Marlborough Fine Art is pleased to present a retrospective of celebrated Scottish painter Steven Campbell. The show consists of a selection of works made between 1983 and his untimely death in 2007.
This major exhibition is a rare insight into the career of an artist who is considered to have pioneered the renaissance of Scottish art in the 1980s. It is the first major exhibition in London since his solo show at Marlborough Fine Art in 2009.
Best known for his monumental figurative paintings, Campbell’s unique works emerged from an array of personal and literary inspirations to create surreal narratives which offer Campbell’s comment on social and human conditions. His paintings often depict recurring characters in dream-like scenarios, which are full of humour and ironic historical references.
Campbell enrolled at Glasgow School of Art in 1978, studying installation and performance art, which became influences within his theatrical paintings. Towards the end of his studies, Campbell was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship and moved to New York in 1982 where he made an impression on the art scene, receiving acclaim for his thought-provoking works.
Campbell moved back to Glasgow in 1987, during this time his work became more expressive. As figurative painting became less fashionable in the 1990s, this proved a difficult period for Campbell and he started to experiment with different materials and themes within his work. Solemn undertones and dark irony became recurring themes, reflecting his own personal struggles during this period.
Despite the variations and changes within his practice over the years, Campbell’s works present a highly distinctive and original aesthetic, in an intelligent, powerful and a sometimes autobiographical style of painting.
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with an introduction written by novelist Michael Bracewell.
Besides several solo exhibitions in the USA in the 1980’s, Campbell also held exhibitions in Munich (1984), Geneva (1986), and Tokyo (1990). In 1990, the Third Eye Centre, Glasgow, organised a major touring exhibition of his work ‘On Form and Fiction’, which was seen in Oriel Mostyn, Llandudno; Marlborough Fine Art, London; Art Gallery, Aberdeen; Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester and Art Gallery, Southampton. His final major exhibition was The Caravan Club at Talbot Rice Gallery in Edinburgh in 2002.
Campbell’s work can be found in major museums and public collections including; Arts Council of Great Britain (UK), Metropolitan Museum of Art (USA), Art Institute of Chicago (USA), Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (UK), and Tate Britain (UK).