The Scottish Gallery celebrates the life and work of one of Scotland’s most-loved artists this June in a major retrospective show ‘James Morrison A Celebration 1932 – 2020’. The exhibition, held two years after his death, will take over both floors of The Gallery and will present works from the entirety of his artistic career which spanned seven decades. The exhibition will focus on his iconic Scottish landscapes of Angus and the West Coast, alongside rare early Glasgow scenes and views of France, the Arctic and Canada.
Over an eminent career, landscape painter James Morrison enjoyed a remarkable and lengthy association with The Scottish Gallery from 1959 to 2020, holding an astonishing 25 solo exhibitions. The successful relationship between artist and gallery allowed Morrison to retire from teaching at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee, in 1987, and concentrate on painting full-time.
This exhibition will coincide with the release of two new publications. Land and Landscape is a revised and updated monograph written by the artist’s son professor John Morrison and published by Sansom & Co. The second is a fully illustrated exhibition catalogue, featuring over 100 works, celebrating the artist’s long and influential exhibiting career.
Gallery Director Guy Peploe commented, “Jim was a great painter, and a huge part of The Scottish Gallery for more than 60 years, with twenty-five solo exhibition. Jim was never content to rest on current success, it was always the next picture which mattered. He worked tirelessly, travelling to Paris, Greece, Canada, Greenland, Botswana, The Alps, and many locations in the UK from Ely to Traquair.
“This curiosity to see another landscape fed into how he saw his own, familiar, country, from Angus to Argyll and Assynt. He had been a much-loved tutor in Dundee, keeping painting at the centre of his teaching”.
The 2021 release, and subsequent BBC broadcast of the film Eye of the Storm by the award winning director Anthony Baxter, has generated an astonishing outpouring of love and interest, and has introduced the artist to a new audience. The film follows Morrison as he struggles with the loss of his sight.
It is a poignant account of a creative mind dealing with the physical frailties that await us all. After its initial release on Easter Sunday 2021, The Scottish Gallery website crashed as thousands of individuals visited to discover more about the artist.
Morrison’s distinctive technique and vision made him one of the most recognisable Scottish artists of the last fifty years, credited with helping to reinvigorate landscape painting in Scotland. His works are included in many important public collections including National Galleries of Scotland and the Government Art Collection. Morrison’s interpretations of the landscape and skies, at home in Angus, on the West Coast, and on his travels have inspired collectors and artists worldwide.
Title – James Morrison A Celebration 1932 – 2020
Exhibition Dates – Monday 6th- Saturday 25th June 2022
Location – The Scottish Gallery, 16 Dundas Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6HZ
The subject featured in the above images is the artist’s son, John Morrison. © 2022 J.L. Preece