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Alasdair Gray prints go on display for the first time

Alasdair Gray's prints have gone on display to the public for the first time.

Gray: Prints on display in Glasgow.
Gray: Prints on display in Glasgow.

Prints by artist and author Alasdair Gray, which have never been seen by the public, have gone on display five weeks after his death.

The exhibition at Glasgow Print Studio features 38 works created by the “somewhat eccentric polymath” over four decades.

Gray, hailed as a “genius” and “cultural trailblazer”, died on December 29, a day after his 85th birthday, following a short illness.

The Omnium Gatherum exhibition takes its title from a screenprint completed in 2017, two years after a fall that left him in hospital.

It includes the screenprints Wakening, Boy With Spoon and To A Critic. which have never been on public display.

alasdair gray
‘Trailblazer’: Alasdair Gray died last year at the age of 85.

Glasgow Print Studio director John Mackechnie said: “We have lost the wonderful, charismatic, while somewhat eccentric polymath, Alasdair Gray.

“Feted as a writer since the publication of his seminal novel Lanark in 1981, his star continued to rise until the end for both his writing and for his amazing work in visual art.

“Alasdair made occasional prints throughout his life and later on printmaking became a major part of his artistic output. His written language was intrinsically intertwined with the visual and we were honoured to build a lasting relationship with him, working closely with our master printmakers.

Alasdair Gray: Prints on public display for first time.

“It was a great privilege for us to know him and to work with him. He leaves behind a great legacy for future generations to experience and enjoy.”

Gray’s relationship with Glasgow Print Studio spanned four decades, with Glasgow Print Studio Press publishing his first book The Comedy Of The White Dog in 1979.

Alongside the publication of Lanark two years later, he produced a set of six printed illustrations at the studio, and went on to make many more prints over the years there.

These included a series of screenprints in 2008 in which he reimagined the TS Elliot poem The Hippopotamus in Lowland Scots, and images in his “unique and inimitable style”.

Many of the works in the exhibition are for sale with prices ranging from £600 to £1500.

Gray wrote more than 30 books, all of which he designed and illustrated.

He created several murals in his native Glasgow, while his work is also on display in galleries ranging from the V&A to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

His murals can be seen in venues including the ceiling of the Auditorium at the Oran Mor venue and The Ubiquitous Chip restaurant in Glasgow, as well as at the city’s Hillhead Subway station.

The exhibition at Glasgow Print Studio opened on Friday and runs until April 12.

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