A couple of years ago, while living in Edinburgh, I graduated with a masters in art history for which I wrote my dissertation on German Dada and Expressionist art. Then I realised that despite being Scottish, by birth, residence and partly parentage, I knew almost nothing about the history of Scottish art.
Sure, I knew a bit about the Scottish Enlightenment, that moment when Edinburgh was the cultural centre of Europe; and I know that today there is a lot of good art more or less connected with Glasgow; and I’d even studied some Victorian Scottish artists a bit. But what lies between and before and possibly even after? How better to learn about Scottish art than to write about it?
The result is, I hope, an exploration of Scottish art through some of its most extraordinary works: painting, sculpture, conceptual art, and other things. It runs from the Renaissance to the present day, with artists from Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Fife, Glasgow, and the Clyde, and movements from neo-Classicism to neo-conceptualism.
Scottish artists have always worked in England and overseas, and increasingly artists have come to Scotland to work, attracted partly by the scenery and partly by networking opportunities. So the definition of Scottish art is flexible and inclusive. If it came from here, or to here, or feels like it’s about here, then it’s Scottish. Probably.
A full list of artists and paintings is displayed here. You can contact me at greatscottishart at gmail dot com.