EDINBURGH.- Exhibition of five decades of paintings, watercolours, prints and drawings by John Bellany preceding a major retrospective of his work at the Scottish National Gallery to celebrate his 70th birthday.
John Bellany is the most influential Scottish painter since the war, re-establishing a native, figurative art at a time when Modernism and abstraction seemed invincible.
Born at Port Seton in 1942 into a family of fishermen and boat builders and steeped in Calvinism as a child, his art is profoundly religious in its intimation of mortality and recognition of evil; facts reinforced in 1967 by a traumatic visit to the remains of the Buchenwald concentration camp. But Bellany's life voyage has proved every bit as perilous as the sea voyage of his ancestors.
Throughout his career he has painted elemental allegories encompassing the complexities of the human condition and anchored in the rich poetry of the sea; but after moving to London in 1965 to study at the Royal College of Art, his vision and iconography became broader. In the 70s, when his personal life was in turmoil, he embarked on a near-fatal journey of self-destruction, which is reflected in the angst-ridden images of his paintings of that period. And in the 80s he successfully underwent a liver transplant which inspired a remarkable series of paintings.
('John Bellany' by John McEwen, 1994)
The last two decades have seen him paint the landscape and people of China, Mexico and Italy whilst still remaining firmly rooted in his Scottish heritage. This new sense of optimism in Bellany's painting brings us to the present day and a celebration of a life's work.
PICASSO, HIS CONTEMPORARIES AND MODERN BRITISH PRINTMAKING
An exhibition of printmaking by Picasso, his contemporaries and modern British artists. Including works by George Braque, Joan Miró, Marc Chagall, Severini, Clavé, Ben Nicholson, Graham Sutherland, David Hockney and Le Corbusier.
To coinicide with Picasso and Modern British Art at the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art, this small survey examines the work of a number of Picasso's contemporaries including Braque, Severini, Le Corbusier, Miró, Chagall, Laurens, Dufy and Clavé. A group of British artists are also represented - Sutherland, Hockney, Nicholson, Grant, Gear, Moore, Burra and Colquhoun - who were all influenced by the innovative works produced throughout Picasso's long career.
Each of the artists included in this exhibition have in some way drawn something from Picasso and developed it into their own distinctive and individual visual language, confirming Picasso's place as the towering figure of Modern Art.