ref: dWq Aug 13-Sep 4 2012 OPEN EYE GALLERY/EYE TWO John Bellany at 70 - Open a 'pdf' of this press release - return to Galleries PR Index


Contact: Lizzie Cowan

0131 557 1020/0131 558 9872

Open Eye Gallery

34 Abercromby Place, Edinburgh EH3 6QE

Open: Mon-Fri 10am to 6pm Sat 10am to 4pm


Monday 13th August to Tuesday 4th September 2012

Special Private Viewing: Friday 10th August 6-8pm

Private View: Saturday 11th August 12-2pm


Alexander Moffat OBE RSA, will discuss John Bellany's life and works.

Thursday 16th August 6.30pm. Booking required.


Exhibition of five decades of paintings, watercolours, prints and drawings by John

Bellany preceding a major retrospective of his work at the Scottish National Gallery

to celebrate his 70th birthday.

John Bellany is the most influential Scottish painter since the war, re-establishing a

native, figurative art at a time when Modernism and abstraction seemed invincible.

Born at Port Seton in 1942 into a family of fishermen and boat builders and steeped

in Calvinism as a child, his art is profoundly religious in its intimation of mortality and

recognition of evil; facts reinforced in 1967 by a traumatic visit to the remains of the

Buchenwald concentration camp. But Bellany's life voyage has proved every bit as

perilous as the sea voyage of his ancestors.

Throughout his career he has painted elemental allegories encompassing the

complexities of the human condition and anchored in the rich poetry of the sea; but

after moving to London in 1965 to study at the Royal College of Art, his vision and

iconography became broader. In the 70s, when his personal life was in turmoil, he

embarked on a near-fatal journey of self-destruction, which is reflected in the angst-

ridden images of his paintings of that period. And in the 80s he successfully

underwent a liver transplant which inspired a remarkable series of paintings.

('John Bellany' by John McEwen, 1994)

The last two decades have seen him paint the landscape and people of China,

Mexico and Italy whilst still remaining firmly rooted in his Scottish heritage. This

new sense of optimism in Bellany's painting brings us to the present day and a

celebration of a life's work.



Monday 13th August to Tuesday 22nd September 2012

Special Private Viewing: Friday 10th August 6-8pm

Private View: Saturday 11th August 12-2pm


An exhibition of printmaking by Picasso, his contemporaries and modern British

artists. Including works by George Braque, Joan Miró, Marc Chagall, Severini, Clavé,

Ben Nicholson, Graham Sutherland, David Hockney and Le Corbusier.

To coinicide with Picasso and Modern British Art at the Scottish Gallery of Modern

Art, this small survey examines the work of a number of Picasso's contemporaries

including Braque, Severini, Le Corbusier, Miró, Chagall, Laurens, Dufy and Clavé. A

group of British artists are also represented - Sutherland, Hockney, Nicholson, Grant,

Gear, Moore, Burra and Colquhoun - who were all influenced by the innovative

works produced throughout Picasso's long career.

Each of the artists included in this exhibition have in some way drawn something

from Picasso and developed it into their own distinctive and individual visual

language, confirming Picasso's place as the towering figure of Modern Art.

Notes to editor:

Open Eye Gallery, based in the New Town, has been running for 30 years and holds

32 exhibitions per year focusing on contemporary and applied art.

Eye Two specialises in modern European and American Printmaking. Previous

exhibitions have included works by Albers, Caulfield, Chagall, Le Corbusier, Leger,

Matisse, Miró, Nicholson, Paolozzi, Pasmore, Picasso, Scott and Stella. Represented

contemporary artists include Aitchison, Blake, Dine, Denny, Hockney, Hodgkin,

Rauschenberg and Riley.

The Open Eye Gallery and Eye Two are participating in the Edinburgh Art Festival.

The festival exhibitions will be installed between Monday 6th and Friday 10th

August 2012. Access for interviews with artists or curators of the exhibition can be

arranged by appointment by phoning the gallery on 0131 557 1020.

Illustrated colour catalogues of both exhibitions are available on request.

Further information and images can be obtained from:

Open Eye Gallery

34 Abercromby Place

Edinburgh EH3 6QE