Thursday, 17 January 2013

What art would you have?

People are always amazed to see the huge number of works of all sizes, both on our walls and in the vaults at Kilmorack; and everyday I get asked the question 'what would you have on your walls at home?' It's a difficult question to answer. All good art-dealers show work they love, by artists they believe in and I am no different. It is like asking 'who is your favourite child?' In this case I have around a thousand offspring. Here's my today's top ten favourites (in no particular order.) It will be different next month. 


Peter White: Book
I would have Peter White’s book because of its meditative qualities. There is a calm in his technique that brings your eye back to his work, to be drunk-in like a soul tonic. I have hung many works by Peter White and they always look good. I like this because it’s a book too. more on Peter White

Book - Peter White - 58cm x 122cm - £3,500

Helen Denerley: Molly Dogs drawing
This is a working drawing for one of Helen Denerley dog sculptures and there are the scuffs of the studio on it. I love it because it shows the fluency of Denerley’s lines and her understanding of how a dog moves and sits. In August we have a solo show of her work: Negative Space - life between the lines. It’s one to put in your diaries. more on Helen Denerley


Molly Dogs - charcoal on paper - 48cm x 63cm - £500

Eugenia Vronskaya: My Reflection with Yellow Apples
I love the warm yellow apple paint and the repetition of form in this painting, and the way we are pulled to the self-portrait at the back. These are wonderful techniques but there is also a poetry in the mystery of its composition. It is Vronskaya at her best. more on Eugenia Vronskaya 

My Reflection with Yellow Apples - oil on canvas - 51cm x 60cm - £2,400

Allan MacDonald: Summer Ullinish Skye
This Allan MacDonald painting has a freshness that isn't often seen in landscape painting. MacDonald's paint, like the summer it depicts, is bursting with life. The bright underpainting can be seen in places and this lifts it further. Another reason I would have this, escpecially at this time of year, is because it is so summery. more on Allan MacDonald

Summer, Ullinish Skye - oil on canvas - 48cm x 74cm - £2,100

Gerald Laing: Winged Figure from Axis Mundi (1990)
This sculpture was designed to be outside, originally as part of a bigger public sculpture in Edinburgh (this is the uppermost of four figures.) I would put it on a big boulder on the lawn or have it hidden in a private grotto. Nature and Gerald Laing's figurative work from this period are perfect together. more on Gerald Laing

Winged Figure from Axis Mundi - bronze 3m high aprox, 1990 POA

Henry Fraser: Joshua's Return
I would have this painting because it looks suspiciously like the artist. It shows the determined isolation needed to make good work. As an artist you must be able to make your mark and be proud of it. My knowlege of the old testament isn't great, but I guess Joshua must have had these qualities. more on Henry Fraser

Joshua's Return - acrylic on board - 122cm x 92cm -  £3,600

Gerald Laing: Belshazzar's Feast
This screenprint is after Gerald Laing's return to pop art before his death in 2011. Laing's inspiration was to reshow archetypal classical stories with contemporary characters. This is Belshazzar's Feast with Amy Winehouse. I love it as an iconic image and would easily hang it in my kitchen or dining room. more on Gerald Laing

Belshazzar's Feast - Gerald Laing - screenprint - 85cm x 122cm - £2,880 unframed

Jane MacNeill: Birkana
The strength in Jane MacNeill's work comes out of its quietness. Many layers of paint are put on (and then sanded off) to create a feeling of being between worlds. This is more than just an illustration of a birch tree (birkana.) more on Jane MacNeill
Birkana - Jane MacNeill - oil on board - 25cm x 30cm - £560

Alan Macdonald: A Song to the Sea
I can't think of any contemporary artist in Scotland like Alan Macdonald. He is a master of adding layers and stories to his paintings, adding to their unsolvable riddles. This one is more simple than most, but it still leaves me pleasantly haunted. more on alan macdonald

Song to the Sea - Alan Macdonald - oil on board - 41cm x 25cm - £2,400


Alan McGowan: Two Skeletons
I like this Alan McGowan painting, for it captures a wildness present in his recent work. Here he looks beyond flesh and skin (which as a lecurer in anatomical painting, he knows better than any other artist) into other aspects of being human. It's also an interesting image. more on alan mcgowan
Two Skeletons - Alan McGowan - 25cm x 87cm - mixed media - £1,000

As for my other 990 children... I love them too.

Tony Davidson
Gallery Director
Kilmorack Gallery
+44 (0) 1463 783 230

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