Edinburgh & Glasgow
The Fine Art Society, Edinburgh
RogerBillcliffe Gallery, Glasgow
Then & Now: 30-Years On.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the ground-breaking exhibition ‘The Vigorous Imagination: New Scottish Art’ presented at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in 1987 as the lead Edinburgh International Festival art exhibition.
The now iconic Vigorous Imagination exhibition showcased the works of 17 young artists who were making big waves on the international art scene at that time, and featured the powerful new wave of figurative art then prevalent.
These included the ‘New Glasgow Boys’: Steven Campbell, Peter Howson, Ken Currie, Adrian Wiszniewski; renowned sculptor David Mach; photographer-installations artists Calum Colvin and Ron O’Donnell, and painters Sam Ainsley, Philip Braham, Gwen Hardie, Ian Hughes, Keith McIntyre, June Redfern, Mario Rossi, Joseph Urie & Kate Whiteford. It was a proud pronouncement that visual art in Scotland was vibrant, intelligent, and in touch with the zeitgeist which swept across Europe during the 1980’s. Since then, many of the artists have become household names.
These two exhibitions offer a unique opportunity to revisit their work and consider where they are now, where they came from and how their works have come to influence the wider artistic landscape in Scotland and beyond. It is no exaggeration to claim that The Vigorous Imagination paved the way for the current crop of international artists whose fame attests to the vibrancy of Scotland as a pivotal centre for contemporary art.
The Fine Art Society exhibition will include historic works that date from 1987 along with archive materials collated by Clare Henry who was one of the curators responsible for the success of the original exhibition, while both venues will present new works by the artists, now in the mature phase of their careers.
Steven Campbell & Ian Hughes, both deceased, will be represented by key works in Edinburgh.