If you are interested in any of the reserved paintings, it is worth contacting the gallery as there is a chance that they may become available.
Gordon has always had a special place in our affections, he was an artist that we admired greatly and a fascinating source of Scottish art stories told with that distinctive wry, dry Scots humour. Like many an artist with whom we have collaborated over the years, he became a friend and we have fond memories of long phone calls, chewing over the parlous state of art education or some local Greenock gossip.
We first held a retrospective for Gordon in 2007, it was two years after his untimely demise and his family felt ready to mount an exhibition to celebrate his work. We were given access to some stunning early paintings, figurative oils in the style of the time that gave an insight into the first steps that Gordon took along his journey. It wasn’t long before those early experiments in painting took him towards abstraction – there is one example in the current exhibition – encouraged by the painter Ian Fleming RSA while Gordon was at Hospitalfield Summer School.
The majority of these paintings date from the last thirty or so years of Gordon’s career and are painted in the style for which he is perhaps most recognised. The pure abstraction of those early years had developed into an almost obsessive depiction of the Argyllshire landscape. Hiking and camping in the area as a child had left a lasting impression and a life-long love of the unspoilt landscape and coast became an enduring inspiration. These small scale semi-abstract paintings have a rich visual intensity, the painstaking application of layered paint adding a jewel-like quality to each work. His painted landscapes are populated, as they are in life, by the white punctuation marks of ancient croft houses. In the late twentieth century, these iconic symbols of a hard life lived on the west coast of Scotland had begun to be threatened by the modern world. Incomers and second-homers were altering and demolishing the crofts and Gordon felt passionately that they should be preserved along with the way of life that they represented. He felt that recording them in paint would in some way fix them in the collective memory.
The paintings in this exhibition were collected over a twenty year period and have all been exhibited publicly during Gordon’s lifetime. We feel very fortunate to have been offered a significant private collection which forms the nucleus of the exhibition.