Jerwood Foundation

Euan Uglow (1932-2000)

The Blue Towel, 1982

  • Details

    (c)The Estate of The Artist. All Rights Reserved 2013/Bridgeman Art Library

    signed, inscribed and dated ‘Euan Uglow / 1982-83 / The Blue Towel’ (on a label on the reverse)

  • Medium

    oil on canvas

  • Dimensions

    9 ¾ x 9 ½ in. (25 x 24 cm.)

  • Provenance

    with Browse & Darby Ltd, London.
    Sir Simon Hornby.
    W.H. Smith Group Collection; Phillips, London, 17 November 1998, lot 67, where purchased.

  • Exhibited

    London, Browse & Darby, Euan Uglow: paintings & drawings, May - June 1983, no. 23.
    London, Whitechapel Art Gallery, Euan Uglow, July - September 1989 (not numbered), lent by the W H Smith Group Collection.
    London, Christie’s King Street, The New Patrons, January 1992, no. 140.
    Mexico City, British Council, Museo de Arte Moderno, La Mirada Fuerte, Pintura Figurativa de Londres, April - July 2000, no. 71.
    Kendal, Abbott Hall Art Gallery, Euan Uglow, July - October 2003, no. 27.
    Compton Verney, Art Gallery, The Artist’s Studio, September - December 2009, not numbered in catalogue; this exhibition toured to University of East Anglia, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, February - May 2010.

  • Literature

    Exhibition catalogue, Euan Uglow: paintings & drawings, London, Browse & Darby, 1983, illustrated.
    L. Checketts, ‘Euan Uglow’, Modern Painters, summer, 1989, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 104-5.
    Exhibition catalogue, Euan Uglow, London, Whitechapel Art Gallery, 1989, illustrated.
    I. Johnstone, ‘Some British Figurative Art’, Antique Collector, September 1989, illustrated.
    Exhibition catalogue, The New Patrons, London, Christie’s King Street, 1992, p. 61, illustrated.
    Euan Uglow, London, Browse & Darby, 1998, illustrated.
    C. Lampert, Euan Uglow: The Complete Paintings, New Haven and London, 2007, p. 154, no. 319, illustrated.
    Exhibition catalogue, G. Waterford (ed.), The Artist’s Studio, Compton Verney, Art Gallery, 2009, p. 26.
    Collection Catalogue, Jerwood Collection, London 2012 p.35. Illustrated p.24.

The Blue Towel depicts the artist, Liz Barratt whom Uglow made numerous drawings of in his studio in the summer and autumn of 1982. The three different poses depicted relate to her habit of collecting a towel, having a shower, and leaving, when she stayed at Turnchapel Mews, where Uglow lived and worked. This sequence has been compared to ‘Raphael’s drawing of a man picking up, and throwing a stone’.

Euan Uglow was shortlisted for the first Jerwood Painting Prize in 1994

Born in London, Uglow attended Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts (1948-50) and the Slade School (1951-54), both under the tutelage of William Coldstream. In 1951 Uglow’s work was exhibited with the London Group and he was elected a member in 1960. During the early 1950s, with the aid of a scholarship, he spent some time travelling in Europe and in 1954 he registered as a conscientious objector. He moved to a studio in Battersea, London, in 1959, where he continued to work.

Uglow's first solo show was held at Beaux Arts Gallery, London (1961) and a major solo exhibition took place at Abbot Hall Art Gallery (2003). Important group shows include: British Painting 1953-1977 (Royal Academy, London, 1977); The British Art Show (Mappin Art Gallery and tour, 1980); and Bacon to Now: The Outsider in British Figuration (Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, 1991-92). Uglow took up part-time teaching posts at the Slade and Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts in 1961 and was a trustee of the National Gallery (1990-1995). He won the John Moores Painting Prize in 1972 and was shortlisted for the first Jerwood Painting Prize in 1994.