1. Gallery News BLOG - September 2010 to June 2014
INSIGHT - VISIT TO THE ROYAL ACADEMY SUMMER EXHIBITION 2014
My first opportunity to visit the RA Summer Exhibition in London. Interesting to see the differences between a Scottish Show and it's equivalent in London. From 12,000 submissions, a thousand paintings and sculptures are selected, together with collages, shaped canvasses, photographs and painted objects. It is designed to be a cross representation of contemporary Southern British/English art (there is a limited Scottish showing). It is notable that the art work is markedly more modern and the mix is far less representational than contemporary Scottish art, probably reflecting the fact that the English Art School system gripped conceptual art at a much earlier point.
A fascinating display of modern contemporary art and well worth a visit. Figuratively speaking, the art appreciation will require an open mind as well as the usual pair of eyes !
GEORGE DEVLIN RSW RGI RBA ROI RWS FRSA (1937-2014)
We were deeply saddened to hear of the death of one of our artists George Devlin RSW RGI RBA ROI RWS FRSA. George was born in 1937 and studied at (GSA) the Glasgow School of Art from 1955-1960. George also lectured at GSA between 1962 and 1966. He has enjoyed a spectacular career, rising to become one of Scotland's most senior artists, having been appointed RSW (1964), RGI (1989), FRSA (1999), RBA (2004), ROI (2004) and RWS (2010).
George kindly supported the Lemond Gallery from day one of it's opening in 2000. He will be sadly missed by all as he was easily one of the most energetic, interesting, knowledgeable, opinionated and humorous characters in the art business. His endless series of anecdotes would keep his many audiences amused for hours. George was a modern painting Master, whose range of artistic skills is unlikely to be seen again - he is one of the last of a generation of great, traditionally trained Scottish painters.
Our thoughts go out to his lovely wife Marie and daughter Nuala who will no doubt miss this big character at the centre of their life.
FIRE DESTROYS PART OF THE GSA
It is rather ironic that as the new Reid Building opens in May 2014, the art community and the public were rocked by the news that one of the world's most iconic and famous buildings, the Glasgow School of Art, which was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and opened in 1899, was partly destroyed by a fire that broke out in the basement. In particular, the loss of the library room and some of the archive books and materials was devastating.
The prompt and skilled actions of the Glasgow Fire Brigade service undoubtedly saved the structure of the building, half of the work areas and most, if not all of the historically important contents.
We wish the building a speedy and successful recovery !
INSIGHT - EVENING RECEPTION AT THE NEW GSA REID BUILDING
We were invited to a reception to showcase the opening of the New £30M Reid Building at the Glasgow School of Art. Congratulations to the Board of GSA for a wonderful success. To build a new building facing one of the most famous buildings in the world is not an easy task.
As you approach the building, the modern architecture is very imposing, particularly with the steel facade, the colour of the building and the scale of the glass work. You are reminded that you are entering an art school as you pass through the entrance door, which has an impressive Martin Boyce (Turner Prize Winner 2011) steel and glass artwork overhead. Inside you are treated to five storeys of building with three 6m wide vertical light cylinders that pass from the ground floor up through the five storeys. These light chambers compliment the exterior windows to carry a sense of light throughout the building. The interior space has a very industrial/concrete feel with open cut-outs that allow you to view into studios and across public areas. These openess is very visual but must cause significant acoustic issues when loaded with the activity of a large cross-section of students.
A wonderful building project and clearly a very successful completion - well done. Perhaps worth a visit to the forthcoming annual Degree Show and a wander round the new building !
GOMA VISIT INSIGHT
A bit of time and a short, long-overdue return visit to the Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow (GoMA). I was very surprised to pass through the exhibition floors and find very little evidence of Glasgow Modern Art. The Ground Floor was devoted to Aleksandra Domanovic, a German based artist. On rising to the Second Floor, the floor was devoted to an Atelier Public, where members of the public (all ages) could produce their own artwork and attach it to the wall. Then onto the Third Floor and a few less than memorable pieces of paper parading as modern art with no context or explanation. I was rather shocked that this was how Glasgow Museums chose to present our Modern Art to the public.
A parallel might be to go to the Van Gogh museum, expecting to see his work but finding that there was little evidence of any Van Gogh's there.
This is a poor and rather shocking representation of Glasgow Modern Art. I think visitors (members of the public and in particular, foreign ones) would be very confused and disappointed by this approach. Glasgow has a very rich artistic heritage that we should be proud of and, I would suggest that two of the floors should be set aside for a permanent display of the chronology of the development of Glasgow Modern Art, to allow members of the public to both read/view/follow and understand who the leading Glasgow modern artists are and the background to their development. Clearly such a display would bridge on-canvas, sculpture and more recent conceptual and installation developments, including our outperformance and success in regularly winning the Turner Prize.
This approach would be much more valuable to the public !
The Jack Vettriano Exhibition at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery.
Jack Vettriano's painting themes clearly resonate with the public as the show has proved very popular. He is an interesting character and his charisma is charming to many. Well done to the curator/s for both the exhibition and for the decision to include the short information films that give you a real insight into Vettriano's character, thoughts and approach. His self-deprication is particularly endearing - he is very self-critical of his own abilities and techniques.
When talking to artists about the show they point out certain weaknesses in the technique but universally applaud and respect his ability to make interesting compositions, his colour palette, lights contrasts and his remarkable tonal ability. I think the art establishment did Vettriano a big favour in choosing to shun him as, by doing so, they have not managed to institutionalise or dampen his spirit and imagination and this has given him the space to produce his own version of an artistic theme and originality, which has clearly touched the public and has proved the platform for his undoubted success.
The third and last element was a visit to the Frieze Art Fair, London 2013, which was housed in a vast tented village in Regent's Park. With 152 galleries from 30 countries and around 60000 people attending over four public days, it is recognised as one of the main events in the international art calendar. Frieze presents, what they would term contemporary art. This ouevre has represented one of the most significant growth markets within the recent art investment market. Much of it's franchise is built on shock art - with regular references to - 'that is ridiculous', 'my child could do that' or 'they are taking the mickey'. Nevertheless, this type of art has grown to become a very high end and legitimate, albeit rather risky investment currency. When visiting, it was clear from the scale of the visitors to the show, that the public are totally taken in and are fascinated by the phenomenon and spectacle and love to be shocked.
It is perhaps inevitable, given this lead, that we will see a progressive (even if small) presence and acceptance of this type of art within a culturally conservative Scotland, but only where the artistic source has gained artistic credibility and the aims or framework of the communication are clearly understood by the buyers/viewers.
The second element of my London visit was a (fairly regular) drop-in trip to Sotheby's in New Bond Street, Mayfair (their publications on Contemporary Art keep me in touch with what is happening in International markets). I recently read and now understand that Sotheby's (and Christie's) time their Day and Evening Auction (October) of Contemporary Art to coincide with the Frieze Art Fair, London (see blog above) because many of the 'time-poor', 'uber' rich international art collectors fly into London at this time to buy part of their annual art budget at one or all of these events.
Well, for the first time in multiple visits, all the halls of Sotheby's were open and I was able to wander around through the Day and Evening Auctions Lot displays in front of literally hundreds of millions of pounds worth of contemporary art, including Hirst's, Emin's, Warhol's, Lichtensteins's, Auerbach's, Basquiat's, Glenn Brown's, Doigs, Banksy's, Richter's, Xiadong's, Xiaogang's, Fanzhi's, Murakami's and Gursky's.
As I walked around alongside the potential buyers, two elements of human characterisation hit me - the almost overwhelming smell of beautiful perfumes and scents and the immaculate fashion-show standards of personal grooming.
Very entertaining and nice to experience the so-called first division (certainly in value terms) of International Contemporary paintings and to get a sense of the people who buy them !
A one-day trip to London, with the first element being a visit to the LS Lowry (1887-1976) Exhibition at Tate Britain. Having read the book (see below), it was fascinating to see his paintings in the flesh. Where many artists focused on the countryside, Lowry, whose daytime job was a rent collector, chose instead to record industrial landscapes and the everyday passage of people. For me, when I managed to get close up to his paintings, I got an overwhelming and very real sense of his social observations about people. He records an age when people were outside, walking about, talking and engaging with each other. In particular, in his large crowd scenes he illuminates the sense of community that would have existed through the wide display of multiple groups of people out in the fresh air talking to each other, children playing, couples courting and dogs being walked. In others, he starkly exposes some of the human and social fallout such as house eviction or disease or indeed death. His works are about people and represent an outstanding social record of the period. If you reflect and contrast the present, you are more likely to see empty streets and streets that are filled with the new transport systems - cars as opposed to feet - and people who are inside, whether watching television or using social media or computer games.
Perhaps unwittingly, he recorded a period, which we can now reflect on nostalgically and this may explain his critical importance and exceptional popularity.
PASSING OF JOHN BELLANY CBE RA FRSA (1942 - 2013)
It has been a difficult period for Scottish art !
We were very saddened by the passing of another of our gallery artists John Bellany CBE RA FRSA. He has been hailed as one the leading post-war Scottish artsits. Bellany was born and raised in the village of Port Seton in East Lothian. He studied at (ECA) the Edinburgh College of Art and thereafter at the Royal College of Art in London. Bellany has experienced significant turmoil in his family life and with his health - he had a liver transplant in 1988 and a double heart attack in 2005, together with periods battling agianst drinking excessive alcohol and bouts of depression. From an early stage Bellany was always rebellious and rejected the mainstream focus of the art establishment on modernism. Instead, he used his own experiences to inform his approach and based his work on a study of the human condition and in particular human frailty, fear, anxiety and vulnerability. In doing so he created a powerful and forceful oeuvre that separates him from his contemporaries and marks him out as one of the most significant Scottish artists of our generation.
PASSING OF JOHN NELSON (1933 - 2013)
We were again very saddened to learn of the passing of another of our gallery artists - John Nelson. John studied at Edinburgh Art College from 1962 - 1967 and went on to become an art lecturer at Stevenson College, Edinburgh from 1971-1996, when he retired. John produced stunning colourful abstracts and more recently powerful landscapes and seascapes. When you were in his company he had a wicked sense of humour and would love to laugh - his great skill was that he could take nothing seriously.
Typical of John, was the fact that, knowing that he was within days of the end of his life, he had a send-off 80th Birthday party for all of his family and friends that included his favourite jazz band. George Devlin made a very moving speech and we got to talk and share stories with some of John's old ECA pals including fellow artists Gregor Smith and Ronnie Forbes. We also got to say goodbye to John.
Our sympathies lie with Ginni and John's family. He too has left the lasting legacy of a wonderful ouevre of Nelson paintings.
Alberto Morrocco 1917-1998 by Victoria Keller and Clara Young. 118 pages. Alberto is part of the famous Morrocco painting dynasty including his son Leon and nephew Jack Morrocco. Alberto was a child prodigy, who left school at 14 and trained at Gray's School of Art, Aberdeen from 1932-1938 under two GSA graduates Robert Sivell and James Cowie. He went on to become Head of Painting at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee (1950-1982) where he was to prove a significant influence over the growing success of the art school. Morrocco painted imaginativley rather than following formal study. He became a colourist who argued that either form or colour should dominate a painting and, as his style developed he focused on colour and tonality and the formality of his subjects loosened considerably - his figures had oversized hands and feet. Alberto's golden period was undoubtedly in the 80's and 90's when would would see his best works. In this period he created an array of exquisite and masterful imaginative landscapes with characters (peasants/melon sellers) from his beloved Italy and he produced some breathtaking tonal still life studies.
The Morrocco's - what an incredibly talented artistic family !
Norman Rockwell by Sherry Marker (112 pages). Rockwell (1894-1978) was the foremost illustrator of twentieth century America. He produced over 4000 illustrations in his lifetime including illustrations for the Saturday Evening Post (1916-1963) and the books Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. He portrayed ordinary people in everyday situations, whether it was the exhilarations and embarassments of a child, the awkwardness and bliss of courtship or the exasperations and affectations of family life. His particular genius lay in his ability to make people identify with the characters and situations he depicted. He claimed that he allowed Americans see what they had failed to notice. In 2006, Sotheby's sold the painting 'Breaking Home Ties' for $15.4 million - an indication of the both the growing critical acceptance of illustration as a technique and the importance of Norman Rockwell's art.
An interesting read and a some truly memorable and enjoyable visual illustrations !
Norman Rockwell Museum - Stockbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Visit to the University of Glasgow Hunterian Museum. The Hunterian is the legacy of Dr William Hunter (1718-1783) who was a physician (obstetrician) to Queen Charlotte (1744-1818) wife of George III. He bequeathed his vast art collection to the University in 1783, along with the money to create a suitable museum. The museum opened its doors in 1807, making it Scotland's oldest public museum. The Hunterian incorporates the 'Macintosh House' which is a reconstruction of the main apartments in the Charles Rennie Macintosh's house (78 Southpark Avenue) where he lived from 1906 to 1914 and include a reassembly of original furniture, fittings together with an accurate representation of all of the decorative detail. We then entered the main gallery, where we were treated to a wonderful collection of Scottish artists including the portraitists Raeburn and Ramsay, the Glasgow Boys, the Scottish colourists, Robert McGregor, Joan Eardley and contemporaries like Duncan Shanks. The gallery also has the largest public collection of the US (London-based) artist James McNeill Whistler.
A fascinating experience and all this is right on our doorstep and entrance is FREE !
Gary Bunt - The Long Way Round. Gary Bunt (b 1957) draws his inspiration from his experiences and immediate surroundings - all within a few miles of his doorstep and his studio 'The Shed' at the village of Golden Green (a working class community) in Kent. It was only in 2004, when he was 47 that Gary turned to his stylistic 'naive' style having previously painted more conventionally in the New English Art Club style (see Ken Howard RA blog below). Bunt has survived two periods of cancer diagnosis and has a keen awareness of his own mortality which has infused him with an urgency to paint. Bunt also uses short direct poetic verses with each painting to communicate in an often humorous way with an unexpected point - (top right image - 'Bert was looking for some very big nails, For a shelf he had to fix, He made it for Ivy last weekend, And on Monday it fell to bits').
Bunt is a good example of an artist who has made a brave and instinctive adjustment to his style that immediately resonated with art buyers - this is evidenced by his enormous popularity and the fact that Bunt exhibitions are now all sell-out sales.
Probably should have mentioned that 'The Lemond Gallery' went live on Facebook in March 2013. Starting to get to a reasonable level of 'Like' followers, so thought it was now worth a mention.
We use it as our main social media communication channel with the purpose of extending audience reach and to advise of new shows, new artists and to keep gallery followers informed of any relevant art updates or interesting activity.
Please feel free to LIKE us and follow us on Facebook !
PASSING OF ALAN KING DA PAI (1946 - 2013)
The gallery were greatly saddened to hear the news of the passing of Alan King DA PAI.
This represents a great loss to the Scottish artistic community.
Alan trained at GSA and in all of our exchanges with him, we found him to be a charming and modest man. With a passion for Venice and Venetian mask themes, he was heavily influenced by the Italian Renaissance art period. Alan developed an individuality of style that was instantly identifiable as his.
He was also a great admirer of the work of Gustav Klimt and encouraged us to visit the Ca' Pesaro in Venice (for what he termed a rare opportunity) to see one of his greatest works (Judith, 1910).
Alan will be sadly missed by us all. Our sympathies lie with all of his family.
In passing, he leaves us all with the wonderful legacy of his paintings.
A trip to the Crinan Hotel and an opportunity to meet the artist Frances Macdonald. It was a heatwave and on the drive up we stopped off at Tayvallich (Jolomo territory - he was on Mull) for a spot of lunch (looking out over the bay - Loch Bhealaich) and then sat on the beach at Carsaig and read the days news.
Following that, a short drive into Crinan and the stunning setting of the Crinan Hotel at the mouth of the Crinan Canal, the nine-mile water gateway between Ardrishaig (the Clyde, Loch Fyne) and Crinan (the Atlantic Ocean). This gave us the chance to see Frances's art and to meet both Frances and her husband Nick Ryan - both charming and witty characters. If you like Scottish art, the hotel is the ideal venue - warm and welcoming and filled with Scottish paintings and interesting art books and art catalogues.
We rose in the morning and then topped the whole experience off with a trip on the Puffer 'Vic 32 'round Loch Crinan towards Jura (managed to buy another book - this time on the history of Scottish Puffers).
A perfect short break - one day that felt like three !
James Watt RGI (b 1931) - 'The Clyde, an artist's river'. A 159 page book written, on behalf of Watt by Alf Young, the famous former Glasgow (Herald) journalist. An easy read, which offers a valuable insight into the important contribution James Watt (GSA 1950-54) has made to our society in making an artistic record of both the life and demise of the Port Glasgow and Greenock shipyards, docks and ropeworks. His depictions of the docks, coal ships, puffers, fishing boats, container ships, sugar boats and passenger ferries/liners (QE2), allow us to reflect on a glorious age for shipping on the Clyde.
His paintings tend to use the device of a darker palette that accentuates the rusting and ageing of our ships and ports. His images are extremely powerful and haunting - they make the viewer confront the de-industrialisation and social changes that our generation has witnessed.
A quite brilliant artistic record and important reminder of how quickly things can deteriorate or change !
LS Lowry. Laurence Stephen Lowry (1887-1976). A fascinating 320 page book - LS Lowry The Art and the Artist written in an academic form by TG Rosenthal. LS Lowry is described as an eccentric, solitary who was initially ridiculed by both the public and the art establishment for his naive or primitive painting style "there were no shadows". Lowry however defied his critics and despite his modest upbringing, died in 1976 with an estate valued at around £8 million (based on current values) - he had also declined a Knighthood.
Lowry rejected a conventional view of landscape and his originality derived from the fact that he saw the potential of painting the industrial buildings and mills rather than rural landscapes - an aspect that other artists missed. He saw beauty in ordinary people going about their everyday business and the buildings and industry of the Stockport and Salford areas (in Manchester).
If you are prepared to be patient, a fascinating study of the life and career of this remarkable and important English artist.
Visit to Robert Kelsey's studio to see the early progress towards our solo show in October 2013.
An organised studio.. and an organised mind.
We were able to see around 20 of the works that had been produced already with a representation of painting subjects across three main themes - the stunning west coast of Scotland, the Glasgow we know and the ever enchanting Venice.
Exciting to see into the studio and the progressive development of our Solo Show. Robert Kelsey DA MUniv PAI FRSA is probably our top Scottish Realist landscape artist, who now sells mainly in the London market. This represents a remarkable opportunity to see and study a significant body of his work (over 50 paintings) in Scotland at our gallery in Bearsden in early October 2013.
Sir Alfred Munnings RA (1878-1959). Munnings was an eccentric, and an independendent character with a prodigious output, who became particularly famous for his depiction of race horses, together with hunting and equestrian commissions. He was Knighted in 1944 and became President of the Royal Academy in the same year. He was a traditionalist and condemned the modern art of the period, what he termed the 20th century progress in painting (for example Picasso and Pollock). In 1949, in a widely reported speech as President, he dismissed modern art as 'foolish drolleries'. Notably, at the age of 20, he lost one eye (a wound from a briar). While he is widely acclaimed for his racehorses, many admire his earlier work from the age of 20 (1898) through to 1914 when he depicted rural scenes from East Anglia.
The book cleverly presents a chronology of his work and it is incredible to see the quality of his work even at the young age of 20. Perhaps he was right, the old arts of painting are being lost !
THE JOLOMO SCOTTISH LANDSCAPE AWARDS
Another amazing evening in Kelvingrove at the Jolomo Bank of Scotland Awards 2013 for Scottish landscape painting.
The winner (left to right) was Dawnne McGeachy who picked up a cheque for £25,000. The runner up was Ruth Nicol (£6,000) and third place was Amy Dennis (£4,000) - congratulations to all of the winners and indeed all of the shortlisted artists. The quality was very high this year, which bodes well for the health and future of Scottish landscape painting.
The attendees were again treated to the delightful voice of Karen Matheson (Capercaillie) and the pipes and drums of the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland. A popular evening with many of the artists and art establishment in Scotland present and a wonderful showcase for Scottish landscape painting.
THE JOLOMO LANDSCAPE AWARDS
Our chance to say thank you to some of our Group Show helper team (and their perservering partners) at this wonderful event and setting. The females were table seat labelled up as 'Life Models' and there was a queue of artists at the table wanting to sign them up... but there were no takers for the men !
A wonderful night and a big thank you to our helper team.
JOLOMO RETROSPECTIVE - A PASSION FOR COLOUR
Congratulations to John Lowrie Morrison OBE for his retrospective - a Passion for Colour. Clydebank Town Hall Museum and Art Gallery - June 18th to September 21st 2013.
Jolomo (born 1948) is our leading Scottish Expressionist landscape painter. His retrospective covers the period 1951 to date. We made our first purchase of a Jolomo in 1998 and this exhibition gave us a great opportunity to see into his art before this period with a display of the development of his work in the 60's, 70's and 80's before he emerged, on a full time basis, onto the Scottish artscene in 1997.
A fascinating show that traces a remarkable and very successful art career.
We were delighted to meet Lauren Bremner, an aspiring young artist who is about to join an art course to gain art qualifications. Lauren (18) is a thoroughly charming girl, who has had to rebuild her life following a near fatal accident at the age of 11, when she was knocked down by a car as she crossed the road.
She recently developed some TV notoriety when she took part in the (BBC) One Show Rickshaw Challenge for Children in Need. The team (she was the Scottish representative), led by celebrity Matt Baker cycled in phases from John O'Groats to Lands End raising the amazing sum of £1.2 million for the charity.
The gallery has presented Lauren with Miller Gift Vouchers to support her art development and allow Lauren to buy some additional canvases and painting materials. It will be interesting for the gallery to follow the development of her art career. She has a real passion for art and she has had to overcome some very challenging obstacles in her life. She deserves to do well - we wish her luck.
This year Muriel Barclay used dancers from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland as models for some of the new works for her solo show. Ryan Ferrie (pictured) is one of the final year students who is featured in several of the paintings. He visited the gallery with his family and fellow dancer Lyndsey Knox. They were able to tell us about the different dancers/models (Sarah Swire and Emily Byrt) who featured in the various compositions, which added an interesting new dimension to our undertsanding of the paintings. We wish them every success in the next stage of their careers.
AMSTERDAM TRIP INSIGHT - Rijk's Museum.
The Golden Age of Dutch Art.
What an experience - one of the critical stages in art development. Simply stunning - Rembrandt Van Rijn, Frans Hals, Jan Steen and Johannes Vermeer. Heaven ! Standing in front of Vermeer's 'The Milkmaid' (1658-1660) made the hairs on the back of my head tingle - simply outstanding. Rembrandt's 'Night Watch' (1642) was similarly inspiring. Also staggered by the fact that there are only 35 Johannes Vermeer paintings in existence in the world. Vermeer (1632-1675) who featured in the biopic 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' would only manage to paint two or three paintings a year. The still life studies of Willem Claesz Heda (1590-1680) were also breathtaking.
To understand art, you need to visit the Rijk's Museum to evidence one of the major shifts in art history.
AMSTERDAM TRIP INSIGHTS - Stedelijk Museum
The largest museum of Modern Art in the Netherlands - covering the period 1850 to present day. Definitely worth a visit (a great cafe/restaurant) if you want exposure to many of the modern art masters. Some great examples, however the majority of the paintings were secondary or even tertiary pieces, so, in that respect this museum was rather disappointing. The paintings are presented in an alphabetical overview rather than a chronological order, which proved rather confusing. No lingering here !
AMSTERDAM TRIP INSIGHT - Hermitage, Temporary Van Gogh Exhibition.
75 of Van Gogh's paintings were displayed at the Hermitage, while the Van Gogh Museum was being renovated (Re-opens May 13). Learned, rather incredibly, that Vincent Van Gogh (1853 - 1990) only actually painted between 1880, when he decided to become an artist and his untimely death in 1890 - a period of only 10 years. Remarkable that he should achieve such global fame and reach - notably, a Van Gogh (Portrait of Dr Gachet) sold for $82.5M in 1990.
AMSTERDAM TRIP INSIGHT - Rembrandt Huis
Amazing opportunity to walk through Rembrandt van Rijn's (1606 - 1669) house, where he lived for seventeen years between 1639 and 1656. Rembrandt was also an art dealer and, in wandering through his house you get a chance to absorb where he eat, had his public rooms/galleries, his personal apartments, where he slept, his studio, where he prepared his oils and painted many of his now famous paintings and lastly, his students work areas. Sadly, Rembrandt was declared bankrupt in 1656, at which point he had to give up his house when both the house and his possessions were sold and he entered a period of financial hardship before he died in 1669. A remarkable opportunity to gain an insight into how this Dutch Master of the Golden Age of Dutch painting lived.
At his recent Solo Show (October 2012), Joe Hargan was amazed to be reunited with one of his paintings that was shown at his Glasgow School of Art (GSA) Degree Show in 1974. The Painting is dated 1973 and was specutively brought to the Gallery by one of our customers, Dr Mary Stephenson, who recalls paying around £30's for it in 1974.
Joe was absolutely delighted to be reunited with the painting again. He confirmed to a happy Mary that it was indeed one of his paintings and that it was a self-portrait painted in one of the studios with the large windows at front of the art school facing out towards the, now demolished Newbery Tower building opposite.
After 38 years, it was great to witness this remarkable reunion !
Gerard Burns very generously presented a painting - the Road to Emmaus to Terry Waite, who was famously taken hostage in Lebanon at a point when he himself was trying to negotiate the freedom of four hostages. He was held captive for four years beteen 1987 and 1991. Waite is now President of Emmaus UK, which is a charity for the homeless. The models for the study work for the charity.
This is a gesture typical of Burns, who not only paints about the human condition, but also donates regularly to charities, which demonstrates that he also cares about the plight of society.
ALEXANDRA (SANDIE) GARDNER SELECTED FOR THE 2012 BP PORTRAIT AWARD EXHIBITION
Congratulations to our very own Alexandra (Sandie) Gardner who has had a portrait selected for the 2012 BP Portrait Award Exhibition. This is an outstanding recognition of her artistic talent. In their own words - "The BP Potrait Award showcases the very best in contemporary portrait painting from around the world". This year's National Portrait Gallery, London Exhibition features fifty-five works (including one from Sandie) selected from 2,187 entries. (21st June 2012 to 23rd September 2012).
We have always recognised Sandie as an exceptional Scottish talent - well done to Sandie. Following the amazing success of her 2010 La Traviata Show, we are delighted to welcome Sandie back with a solo show, which runs from Friday 31st August 2012 through to Sunday 9th September 2012 - a great opportunity to see 50 paintings from one of Scotland's most exciting and critically acclaimed artistic talents.
Sales rose for auction house Christie's to a record £3.6 billion for 2011, a 9 percent rise on the previous year. The top sale was by pop-artist Roy Lichtenstein, whose work 'I can see the whole room ... and there's nobody in it !' fetched £26.8 million when it went under the hammer in New York in November 2011. Interestingly 719 works went for more than $1 million (£635,000) up from 607 in the previous year.
In London, the Christie's Head Office sold £861.6 million of paintings, jewellery and fine wine, up 20 percent on last year. The bidhouse also fetched the highest price ever for a pre-1850 Old Masters' painting when George Stubb's 'Gimrack on Newmarket Heath' went for £22.4 million in July 2011.
A Francis Bacon also sold for £18 million.
We were delighted to welcome Tom and Audrey Gardner to the gallery.
They were my (Ken Lemond's) art teachers at Jordanhill College School and were responsible for inspiring my long term interest in painting and Scottish Art.
I always remember as a young boy watching Audrey sit in our front garden and paint a view of the fields opposite. Over the course of several days I watched a blank canvas progressively develop into a stunning interpretation of the landscape in front of us.
It left a lasting impression.
Two wonderful art teachers and a lovely reminiscing conversation.
An evening at the bi-annual Jolomo Bank of Scotland Awards 2011 for Scottish Landscape painting.
The Awards Dinner was held at Kelvingrove and was attended by Alex Salmond, Scotland's First Minister, who also made a speech.
We were vocally entertained by the very beautiful voice of Karen Matheson (Capercaille).
This is the Oscars of Scottish Landscape painting, with an award of £25000 to the winning candidate.
The seven selected finalists sat nervously waiting for the announcement of the results.
The winner for 2011 was Calum McLure, a recent graduate of Edinburgh College of Art (ECA), with second place going to Beth Robertson Fiddes (ECA) and third place to Katie Pope (ECA) - a clean sweep for ECA.
A VISIT TO THREE GREAT GALLERIES IN VENICE - ALL ON THE GRAND CANAL
(1) The Peggy Guggenheim Collection
A fantastic modernist collection presented in the Palazzo Leoni (Peggy's residence between 1949 and 1979) including Bacon, Pollock, Brancusi, Braque, Chagall, Dali, Ernst, Gorky, Gris, Kandinsky, Klee, Leger, Miro, Mondrian, Motherwell, Picasso, Rothko and Tanguy.
(2) The Accademia
An old Church/Monastery (not sure it had been repainted since it was built !), which houses Byzantine and 14th Century Gothic art, together with Renaissance artists, Bellini, Carpaccio, Titian and Tintoretto. There are also 18th century 'Vedustisti' or 'View' paintings by Canaletto and Guardi.
(3) Ca' Pesaro
The International Gallery of Modern Art is set in a fabulous palace. It contains venetian art plus a healthy cross-section of international artists gathered from the various Venice Biennale's - this gives you a rare opportunity to see a 1909 Gustav Klimt - Judith II (Salome), together with works by Arp, Rodin, Bonnard, Calder, Chagall, Chiroco, Ernst, Guerin, Kandinski, Miro, Moore, Nolde, Tanguy and Tapies.
Interestingly there is a painting by our very own Francis Henry Newbery (Fra Newbery) who was the Director of GSA between 1885 and 1917, overseeing the commissioning of Charles Rennie Macintosh to build the now internationally famous Art School and the very fertile period of Scottish art when the 'Glasgow Boys' emerged. Fra Newbery is also the Great Great Grandfather of one of our contemporary artists; Denise Findlay.
Venice - spectacular and an outstanding architectural lagoon setting that will never be repeated !
THE GLASGOW SCHOOL OF ART DEGREE SHOW 2011
Another interesting GSA Degree Show.
Notable stars were (above left to right), the striking figurative work of Dominika Majowicz, together with the very considered lithographs 'High Rising' of Scott Taylor and the stunning and clever digital print 'portrait compositions' of Mary Stephenson.
Three artists with a very promising future !
DENISE FINDLAY ART CLASSES - FINAL
Session three of the oil classes.
The session finishes with an almost finished image with completion of the nose, mouth and neckline. Some work on colour/skin blending and detail in the hair and we move through to the very satisfying end of a series of well delivered art classes. I will be sorry to see them end.. but who knows, maybe I will push my lessons further in the autumn. Well done to Denise - a brilliant teacher.
Do you want art classes ? - email@example.com
'Light and Dark' - The autobiography of Ken Howard RA
Ken Howard OBE RA (Royal Academy) was invited artist at the recent PAI Annual Exhibition 2011.
Scottish artist James Orr was invited to dinner with him and spoke of this remarkable artist who was very down to earth. His mother was Scottish.
Recommended reading - Ken Howard's autobiography. If you want an insight into the life of a great contemporary UK artist, then I would recommend his easy reading autobography. It demonstrates his artistic vision, commitment and approach.
Also worth getting his DVD 'Inspired by Light' and you get to see him work on and discuss five paintings as he paints them.
DENISE FINDLAY ART CLASSES - PROGRESS
Session one and two of the oil classes (left).
Session one was laying the background by covering the entire canvas and then creating the lighter areas where the light reflection was most prominent - hair, eyes, nose and shoulder.
Then we mixed the various light, mid and dark tones and built the structure of the face and hair and shoulders.
In the second session, we worked on the ear detail and then used that as a reference to position the eye, and its detail. Then mixed colours to build up the skin tones and to blend the various areas to make the face more realistic. Used external colours to form the forehead and upper nose.
It is fascinating to see the way a portrait is built up !
THE LEMOND GALLERY LAUNCHES NEW UNDERSTANDING ART CLASSES
Ken Lemond attempts to give a basic understanding of art in one session of around one and a half hours !
It took thousands of hours of reading and three days to build a one and a half hours of presentation - the challenge was to condense it into a simple to follow structure with a logical flow.
The class is designed for art buyers who want to understand more about what they are looking at. It explains the history of art development and helps you to analyse and classify contemporary art and techniques.
The class costs £20.
DENISE FINDLAY ART CLASSES
An exciting way to learn and what a great teacher.
Ken Lemond - "I've lived around art as a collector for twenty years and with over 10 years of Gallery, but I never had a chance to learn how to paint, so when I was offered a series of one-to-one classes, I jumped at the opportunity.
Two lessons to create a charcoal, three to create the above pastel and I am about to move on to the second oil session.
The class passes so quickly and Denise has a wonderful teaching manner.
For me, it gives me two things (1) a practical insight into painting mediums and compositional techniques and (2) just how hard and how painstaking it is to create a good painting".
If you want to enquire about classes with Denise then contact - firstname.lastname@example.org
ONE OF GERARD BURN'S LARGEST PAINTINGS
The centrepiece of the Gerard Burns, January 2011 Solo Show was one of the largest paintings he has painted, a massive 7ft x 5ft Oil on Canvas, titled 'The Girls between the Trees'. Gerard (pictured) said it took him over a year to complete this painting that symbolises the innocence of children. It depicts two young girls, one looking out defiantly with the other holding her hand and looking down in a protective and caring way, set in a stark woodland setting. Having used the painting as the centrepiece of marketing communication for the show, it has been very satisfying to see the reaction of visitors to the show when they see the overwhelming scale of the art piece - it stops everyone in their tracks.
LA TRAVIATA PAINTING INSTALLED IN THE THEATRE ROYAL
The gallery is pleased to announce that, following the very successful Alexandra Gardner La Traviata show, the main painting of the show, a large 100cm x 120cm Oil on Canvas, titled 'On Stage', has been purchased from the gallery and presented to Scottish Opera by a group of the Board Members of 2010. The painting is now on display for the public and theatregoers in the Grand Staircase of the Theatre Royal, Glasgow, which leads up from the Foyer to the Dress Circle. The painting now hangs alongside an earlier David Donaldson portrait of Sir Alexander Gibson. The fundraising group for the Gardner was led by Board Member, Rona MacKie (Lady Black), who was delighted to see this important historic painting hanging in a place where the public could get to enjoy it.
NEW RECOMMENDED BIOGRAPHY
Alexander Reid (1854 - 1928) was one of Glasgow's and Scotland's most influential art dealers.
In the 1880's he left Scotland to work in Paris for the famous art house of Boussod & Valadon, where he worked alongside Theo Van Gogh (1857 - 1891), who was brother to Vincent Van Gogh (1853 - 1890). Reid shared a flat with the Van Gogh brothers and made many contacts with the most influential artists of that period, including Monet (1840 - 1926), Manet (1832 - 1883) and Degas (1834 - 1917).
For a short period, Reid was a great friend of Vincent Van Gogh, who was to paint the art dealer on many occasions. Vincent also gave Reid several of his paintings, which were sent to Scotland, where they were ridiculed and, either sold at undervalue or destroyed. Reid would return to Scotland in 1988 and set up his own gallery, where he initially specialised in French and Impressionist art. Indeed, many of the impressionist paintings now in the collections of Glasgow Museums were sold to Scottish collectors by Reid. He was also a great supporter of the Glasgow Boys and the emerging Scottish Colourists. His clients were the rich Scottish merchants, shipbuilders and industrialists, who had made their fortunes on the back of Scotland's rapid economic development.
His story is recounted in a fascinating new Biography by author Francis Fowle, Van Gogh's Twin: The Scottish Art Dealer, Alexander Reid, 1854 - 1928. Fowle is the daughter of William Coats, former Chairman of the eponymous family thread-making firm, whose grandfather was one of Reid's regular clients in the 1890's and early 1900's.
You can buy the book at any good bookseller or on amazon.co.uk
PAINTER ATTACKS CONCEPTUAL ART 'DUNCES' AMID FEARS FOR FUTURE
The Herald - 12 October 2010
An interesting article by Phil Miller, Arts Correspondent at the Herald. Jack Morrocco who is described as one of Scotland's most successful painters has attacked the 'confederacy of dunces' in the art world who, he fears may have sidelined a generation of future painters.
The article suggests that traditional painting techniques are on the wane as students pursue a non-conformist approach. He cites the Turner Prize as art that cannot exist outside a publicly funded gallery and points out that no commercial gallery could take this type of art on. He suggests that there is a 'confederacy of dunces' between the curators, the artists and the media who promote the message that 'this is what art is all about'.
Morrocco says he fears that there will be a dearth of successful Scottish painters in the future, saying that 'there has been a break in the chain.'
Jack Morrocco has launched a new book titled 'A Work in Progress' by Roy MacGregor.
Copies will be available on 13th and 14th November 2010 at our annual Christmas Show - a great present for Christmas !
Jack, with his ever popular French and Venetian scenes is now one of our gallery's top selling Scottish artists. Following his very successful show with us in February 2010, we welcome Jack back, one year later with a show dedicated to his work in February 2011.
If you want to learn more about Jack, then we commend this 140 page book to you - an excellent read !
The Alexandra Gardner La Traviata Show proves a great success
As we move towards the completion of, what has been, an outstanding exhibition, Alex Reedjijk, the General Director of Scottish Opera also visited the exhibition and congratulated Sandie on the success of her show. Sandie has very kindly donated to Scottish Opera the rights to use seven of the key images of the La Traviata Series, which will be reproduced as signed limited edition giclee prints that can be bought by Scottish Opera enthusiasts to help raise funds for Scottish Opera.
Link to Scottish Opera Prints http://www.scottishopera.org.uk/la-traviata-prints
More La Traviata meets Scottish Opera.
We also welcomed a return of Matthew, Nigel and Daisy from the Chorus, who brought with them fellow Chorus members Catherine and Fiona. More enthusiam, more stories and background - fascinating characters. The Gallery also had the privilege of welcoming Lady Black (Professor Rona MacKie), who is a member of the Board of Scottish Opera, who revelled in the paintings and marvelled at the quality of Sandie Gardner's artistic reproduction of the scenes from opera.
La Traviata meets more of Scottish Opera.
The Gallery was pleased to meet Helen (Mezzo Soprano) from the chorus and John Liddell (pictured), who is Head of Costume at Scottish Opera. Both were astounded at the quality of the exhibition. John described the intense six month process from the initial design drawings through the costume creation to the final dressing and assembly of the cast, which he described as stunning - to have all these people so perfectly dressed in their period costumes. This was one of John's favourite productions and he was clearly awed by Sandie Gardner's visual recreation of the scenes and costumes. He commented that Sandie clearly has an eye for the various textiles and materials used - 'she has recreated them so perfectly'. John was totally captivated by the paintings and just couldn't draw himself away from them - he wanted to move in ! The La Traviata exhibition has been a joy, particularly with all the Scottish Opera visits, as these conversations have all brought our understanding of the paintings to a different level - thank you.
'The La Traviata paintings meet Scottish Opera'.
The successful Alexandra Gardner La Traviata exhibition also gave the Gallery the opportunity to meet several of the Scottish Opera cast and crew, including the costume mistress (Gloria), chorus members (Matthew, Nigel and Daisy) and some of the lead characters - the Tenor Nick Ransley (Count Gastone) and Baritone Paul Carey Jones (Le Marquis). Their reaction to the show, as they identified characters and reflected on one of their favourite productions was a joy to see - a great insight and they were all lovely characters.
Link to Paul Carey Jones BARITONE
Link to Nicholas Ransley TENOR
The Alexandra Gardner Solo Show - 'La Traviata and recent paintings' featured in the ART NEWS sections of Issue 72 of the Homes & Interiors Scotland magazine - 'Painting with Passion - Article by Jan Patience
Link to Jan Patience Blog - http://janpatience.blogspot.com/