John Bellany | A Passion for Life

  • 17th November 2012 − 27th January 2013 | Academy (Scottish National Gallery) | £7 (£5)

The 1970s

Hand in hand with Bellany’s development of a symbolic repertoire (the puffin, gull, fish, monkey etc.) went an ever-increasing dissolution of the image. The gestural brushwork seen in previous works became increasingly expressionistic and there was a distinct loosening of forms.

In 1974 Bellany intro­duced the idea of two framing strips at the side of the canvas, containing the blurred images of former voyagers, of ances­tral voices. Gradually such images became predominant, almost to the point of illegibility, and Bellany began increasingly to use the triptych format.

Underlying all was Bellany’s concern to explore the interplay of human relationships and central to this was the artist himself.