The Embrace, 1995

The concept of ‘the erotic’ in art is sometimes hard to delineate; Richard Wallace’s paintings are almost never explicitly sexual, but they are undoubtedly erotic, in the way that what is hidden or nearly hidden can be more sensually stimulating that that which is in full view.

His figures are in the semi-realist English style of Stanley Spencer, Christopher Wood and Henry Lamb, with intertwined bodies in lush landscapes, and large canvases featuring a cast of characters involved in a series of fantasy tasks.

As he has written of his inspiration, ‘Paint is my mother tongue. l am fluent in tone and shade, and l paint that which l love, etching and chivvying life into my canvases. l delight in the beautiful creatures who walk our ordinary streets – they are the bedfellows of my dreams.’