The works of four of the most prestigious contemporary Scottish artists are coming to the Open Eye Gallery for a festive exhibition.
On a Grand Scale features large-scale works from Barbara Rae CBE RA, John Bellany CBE (1942-2013), Leon Morrocco RSA RGI and Steven Campbell (1953-2007) from 29 November-23 December.
Each painting has been selected due to its grandeur, scale and long-lasting impact, showcasing each artist’s expert handling of both composition and colour.
Barbara Rae CBE RA (b.1943) is a Scottish painter and printmaker whose acclaimed work is exhibited worldwide. Her landscapes are conveyed through her vivacious use of colour, composition and line.
Barbara was born in Falkirk, Scotland and studied at Edinburgh College of Art from 1961 to 1965. After winning a post-graduate scholarship, she travelled to France and Spain drawing inspiration from contemporary European art. In 1967 she had her first solo exhibition in Edinburgh and has exhibited regularly since then.
She attended Moray House College of Education and taught in Edinburgh until 1972. She went on to lecture in Drawing, Painting and Printmaking at Aberdeen College of Education from 1972 to 1974 and in Drawing and Painting at Glasgow School of Art from 1975 to 1996. In 1992 she was elected a member of the Royal Scottish Academy and in 1995 a member of the Royal Fine Art Commission. Rae chooses to visit key places that provide her with first-hand insight into an area’s specific social history. Her studies range from an ancient standing stone in Scotland to black blasted vines terraced on a Spanish hillside.
She travelled the world in search of inspiration, working in her Edinburgh studio from studies created on location. She is the recipient of numerous awards, scholarships, and honorary degrees; her work is held in national museums, public and private collections worldwide. Among Rae’s many awards are major Scottish Arts Council Awards in 1975 and 1981, the Guthrie Medal from the Royal Scottish Academy in 1977, the Royal Scottish Academy Sir William Gillies Travel Award in 1983, the Calouste Gulbenkian Printmaking Award also in 1983 and the Hunting Group Prize in 1990.
John Bellany CBE HRSA RA LLD (1942-2013) was the most prolific and acclaimed Scottish artist of his generation. He is best known for documenting the lives of the fishing communities of the east coast of Scotland.
Born in Port Seton on the coast of East Lothian in 1942 Bellany attended Edinburgh College of Art from 1960 to 1965 studying painting under Sir Robin Philipson. He met Alexander Moffat there, and together they mounted student exhibitions and travelled in Germany. Along with Scottish poets including Hugh MacDiarmid and Alan Bold, these youthful idealists sought to produce figurative painting and expressive prose that portrayed a modern Scotland whilst embracing its national heritage. The influence of Bellany’s upbringing in a close-knit and religious fishing community is clear in his earlier student works, but continues to play a valid part in later works.
Leon Morrocco RSA RGI (b.1942) is a highly skilled draughtsman whose paintings in oil, gouache and pastel, feature landscapes and still lifes inspired by his travels to Spain, France, South America and Australia.
Born in Edinburgh in 1942, Morrocco the first son of the artist Alberto Morrocco. He studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Slade School of Art in London and Edinburgh College of Art. In 1968 he won an Italian government scholarship to study at the Accademia di Brera in Milan. He was lecturer in Drawing and Painting at Edinburgh College of Art from 1965 to 1968, and then at Glasgow School of Art from 1969 to 1979. In 1979 he moved to Australia as Head of the Department of Fine Art at the Chisholm Institute in Melbourne.
He retired in 1984 to devote all of his time to painting. Morrocco, who was elected an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1971, had eight solo exhibitions in the UK before moving to Australia where he had a series of highly successful exhibitions in both Melbourne and Sydney. In 1991, he returned to Britain. His works reveal both his outstanding draughtsmanship and his passion for colour. His work can be found in many notable public and private collections, including the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, H.R.H Princess Margaret, Leeds Art Gallery, The Nuffield Foundation, and Queensland Art Gallery.
Steven Campbell (1953-2007) was one of the most influential artists of his time and his work made a significant and unique contribution to Scottish Art, particularly in his commitment to figurative painting.
Born in the Burnside district of Rutherglen, Campbell worked as an engineer at Clydebridge Steelworks before studying at Glasgow School of Art as a mature student, from 1978 to 1982. A contemporary of artists Ken Currie, Adrian Wiszniewski and Peter Howson, the four became known as ‘The New Glasgow Boys’ whose work contributed greatly to the 1980s Scottish art scene.
Steven’s unique blend of work which drew on music, poetry, philosophy and the environment as well as observation and the visual elements enhanced the international recognition and reputation of Scottish art and culture.
The Open Eye Gallery is located at 34 Abercromby Place, Edinburgh. Visit www.openeyegallery.co.uk for more details.