Alasdair Taylor is the subject of a new exhibition at Maclaurin Gallery at Rozelle Estate near Ayr. Born in 1936 near Tain in Ross-shire, Taylor trained at the Glasgow School of Art from 1955 to 1959, winning the Governors’ Prize for his painting. A fellow student, who became a life-long friend, was the late writer and artist Alasdair Gray, who described Taylor as ‘…a lyrical painter whose colour, like a musician’s sound, makes sombre and radiant feelings without showing the social life causing them’.
Taylor shied away from fame and fortune, preferring just to paint. After a spell living in Glasgow, he moved with his family to a 300 year-old dwelling in Ayrshire, which lacked basic amenities, where he continued to paint, never caring whether he sold or not. However, he began building a following and was the subject of a BBC documentary; he also exhibited in various galleries, and several leading papers and magazines wrote glowingly of his talent.
After suffering a major stroke in 2005, (his wife Annelise died some ten years before), he was moved to more appropriate accommodation, where he died in 2007. Since then his daughters Anna and Jean have been the keepers of his archive of paintings and, along with Alasdair’s friend, author James Kelman, they have lobbied continuously for a major retrospective of his work, and sixteen years after his death, this is it.