Ron O'Donnell

The Great Divide

About this artwork

This work, commissioned by the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, was hung in ‘The Vigorous Imagination’ in 1987, a landmark exhibition examining the state of Scottish art during the 1980s. O’Donnell’s exuberant installation sought to explore growing class divisions during the Thatcher years, expressed particularly in the North-South divide. At a time when easel painting was reasserting itself in Scotland, his bold use of mixed media seemed particularly radical. In an attempt to break with documentary conventions that had dominated the twentieth century, O’Donnell’s practice suggested that constructed imagery provided the best possibility of self-criticism and renewal.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
  • title:
    The Great Divide
  • date created:
    Dated 1987
  • materials:
    Colour photograph
  • measurements:
    183.00 x 305.00 cm
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Commissioned by the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art 1987
  • accession number:
    GMA 3046 A
  • gallery:
  • subject:
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Ron O'Donnell

Ron O'Donnell