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Sold at Auction: Edwin Cripps



Edwin Cripps, is a self taught painter but with such unimaginable innate technical ability that it would make our Tracy weep. I would compare Cripps to the finest German painters of the early twentieth century - indeed I'd place him with the Neue Sachlichkeit movement of which Otto Dix and Gorge Grotz led. I could even say that the influences of an earlier period - Bosch. This new objectivity in Edwin's creations are purely imaginative - in true post-expressionism with a life of its own but without the romantic longings of the expressionists. But Cripps is an all British painter and it is where I believe, despite the Teutonic flavour above place Cripps in the same stable as Hogarth who, like Cripps, captures the everyday - look at Hogarth's major narrative pieces and you immediately see where Cripps is coming from. One of Cripps consummate skills as an artist is his ability - like Hogarth - to make you feel part of his world. Take his 'Bad Day At Blackpool' or his transvestite paintings 'Cross Dressing in Tancrass Street' or 'Aint no shame in being like a Dame'. You don't stand back and observe the spectacle from a safe distance as you would with, say, William Frith. You are swept along, jostled from each side, forced to dodge the contents of an emptied piss-pot, screaming yoofs, bizarre all-about-me characters, transvestites, cross dressing military men as precise in lingerie as in combats or to step over an inebriated harlot or a cock-sure yob we also see corrupt clergy, and all other madness that Cripps sees as this world we live in. Not all the paintings here are narrative pieces - we have also Cripps take of the belief that doghead humans walked the periphery of the flat planet in the painting 'the crux of the biscuit' Edwin shows us from 14th century maps that Marco Polo actually went to China to find these dogheads only to disappointed by the expectant Chinese who asked him if he had bought one with him Edwin says of his 'Steadwood series' - which depict the myriad inhabitants of a phantom metropolis - ' all being ghostly manifestations of former village idiots and urbane imbeciles'.., having created their own demented society, these inhabitants somehow mirror the rigours of life suffered by the ordinary man' or, to quote Frank Zappa 'absurdity is the only reality' I've tried desperately, but hopelessly, to capture by photograph the paintings in this exhibition in order for you the viewer to see the fine detail and believe me it is not possible to translate the whole effect - some are just details of the paintings. I urge you to view this exhibition and see for yourselves the wonderfully brilliant and absorbing work of Edwin Cripps.
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