Summer Round-up 2014

An acrylic painting with an abstract composition of brushstrokes in all directions in bright colours on a pale background

Scorpio Series 2 No.15, 1996, acrylic on paper, 56.5 x 76cm. BGT944.

(1) Modern Masters III, Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh

Scotland has always produced a seemingly disproportionate number of the best painters in succeeding eras of British art from the 18th Century onwards. In the last hundred years, the period of modernism, the Scottish contribution has been distinctive, sometimes against the grain of the pervading culture and its proliferation of ‘isms’, often characterised by the use of strong colour. However there is enough variety of approach within the Scottish School to undermine the case for its existence; art is always more about individuality than cultural hegemony.

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An acrylic painting with an abstract composition of vertical brushstrokes in bright colours on a peach background

Garden Walk, 2001, acrylic on paper, 36.2 x 46.5cm. BGT2404.

Untitled c1964, oil on canvas, 36 x 30.5cm. BGT1048.

Untitled c1964, oil on canvas, 36 x 30.5cm. BGT1048.

(4) Modern British Heroines, Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh

A survey of ten 20th century female artists, each of whom made a significant, individual contribution to the history of Modern British art. None is defined by the fact of her gender nor is the gallery trying to make the case for a distinctive thread of femininity running through the period. However their contribution is such that in art, as with literature, parity between the sexes has been achieved in the post War decades and there is no requirement for contemporary, critical ‘positive discrimination’. Yet the individual stories mirror the age as each woman faced discrimination and critical dismissal and seemed to have more to prove to emerge from the shadow of a husband, partner or master, or otherwise embraced an individual, unconventional life to pursue the path of her vocation. Wilhelmina Barns-Graham is shown alongside:

  • Prunella Clough
  • Joan Eardley
  • Mary Fedden
  • Elisabeth Frink
  • Gwyn Hanssen Pigott
  • Barbara Hepworth
  • Gwen John
  • Winifred Nicholson
  • Anne Redpath