OSCAR MARZAROLI: TENEMENTS TO TOWERBLOCKS

18 November - 23 December 2016
Overview

The Fine Art Society presents an exhibition of photographs by Italian-Scot, Oscar Marzaroli (1933-1988) in conjunction with the Marzaroli Estate. It will be the most extensive exhibition to date with over 45 works on show, many which have never been on view before.

Marzaroli’s subject matter focuses on the urban decay and regeneration of Glasgow in the 1960s: the men of shipyards and steelworks, street life and children. Described as a documentary photographer, Marzaroli engaged and moved amongst his subjects as an equal, a participant. The photographs record the radical changes that took place in Glasgow during this time both socially and architecturally, demolition of tenements and the construction of new housing schemes in the city. Upon his return to Glasgow in 1959 he saw the city he grew up in changing: ‘A place like the Gorbals was a microcosm of what was happening in all the great cities of the world. It was exciting a location as any could have been.’.

Included in the show are a group of photographs of Joan Eardley in her Townhead studio painting the Samson children and her life at Catterline on the north east coast of Scotland. In an interview in 1986 Marzaroli cites Eardley as being of more influence to him than anyone: “Her work has an immediate quality, a realism, and a kind of urgency. Here in her paintings were the children of the tenements as I recall them from my own childhood in Garnethill”.

Marzaroli was of Italian birth and arrived in Scotland in 1935, aged 2. He attended Glasgow School of Art for a short period and undertook an apprenticeship as a photo-journalist in Europe and London before returning to Glasgow in 1959. His livelihood was making films and alongside this he recorded Glasgow's evolution through the 1960s and 70s.