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JD Fergusson: Modern Scottish Painting

JD Fergusson: Modern Scottish Painting

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JD Fergusson’s Modern Scottish Painting is a landmark book on Scotland’s art, yet when it was first published wartime restrictions meant it was without illustrations.

In the book Fergusson questions again and again ‘what do we mean by Scottish art’ from a local, national and international perspective. This new edition brings a seminal text of the 20th century Scottish political and cultural revival, into current discourse on Scottish identity alongside full colour reproduction’s of Fergusson’s work.

It is edited and annotated by Sandy Moffat and Alan Riach who highlight the relevance today of the great Modernist painter’s philosophy, in particular his sense of the possible for Scottish painting freed British Imperialism, freed from the constraints of Calvinism and cultural inferiorism. Fergusson challenges us to think about our own attitudes to art and the artist, nationalism, politics, philosophy and modernity. All of these, he argues, are inextricably linked.

Title JD Fergusson: Modern Scottish Painting
Author Alexander Moffat and Alan Riach (eds.)
ISBN 9781910021880
Binding Paperback
Author Bio JOHN DUNCAN FERGUSSON was born in Leith in 1874. An artist and sculptor influenced by the Glasgow Boys and the French artists he met in Paris, he was one of the best known of the Scottish Colourists.
Back Cover Text To earn the name artist it seems clear that one must create something, must make something, be a ‘makar’.

In 1939, Scottish artist and sculptor J.D. Fergusson was commissioned to write a fully illustrated book on modern Scottish painting. The Second World War made this impossible and the first edition of Modern Scottish Painting was published in 1943 without illustrations. This new edition – edited, introduced and annotated by Alexander Moffat and Alan Riach – finally brings Fergusson’s project to fruition, illustrating the argument with colour reproductions of Fergusson’s own work.

Moffat and Riach frame Fergusson’s important art manifesto for the 21st-century reader, illuminating his views on modern art as he explores questions of technique, education, form and what it means for a painting to be truly modern. Fergusson relates these aspects of modern painting to Scottishness, showing what they mean for Scottish identity, nationalism, independence and the legacy that puritanical Calvinism has left on Scottish art – a particular concern for Fergusson given his recurring subject matter of the female nude.
Reviews The manifesto of a major working artist, expressing his belief in, and commitment to, what modern Scottish art is for, could be, and should be, and also it is a critical appraisal of how modern Scottish painting, and painting in the modern world, has developed and reached the point at which it has arrived. FROM THE INTRODUCTION BY ALEXANDER MOFFAT AND ALAN RIACH
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