Steven Campbell

Scottish (1953 - 2007)
Steven Campbell Self Portrait: Scratched out, it's all in the wrist About 2006 © THE ESTATE OF STEVEN CAMPBELL


Born 1953
Died 2007
Nationality Scottish
Birth place Glasgow

Steven Campbell emerged as the leading figure of a group of Scottish figurative painters who began to exhibit their work in the early 1980s. After working as an engineer for seven years, in 1982 Campbell graduated from Glasgow School of Art. A Fulbright Scholarship took him to New York, where he became commercially very successful. In 1986 Campbell returned to Glasgow and continued to develop his distinctive painting style, which often has a surreal and mysterious quality. His last major exhibition was 'The Caravan Club' in 2002, at the Talbot Rice Gallery in Edinburgh. He died on 15 August 2007.

Glossary terms

  • The creation of environments - installations that surround the viewer and with which the viewer interacts - that emerged in the 1960s with artists such as Allan Kaprow. It is also loosely applied to any art practice addressing environmental concerns and to Land Art.

  • An art practice developed in the second half of the twentieth  century that broke away from the view of a sculpture as a singular object to be looked at. Instead, installation artists create an environment that may surround the viewer. Many are temporary or created for a particular location.

  • Late 20th century art that includes a great variety of styles, so is hard to define but is often characterised as a reaction against the formalism perceived to dominate Modernism. In architecture, it describes a style which borrows from many different traditions and which contrasts with the clarity and simplicity of many modernist buildings.