Liss Llewellyn Fine Art - 20th Century British Art

Peter Brook (1927-2009)   BIOGRAPHY

Clayton Street with a lady peeping, circa 1970
Framed (ref: 29)
Signed and titled

Oil on canvas, 20 x 24 in. (50.8 x 61 cm.)


Provenance: from the artist's own collection

Clayton Square, Brighouse, was one of Peter Brook's favourite subjects. Brook recalls that people used to peep through the curtains thinking he was perhaps from the council making notes for a demolition order. He first painted it in the 1960s, and although it is long since demolished, he today still 'returns' to it as a setting for his paintings. This painting combines many of Brook's favourite motifs: washing on a line, the dark honey-coloured stone of Brighouse, a figure peeping, and a narrative title painted into the composition. Brook's painting technique - which he describes as 'anti academic, something that Degas discovered' - is full of innovation and texture. At times he even used wire brushes - normally for cleaning spark plugs - to capture different light effects.

Peter Brook (1927-2009)

Painter, born in Holmfirth, Yorkshire. After Barnsley Grammar School he attended Huddersfield School of Art and Goldsmiths College of Art. He was one of Jack Beddington's chosen Young Artists of Promise, in the 1957 book of that title. Initially Brook painted industrial scenes, then from the 1960s Pennine rural landscapes, especially winter scenes, and from 1980 Scottish and Lancashire landscapes. Between 1979 and 1983 he completed 52 paintings of Hannah Hauxwell. He was elected RBA in 1962. In 1960 he had a solo show at Wakefield City Art Gallery; from 1968-72 he was contracted to Agnews, with seven solo shows, two in Palm Springs, California, and two in Adelaide, Australia. In 1990 a retrospective of his work was held at Brighouse Art Galleries. Many notable celebrities own Brook's pictures, including James Mason, Tommy Steele, Alan Ladd, and Keith Barron.

Throughout his life, Peter Brook has remained stylistically consistent. Whilst a comparison is sometimes made with Lowry and to an extent with his friend Carel Weight, the technique he has developed and his personal involvement with landscape are entirely his own.

See all works by Peter Brook