Alasdair Wallace's art is suffused with the surrealism of the everyday. His richly worked and allusively plotted paintings present a world that is at once recognisable and unsettling. It is a world full of odd juxtapositions and unexplained presences. Wallace lives and works in Glasgow, and the city's 'edgelands' provide a recurring motif for his work. He finds a rich space for his artistic imagination in the unfixed margin between the modern city and the countryside that surrounds it. From it he has distilled a unique vision, one touched with humour, mystery and a subtle sense of pathos.
Alasdair Wallace was born in Glasgow 1967 and studied at The Glasgow School of Art from 1987 to 1991. On graduation he travelled to Italy with the John Kinross Scholarship from the Royal Scottish Academy.
He has received numerous other awards since then including the William Littlejohn Award and the Guthrie Medal from the RSA, The Alexander Graham Munro Travel Award and the Walter Scott Award from the RSW, The Armour Award and The City Of Glasgow College Award from the RGI. He won The Noble Grossart Painting Prize in 2001and in 2018 he received the W Gordon Smith And Mrs Jay Gordon Smith Award at the annual exhibition of the Society Of Scottish Artists in Edinburgh.
In the summer of 2019, Glasgow Print Studio hosted Wallace's largest solo show to date and the first in his hometown of Glasgow in two decades. Prior to this he had exhibited regularly at The Rebecca Hossack Gallery in London between 1995 and 2016. His tenth show there entitled ‘Rare Vagrants and Accidentals’ took place at the gallery's NYC space in April 2014 and the last show 'Ache The Good Ache' opened in London at the end of 2016.
Other solo shows have taken place at the Open Eye Gallery in Edinburgh and the Compass Gallery in Glasgow as well as the Featured Artist exhibition '230 volts' at Glasgow Print Studio in September 2015. His work was included in ‘INK’, an exhibition curated from the archives of Glasgow Print Studio by Sam Ainsley, David Harding and Sandy Moffat in 2017. Wallace exhibits regularly in the SSA and RSA annual exhibitions in Edinburgh and in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in London. Other group shows include:'The Art of Scotland's Political Reawakening' at North Kelvin College, Glasgow; 'Lowlands' at Glasgow Print Studio; ‘The River Runs Through It’ at Glasgow's Kelvingrove Museum as well as several survey shows at The Fleming Collection Gallery, London.
His works are held in a number of collections including: The Walter Scott Collection, The Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation, Cromarty Arts Trust, The Royal Scottish Academy, North Lanarkshire Council, Grampian Hospitals Art Trust and The City Of Glasgow College.
OSCILLATE VACILLATE ORBIT & REVOLVE
Glasgow Print Studio
7th June – 28th July 2019
This exhibition of new paintings and prints by Alasdair Wallace represents his first major solo show in Glasgow in over twenty years. Within much of this new work Wallace reflects on the parallel processes across painting and printmaking, where they overlap and diverge and how they can inform each other. The influence of his recent experimentations in printmaking has led to the introduction of some systematic painting techniques alongside his more usual intuitive and reactive approach.
Wallace grew up in Drumchapel, on the western outskirts of Glasgow. These edge lands on the city’s rural and urban fringe have influenced the artist and his attitude to landscape remains coloured by childhood explorations of what seemed like a wilderness. Below the Glasgow Airport flight path he and his friends would bunk-off school and follow the nearby burn upstream. Amidst the occasional burnt-out car and shopping trolley, they would encounter ideal worlds for childish imaginations to inhabit. An Arcadia in microcosm.
The sense of this ‘edge land’ absurdly infringing on some evocation of the ideal landscape is a recurring theme for Wallace. Much of the recent work to be found in the exhibition reveals an influence of the emblematic language present in neo-classical landscape painting tradition and the depiction of Arcadia as artificial backdrop to human drama. The sense of symbolism inherent in these traditions is preserved but is mischievously confounded with ambiguous connections to contemporary experience. His invented landscapes are combined with oblique observations of real locations to present a world that is at once recognisable and unsettling. One full of unexplained presences and clusters of incongruous objects.
The graphic quality of print has also prompted a new exploration for Wallace of text and imagery in combination. Disembodied words float amidst etched landscapes while paintings are shot through with Dada-esque textual conundrums. The ambiguity and absurdity of the text is amplified in his recently completed ‘Analoguer’ digital prints.
Though the work often intrigues and baffles in equal measure his affinity with materials, openness of form and the accessibility of familiar motifs, invites audiences to engage with the work imaginatively and form significances of their own.
Alasdair Wallace Born Glasgow 1967
1987 – 1991 Glasgow School of Art, BA Hons Fine Art
2020 Settlements - Linlithgow Burgh Halls
2019 Oscillate Vacillate Orbit & Revolve - Glasgow Print Studio
2018 Incidences - Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh
2016 Ache The Good Ache - Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London
2015 Two Hundred And Thirty Volts - Glasgow Print Studio
2014 Rare Vagrants And Accidentals - Rebecca Hossack Gallery, NYC
2014 Talking Tree - Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London
2010 New and recent work - Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh
2008 Soluble City - Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2020 Society Of Scottish Artists, Edinburgh
2019 Orbiteering - Tatha Gallery, Newport on Tay
2018 Littlejohn Award Exhibit - Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh
2017 'Lowlands' - Glasgow Print Studio
2017 INK. Curated by AHM, Glasgow Print Studio
2015 The Art Of Scotland’s Political Reawakening - North Kelvin College
2011 The Ghosts Of Gone Birds - Rochelle School, London
2010 ‘The River Runs Through It’ - Kelvingrove Museum, Glasgow
2009 ‘Inspired’ - Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation Gallery, London
John Gray Award - RSW Edinburgh 2018
W Gordon Smith Award - SSA Edinburgh 2018
William Littlejohn Award - Royal Scottish Academy 2017
City Of Glasgow College Award - RGI Glasgow 2016
The Walter Scott Award - RSW Edinburgh 2015
Armour Award - Royal Glasgow Institute 2005
Noble Grossart Painting Prize 2001
Guthrie Medal, Royal Scottish Academy 1999
City Of Glasgow College, Walter Scott And Partners,
Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation, Cromarty Arts Trust,
The Royal Scottish Academy, North Lanarkshire Council,
Grampian Hospitals Art Trust