Craigie Aitchison: Paintings, etchings and tapestries

10:30 on 5 July 2014 to 17:30 on 27 September 2014

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This summer we are working with Timothy Taylor Gallery, London to present a selected showcase of oil paintings and etchings from the estate of Craigie Aitchsion CBE RSA RA (1926-2009) alongside tapestries created by Dovecot Studios in collaboration with the artist.

This Aitchison selection highlights the recurring themes of the artist’s work including the Crucifixion and Bedlington terriers. Aitchison depicted the Crucifixion in his artwork from the 1950s, when his tutor at The Slade suggested that the subject was “too serious” for him, thus prompting him to tackle it regularly. Although not pious, Aitchsion was drawn to the spirit and glamour of Catholicism. One of the tapestry miniatures featured in this show, is a detail recreated in weave from a large commissioned painting of the same subject. Resolving the design with Dovecot’s weavers, Aitchison felt that the detail chosen particularly suited the medium of tapestry. This was one of a number of tapestries made with Aitchison and is the only tapestry design which Aitchison made using this central theme in his work. It is an open edition and he bought one for his own collection.

Aitchison used a distinctive Mediterranean palette. His expressive ‘cut-out’ iconographic figures and objects set against a bright coloured background are redolent of the simple clarity of the Trecento and Quattrocento which he often referred to. Born in Edinburgh in 1926, Aitchison enrolled at the Slade School of Art in 1952. His work was soon recognised with a solo show at Beaux Arts Gallery in 1956. His reputation grew and this was followed by a solo show at Marlborough Fine Art in 1968, a retrospective at the Serpentine in 1981, a retrospective at GoMA in Glasgow in 1996 and a solo show at the Royal Academy in 2003. He was elected a Royal Academician in 1988, was awarded the inaugural Jerwood Prize in 1994 and in 1999 was awarded a CBE for his contribution to British Art. Aitchison died in London in December 2009. Timothy Taylor Gallery is the representative of his estate.

Balcony Opening Times:
Outside August: Mon-Fri 12-3pm Sat 10.30am-5.30pm
During August: Daily 10.30am-6.30pm

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