Deal Beach (1949) was one of the first of Derrick Greaves's works to be formally exhibited during his first significant exposure to the public. This work was exhibited in the Young Contemporaries exhibition at the R.B.A. Galleries, London in 1950. From group exhibitions, such as these, Greaves received his first individual attention from the press.
This atmospheric work is representative of Greaves's early more naturalistic style, but still makes use of the abstract and representational forms which he would develop in his later work.
Deal Beach has a long maritime, political and social history. Being located between Dover and Ramsgate Deal was once one of the busiest ports in England, but is now a quiet seaside resort. The atmospheric dispersal of paint, with its soft handling, creates an effect of the potentially tempestuous nature of the coast, whilst the boats, houses and deckchairs humanise this naturalist scene.
James Hyman, Derrick Greaves:From Kitchen Sink to Shangri-La, Lund Humphries, London 2007, p.20 (illustrated)