Gray Stuff - Designs for Books and Posters, 1952-2010
23 October - 11 December 2010
'Gray Stuff: Designs for Books and Posters, 1952 - 2010' was an exhibition of original graphic works by Alasdair Gray, revealing the development of illustrations used in his critically acclaimed novels, such as 'Lanark' (1981), 'Poor Things' (1992) and 'Old Men In Love' (2007), and provided a rare opportunity to see the vibrant sketches and motifs which surround and animate the texts. The exhibition coincided with the launch of 'A Life in Pictures', an extensive visual biography published by Canongate, and a display of Gray’s portraits at Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
Including work from the collections of National Libraries of Scotland, Sorcha Dallas, Glasgow and Alasdair Gray’s own collection, this is an insightful range of work touching many areas of Gray’s extensive practice, which can be traced back throughout his life. Gray originally trained as a visual artist at Glasgow School of Art, from 1952 to 1957, and has habitually worked with both pictures and text. Receiving great critical acclaim for his novel 'Lanark' (1981), Gray became better known as a writer than an artist despite designing and illustrating his own works and maintaining his visual practice. In recent years Gray’s visual work has begun to receive the international recognition it deserves: his work is to be included in the 2010 British Art Show, which opens in Nottingham (23 October 2010 - 9 January 2011). Gray lives and works in Glasgow.
This discussion, chaired by Susannah Thompson (Lecturer in Visual Culture at Edinburgh College of Art), focused on the resurgence of interest in Gray’s work as a visual artist, his influence on subsequent generations of artists and, in particular, the close relationships between his work as a writer and visual artist. Speakers included Francis Bickmore (Senior Editor Canongate Press), Dr Neil Mullholland (Reader Edinburgh College of Art), Lisa Le Feuvre (Co-curator British Art Show) and Professor Randall Stevenson (Professor of Twentieth Century Literature, University of Edinburgh).
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This article was published on May 7, 2012