are more distant and incidental than in his more colourful works. The lighting and reflections really make this all about the horizon and city skyline.