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The Story of Scottish Art episode 4

The Story of Scottish Art episode 4

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The Story of Scottish Art episode 4: The climactic episode of the series explores how, over the last 100 years, Scottish art has wrestled as never before with questions of identity and exploded like a visual firecracker of different ideas and styles. During the last century, Scottish artists embroiled themselves with some of the most exciting and dynamic art movements ever seen – provoking, participating and creating stimulating works of art that have left an extraordinary legacy.



Lachlan Goudie discovers how artists such as William McCance attempted to bring about a Scottish renaissance in the visual arts, while a creative diaspora of artists such as Alan Davie and William Gear would court controversy and play vital roles in the revolutions of postwar art.

Long before the ‘Glasgow Miracle’, the Glasgow School of Art was responsible for upholding a very different kind of tradition, of which Lachlan’s father was proud to be a part. He discovers how artists such as Joan Eardley helped to bring the city to life, just as John Bellany did for the fishing villages of the east coast. Rebels such as Bruce McLean help explain how conceptual art would come to play such a large role in the Scottish art of today, and Lachlan meets one of the world’s most expensive living artists, Peter Doig, to delve into the complexities of what it actually means to be a Scottish artist in today’s market-dominated art world. He finishes his epic journey on the Isle of Lewis with a powerful call to arms for the continued relevance of Scottish art today.


The Story of Scottish Art episode 4


William McCance

William McCance (1894–1970) was a Scottish artist, and was second Controller of the Gregynog Press in Powys, mid-Wales. Born on 6 August 1894 in Cambuslang, Scotland, William McCance was the seventh of eight children. After attending Hamilton Academy, McCance entered Glasgow School of Art, studying there 1911–15 and subsequently undertaking a teacher-training course at Glasgow’s Kennedy Street school.

A conscientious objector in World War I, McCance was imprisoned. After discharge from prison in 1919, McCance and his illustrator/engraver wife, Agnes Miller Parker (1895-1980, married 1918), moved to London, where McCance was employed as a teacher and art critic, writing for The Spectator. McCance’s paintings in the 1920s were unusual in that he was one of the few Scottish artists who embraced the cubist, abstract and machine-inspired arts movements that spread across Europe following the First World War.

In the 1930s McCance took the post of second Controller of the famous Gregynog Press, Wales, founded in 1922, after which he taught book design at the University of Reading. William McCance died on 19 November 1970, aged 76 in Ayrshire. A collection of his paintings is held in the National Galleries of Scotland and Dundee Art Gallery, and in 1975 a retrospective exhibition of his work was shown at Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Lachlan Goudie – The Story of Scottish Art episode 4

Lachlan Goudie was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1976, the son of Scottish figurative painter Alexander Goudie. He was educated at the Kelvinside Academy, after which he studied English Literature at Cambridge University. Following this, he was awarded the Levy-Plumb scholarship of a year’s painting residency at Christ’s College, Cambridge.

Goudie was awarded the R. S. P. Prize for painting at the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts in 1999, and the N. S. MacFarlane Prize at the Royal Scottish Academy in 2001. He studied at the Camberwell College of Arts and is a member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters.

He has presented the television programmes Secret Knowledge: The Art of Witchcraft (2013) and Stanley Spencer: The Colours of Clyde (2014), both on BBC Four. In 2017 he was a judge on the BBC’s The Big Painting Challenge. In 2017 he was commissioned to document the construction of new aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy. In 2015 he wrote and presented the four-part BBC series The Story of Scottish Art.

The Story of Scottish Art episode 4

The Story of Scottish Art episode 4: traces the development of Scottish art, how it has left a remarkable legacy over the last century