Eric Malthouse (1914-1997)

Sorting Fish
  • signed with initials; also signed, titled and dated 16.II.58 on the reverse
  • oil on canvas
  • 63.5 by 76 cm.; 25 by 30 in.
  • £2,500 plus 4% ARR
Eric Malthouse (1914-1997)

A British artist and print maker who spent most of his career in South Wales.

Malthouse was born in Erdington, Birmingham in 1914. He studied at Birmingham College of Arts & Crafts (now Birmingham School of Art). He was Art Master (1938–39) at Salt's High Schools (now Titus Salt School) at Saltaire, Shipley, Yorkshire. Then he spent two years (1940–42) in the Royal Armoured Corps. In 1943 he was reappointed Art Master at Salt's High schools, Shipley. Then in 1944 he was appointed lecturer and later senior Lecturer at Cardiff School of Art (1944–73).

He was a founder member of the "South Wales Group (Now known as "The Welsh Group")" (1949) and with David Tinker and Michael Edmonds he founded the "56 Group Wales" in 1956.

Much of his early work was Figurative and his connection with Cornwall dates from the outbreak of the second world war in 1939 when he was holidaying at Mullion in Cornwall. From 1952 to 1958 he produced his pigeon paintings transforming their movement to his canvas with pictures such as A Flight of Pigeons, A Flurry of Pigeons and Flying Pigeons.[3] When he was back in Cornwall in 1955 he began, after a series of 'St. Ives Fishermen', paintings, the St. Ives 'Rock Pools' which were the foundation of his work as a non-figurative painter and showed the influence of Ceri Richards and Patrick Heron. By now his work was concerned with a close analysis of colour and spatial composition and by 1959 his paintings had become completely non-figurative.

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