Still Life

Craigie Aitchison (1926 - 2009)

Oil on canvas

1975

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© Craigie Aitchison

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  • About the work

    Colour was very important to Craigie Aitchison’s work and the process he used to create it.~ He believed that the composition was led by the right choice of colour and he spent time experimenting with different backgrounds for each painting before he began.~ The jewel-like pinks and blues of the backdrop of this still life echo the colours of the bird in the foreground and the flower it is holding.~ The delicate simplicity of this painting shows the influence of Japanese art, in which Aitchison was very interested. Aitchison once said about his work: 'I think [my pictures] are quite straightforward.~ But as soon as anyone starts asking questions they get more complicated than I could ever have intended them to be'.

  • About the artist
    Craigie Aitchison abandoned his law studies to enrol at the Slade School in 1952, alongside fellow artists Paula Rego and Euan Uglow. In 1953 he won the Slade’s prize for best still-life and two years later he studied in Rome on a British Council scholarship. Seeing the colour and narratives of Renaissance Italian art first hand was an enduring influence. He started exhibiting his work in London in the late ‘50s, eventually moving there in 1963. He has exhibited regularly ever since, notably retrospectives at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh (1996); and at the Royal Academy (2003). His work can be found in major public collections including Tate, London; Glasgow Museums and Art Galleries; and the Scottish Arts Council.
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  • Details
    Title
    Still Life
    Date
    1975
    Medium
    Oil on canvas
    Dimensions
    height: 76.50 cm, width: 30.00 cm
    Acquisition
    Purchased from Phillips, 6 June 1995
    Inscription
    none visible
    Provenance
    With Fischer Fine Art; Private Collection, UK; sold through Phillips Son & Neal, on 6 June 1995 (Lot 32); from which sale purchased by the Governemnt Art Collection
    GAC number
    16920