Alasdair Gray – A Retrospective Selection | Zembla

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If ever there was a need to research an artist more fully before visiting an exhibition of their work, then this is a fine example. From the invitation, and a brief scan on the internet, I felt I knew what to expect, but nothing could have prepared me for the Alasdair Gray Exhibition held at Zembla in Hawick.

The exhibition is being hosted privately now, until March 11, by Brian and Lesley Robertson at a private gallery, Zembla set in their home (and what a home!) in Hawick.  Available to visit by appointment only the exhibit showed work from 1953 onwards and was intriguing, beguiling and distinctive – so very, very distinctive.  Intriguing – because you are encouraged to work out every piece;   beguiling because you want to work out every piece and distinctive because each piece is charmingly unique, yet so Alasdair Gray.  The exhibition pre-amble that I read about the exhibition, although I didn’t really understand it at the time, says it all…   If we were unfortunate enough not to have Alasdair Gray we would struggle to invent him…

Born 1934, Alasdair trained as an artist at Glasgow School of Art, needing to make a living and unsure that he would be a success as an artist he turned his hand to many things, ultimately becoming successful at them all writing poetry, plays and novels.   His great novel ‘Lanark’ has been described as the greatest piece of Scottish Literature of the twentieth century.

1964 was obviously a good year, as his painting entitled ‘Mrs Nanni in white slip, bra and glass of wine’ in oil, gouache and pen portrays, and ‘Mick Broderick’ in mixed medium, oil, acrylic, and pencil was another stunner for a different reason.

If you have the inclination to view the works of a true master – then this exhibition it is most certainly worth a visit.

The exhibition runs from February 13 till March 11 by appointment.
Please contact Brian Robertson on 07843625232 or



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