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Euan Uglow (1932-2000)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Euan Uglow (1932-2000)

Love Fruit

Euan Uglow (1932-2000)
Love Fruit
oil on canvas laid on cigar-box panel
5 ¼ x 7 1/8in. (13.3 x 18.1cm.)
Painted in 1999
Lindsay Adlam (a gift from the artist).
Browse & Darby, London.
Acquired from the above by Jeremy Lancaster, 25 January 2005.
C. Lampert, Euan Uglow: The Complete Paintings, London 2007, no. 393 (illustrated in colour, p. 194).
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

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Lot Essay

‘I’m painting an idea not an ideal. Basically I’m trying to paint a structured painting full of controlled, and therefore potent, emotion. I won’t let chance be there unless it’s challenged. I don’t make a brush mark and think, “oh that looks nice”. I’m not interested in that. Painting’s too serious to take flippantly. I think one should behave morally with paint, though that doesn’t stop one taking risks.’
-Euan Uglow

The still-life is an essential part of Euan Uglow’s oeuvre, serving as the perfect vehicle for his career-long exploration into the nature of pictorial representation. Painted in 1999, Love Fruit encapsulates the intense scrutiny Uglow fixed upon his subjects, as he sought to meticulously capture the structure and essence of an object or figure in painterly form. Pictured on a small, intimate scale, the solitary tomato – named love fruit in the past due to their red heart shaped forms and supposedly aphrodisiac qualities – is accompanied in the foreground by carefully placed pastel sticks, near abstract stage props which, along with the blue and plaster pink background that appears frequently in his still-lifes, resolutely reinforce the staged artificiality of this scene.

As with so many of Uglow’s works, he has left visible the structural, geometric lines of symmetry used to create the perfectly proportioned and centred composition. Yet in the midst of this carefully constructed image, Uglow appears to succumb to the sensual power of colour; luxuriating in the depiction of shiny scarlet-toned skin of the tomato, its pigment glowing amidst the soft ochre of the tabletop. The close study and meticulous depiction of the tomato transforms it from a quotidian piece of fruit into an object akin to a precious stone. This jewel-like painting was gifted by the artist to Lindsay Adlam, one of his sitters, who had featured in his work around this time.

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