By justanact51, Apr 16 2015 03:26PM
Last week I was up in Glasgow visiting some friends and family, and taking photographs along the Clyde for the show. With a few hours to kill before returning to London on Sunday morning I dropped into the Gallery Of Modern Art on Exchange Square by George Square in the city centre. Exchange square was the scene of the terrible lorry accident on the 22nd of December last year where 6 people tragically died. So now there is a certain, unspoken sadness about the tiny square, which no doubt the passage of time will soften.
The main gallery was closed when we visited but the upstairs galleries were all open to the public. Normally I avoid the upstairs galleries as I always have the belief that there will be nothing of interest there for me.
There were two shows upstairs; one called ‘Ballet of the Palette’ and the other called ‘Alastair Gray – spheres of influence 1’. ‘Ballet of the Palette’ is a mixed bag of paintings selected by 10 leading Scottish artists from the Glasgow Museums 20th Century collection. This proves to be a surprising interesting exhibition, possibly because of the explanation by each artist of why they found these particular pieces of work so relevant to their own practice. For me Joan Eardley’s painting of a Glasgow kitchen scene is an unlikely star of the show. When I was 17 I was fascinated by a Joan Eardley exhibition which was part of the Edinburgh festival. I loved the rough almost abstract expressionist seascapes and landscapes she created. Though this painting is quite different from those; a dark, moody interior with a poet in the foreground warming himself in front of the kitchen stove. Next to him are some postcards of Rembrandt portraits.
The Alastair Gray exhibition is a small part of the Alastair Gray season which is taking part across the city over this year. It is a strange hotchpotch of his own Lanark inspired artwork and some works by the artists who influenced him; such as Durer, Gauguin and Beardsley. It’s a fascinating little exhibition culminates with a video interview with the great man himself. I think I have to return to this exhibition once I’ve read his seminal work ‘Lanark’ – I have a brand new edition waiting if not begging to be read. Reading it will give me a greater insight to this polymath’s body of work.
Time marches on – we leave the exhibition, pick up our luggage from the hotel, and dash to the airport – London and then Brighton await our return.