J D Fergusson: Living Paint
8 November - 23 December 2004
This exhibition will trace the development of the artist’s career from the early 1900s to the 1950s, placing his work within the context of the history of Scottish painting. Examples of Fergusson’s portraits, self-portraits, still lifes, landscapes, nudes and figure compositions will all be included in the display at Abbot Hall.
John Duncan Fergusson (1874 - 1961) was one of the leading Scottish Colourist painters and this exhibition of forty oil paintings will throw light on an artist who was international in both his outlook and approach.
Fergusson was largely self-taught and although he enjoyed success in Edinburgh, it was the quality of the light in France that attracted him to move there in 1906. He was deeply influenced by the French group of painters, The Fauves: Henri Matisse, André Derain and others. His style became increasingly expressive, diverging from his earlier, more rigid portraits. Fergusson went on to spend six years living and working in France, where he found many of his avant-garde portrait subjects and became acquainted with Pablo Picasso and other key figures of the period.
In the later years of Fergusson’s career his female figures became increasingly formulaic, owing a great debt to Cézanne and other Post-Impressionists who had influenced him so greatly during his formative period in Paris. The strength of these images, and the reason for their continuing popularity, lies in Fergusson’s infectious spirit of optimism, and the willingness to experiment that set him apart from his fellow colourists. This exhibition is part of a touring show organised by The Fergusson Gallery, Perth and comes with a fully illustrated catalogue.