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This year marks the 30th anniversary of the exhibition The Vigorous Imagination: New Scottish Art presented at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in 1987 as the lead Edinburgh International Festival art exhibition.
The exhibition showcased the works of 17 young artists who were making waves on the international art scene, featuring the powerful new wave of figurative art then prevalent. These included the ‘New Glasgow Boys’: Steven Campbell, Peter Howson, Ken Currie, Adrian Wiszniewski; sculptor David Mach; photographer-installation artists Calum Colvin and Ron O'Donnell, and painters Sam Ainsley, Philip Braham, Gwen Hardie, Ian Hughes, Keith McIntyre, June Redfern, Mario Rossi, Joseph Urie & Kate Whiteford. It was a proud pronouncement that visual art in Scotland was vibrant, intelligent and in touch with the zeitgeist which swept across Europe during the 1980s. Since then, many of the artists have become household names. This group came to influence the wider artistic landscape in Scotland and The Vigorous Imagination paved the way for the current crop of international artists whose fame attests to the vibrancy of Glasgow as a pivotal centre for contemporary art.
The Fine Art Society in Edinburgh is exhibiting new work from these artists alongside their work from the 1980s, offering a rare chance to see a ground breaking group of work over a 30 year span.
Steven Campbell & Ian Hughes, both deceased, will be represented by historical works.
A concurrent exhibition The Vigorous Imagination – Revisted
is taking place at Roger Billcliffe Gallery in Glasgow, showcasing new works. Details at billcliffegallery.com