Update — The Art of Stuart Sutcliffe — The REAL 5th Beatle
Real Beatle fans know that, before they became a worldwide phenom, that the Beatles had a different drummer by the name of Pete Best. They also had a bass player by the name of Stuart Sutcliffe.
Unlike Best, Sutcliffe wasn't given his walking papers, he chose to leave the Beatles to live in Hamburg, Germany with his girlfriend, Astrid Kirchherr, and to pursue his dream to become an artist. Sadly, Stuart Sutcliffe's days were numbered and he died of a brain hemorrhage at the age of 21.
Prior to picking up on this story, I had never seen any of Sutcliffe's work, but I am a huge art fan. I have to tell you that I was truly impressed when I saw Sutcliffe's work. Keep in mind that this is the work of a 21 year old who was (to a degree) still searching for his voice and style. One can only imagine what his creations and contributions would have been.
A new interest in the former Beatles artwork has arisen and his works will go on display starting this Sunday in New York. Twenty-one of Sutcliffe’s paintings and paper-based works will be displayed at an art showcase from Harper’s Books titled Sutcliffe: Yea Yea Yea in East Hampton, NY from this Sunday through October 14. According to the Harper’s website, the selected art will emphasize “the collaged geometricism of his works on paper and the dense gestural abstraction of his paintings.”
Many thanks to Mr. Harper Levine for giving me permission to use a couple of Stuart's paintings on this website. It was a very kind gesture on his part and, certainly not something he had to do.
Here is a sample of Stuart Sutcliffe's earlier work:
Above is Untitled Figures in a Park the work is circa 1955
An example of one of Sutcliffe's last works is this painting, 'Hamburg Series #3' Circa 1961/62
If you would like to see more of the art of Stuart Sutcliffe's work, here is a link to Harper Levine's site: Harper's Books. If you plan to be in the area of East Hampton, New York anytime between now and October, plan a trip to see this great store and, of course, the work of Stuart Sutcliffe.
Also, many thanks to Pauline Sutcliffe in her assistance in this post. Stuart Sutcliffe Art