The art of Maurice Wade, 1917–1991


Canal at Longport (1970s).

Maurice Wade‘s paintings of factories and back streets in Staffordshire are perfect examples of what the I Ching would call “accumulation through restraint”, using a flat rendering and a limited palette to achieve effects that a more detailed examination would fail to capture. Many of Algernon Cecil Newton‘s paintings possess the same stillness, and also depict the parts of urban Britain that are usually shunned as artistic subjects—in the case of canals, the literal backwaters—but Wade’s paintings are even more depopulated, silent and still. Henry Birks discusses Wade’s life and work here, noting that the artist painted over 300 landscapes. He’s evidently overdue for greater recognition.


Canal at Middleport (1976).


Canal at Longport III (1970s).


Kitchen Chimneys (1964).

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