Described by journalist Auberon Waugh as having a 'fine, angry genius', James McDonald's exquisitely rendered paintings have an Old Master quality about them. Everyday objects - a shell, loaf of bread or even a bacon roll - become precious and even sensuous as they shimmer cinematically before you. A rare gift, which he discovered early on in his career, was to discover beauty in the most mundane, everyday objects.
Bohun Gallery presents one of the boldest collections of work by the Glaswegian artist, to date. It includes not only a mesmerising selection of his evocative still life paintings but also very poignant portraits of his late brother, Jonathan McDonald, together with a large and startling Self Portrait which directly challenges the viewer as the artist emerges out of the darkness. A large, ambitious painting entitled 'Soup Notes' depicts a pile of scribbled notes on old envelopes which McDonald describes as 'accidental and inadvertent poetry-to-be from me dear Mother, instructions from her to me!McDonald's paintings reflect his education at Edinburgh College during the 1970s which placed so much importance on technical draughtsmanship techniques in both painting and printmaking. Throughout this new collection of painting, the artist achieves wonderful effects of depth & shadow with immense detail and precision.
James McDonald was born in Stirling and studied at Edinburgh College of Art, completing a post graduate degree in 1979. His work features in a great number of public & private collections, including all the major Scottish banks, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the McMaster Museum, Ontario, the Hunterian Gallery and Jenny Agutter, James Herbert & Michel Blanc, among others. In 2014 the artist was elected as a member of the Royal Society of Scottish Painters in Watercolour. James McDonald has been exhibiting at Bohun Gallery since 1990.
This exhibition forms part of Bohun Gallery's 2017 programme which focusses on Scottish Contemporary Art. The gallery is presenting two shows curated by Art Critic Clare Henry; New Landscapes by the popular Aberdeen artist Shona Barr who returns for her second solo show at the gallery and a selection of recent prizewinning Scottish artists will feature in the Summer Show 'Artists of Fame and Promise'.
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