$17? compass gallery



25th APRIL - let MAY 1992 sponsored by 8818 AWARD MON-SAT 10-530

TEL: 041 221 6370 m was'rneoem s1' meow 02 «u.


- GLASGOVU (31 SQP - TEL: 041—552 0704

22 KING 5'] REET


SCULPTURE , 4m - 26th April

10.00am - 5.30pm


An exhibition by jim Harold




Theshowirgoithis worklns bemspomored bySOiAGLASS

Street Level is subsidsed by the Scottish Arts Council and Ghsgow District Council



It was Stanley Spencer who observed that artists who walk up and down the same old garden path have the most wonderiul adventures. The notion is certainly borne out in the work oi his contemporary Edward Baird.

This little-known Scottish artist was born in Montrose in 1904, and lelt in 1924 to study at Glasgow School oi Art. lie visited ltaly but then retumed to his hometown where he remained until his death at 44 years oi age. The SNGMA’s current exhibition oi Baird’s oeuvre, only some 30 canvases and drawings, points to the artist's physical struggle: as a chronic asthmatic, Baird’s lite was limited, and his painting reilects a restricted personal vision oi Montrose. lie cut himseli oil irom the art world and developed a diiilcult, distinctive technique which allowed ior only one iinlshed painting a year.

ills contemporary Ian Fleming recalled that Baird would make a single mark, and then contemplate ior up to halt an hour beiore making another, and the technique is illustrated in a needle-tine pencil drawing ior his 1927 Figure Composition Vlith Montrose Behind. The painting is an enlarged version oi the study; reminiscent oi Cowle's 1930s compositions, it portrays theatrical iann labourers set apart irom iactory workers, haloed by a romanticised backdrop.

iv a a ~: )

.si ti" EdwardBai: UnidentiiiedAlili1942)

Baird ilirts with Surrealism in a tempera depicting Barbie-doll iigures oi Adam and Eve being expelled irom an ltalianate Garden. More extraordinary is The Birth oi Venus (1934), which was a wedding present ior the artist McIntosh Patrick. A iar cry irom Botticelll’s Venus, Baird’s goddess ilaunts her sexuality in a landscape oi erotica. But these paintings are anomalies, and irom the mid 1930s, Baird concentrated on a meticulous photo-realist style oi painting. to tact, photographs which he used in his work are exhibited alongside his portraits, helping us to trace the metamorphosis which took place as the images were reworked. The most engaging is that oi a gamekeepertransionned into the patriotic Local Detence Volunteer.

The landscapes are eerie. Distressed Area describes an abandoned shipyard, and a tractor presides over the panorama oi Angus and Mearns. Most powerlul is Unidentliled Aircrait (1942), in which reverential heads look up into an empty sky above Montrose. The painting is loaded with tension, as is his ilnal, ominously uniinished canvas oi a graveyard. (Sarah Knox)

Edward Baird’s works are on show at The Scottish National Gallery oi Modern Art until 17 May.

I Graeme Murray is to become the new director of the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh with effect from 1 July, and will start taking full responsibility for the curating of exhibitions some time after that. The ill-starred, indebted gallery was closed a year ago and immediately became the subject of heated debate and furious criticism of the Scottish Arts Council. Murray will head a new SAC-appointed board of directors, including artist John Houston and art historian Jane Lee , selected, in the words of Chairman Ray Entwistle , for their ‘artistic and commercial ability‘. There can be no doubt of Murray’s suitablity for the job: his exhibition of lan Hamilton Finlay‘s work there last summer was picked by Tom Lubbock as one 1991‘s best. But it is certainly sad to hear that Graeme Murray's gallery and, in particular, his historic publishing business, are both to close.

I III! Scott, a 34-year-old artist from Wick, has been announced as the winner of the 1992 Alastair Salvesen Art Scholarship- at £8000 one of Scotland's largest awards— at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh. Scott has shown work at the Compass Gallery, Dundee Museum and Art Gallery and the Fruitmarket. He intends to use the money to travel in the

United States, and exhibit at the RSA on his return.

Fernsnd Leger: The Kechanlc (1920)


I The Meanings oi Modern Art John Russell (Thames and Hudson, £19.95) lfyou believe that ‘the history of art is the history of everything‘, then a crash course in learning to understand pictures must be an advantage. Russell's seminal introduction, newly revised, provides concise , clear and exciting discussion of the philosophies and techniques behind most of the prominent figures of the 20th century. The discussion of relevant works of literature are an advantage. The main disadvantage is that proportionately few women are included (Chicago, Kahlo, Rego, Camille Claudel?).

“The List 10- 23 April 1992