Arts: Review: Central Themes of Human Existence Addressed; EXHIBITION: Four Decades of the Work of One of the Greatest Visual Artists Wales Has Ever Produced

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Byline: Karen Price

Ceri Richards - Themes and Variations: A select retrospective National Museum, Cardiff

AS almost 20 years have passed since the last large-scale exhibition of Ceri Richards's work, it is understandable that this select retrospective has been widely anticipated.

Richards is one of the greatest visual artists Wales has ever produced, and his work addresses many of the central themes of human existence.

The gallery is divided into five sections that cover different themes and eras so that visitors can get a true feeling of how his work developed over the years.

The prelude contains relief con-structions and paintings from 1934 to 1939, when the artist responded strongly to European modernism and, in particular, surrealism, and most of his works were in dark tones.

The second section covers a broad period of Richards's work (1943 to 1969) but features those paintings that were inspired by the poetry of Dylan Thomas and the cycle of nature. Most of these large paintings are bursting with colour. …