Published  25/09/2003

Patrick Procktor: Gone Away

Patrick is no longer with us. He is irreplaceably gone. A great and noble figure, yet deliberately, unavoidably human. Whether in his beautiful lithographs of the Ganges, or his grand paintings of an unfamiliar, wintry Venice, his works were supremely life-enhancing. ‘Towers of Silence over there, Michael’ looked across the Ganges to great ruins. He and this writer shared aspects of silence, he from a great height. Often his work contained the unanswerable question: why? These were subtle, enigmatic works, built on human vulnerability and yet, like their author, curiously robust when challenged. This was Patrick's inner life, often that of a child, all in wonderment. There cannot for decades have been as obstreperous a Royal Academician as Patrick, breaking (so to speak) the toys of more sedate members, not just attention seeking but pulling the big boys down a peg or two.

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