George Leslie Hunter: A Life in Colour
Comprehensive survey of the work of Rothesay-born colourist
This article is from 2012.
More than 70 paintings and prints by the least known of the four Scottish colourists not only demonstrate the breadth of Hunter’s painting practice and his constantly changing approach and style, but also reveal the influences on the Rothesay-born artist, placing his work in the wider context of European painting as well as Scottish.
Through Hunter’s weighty still life works and vibrant, colourful landscapes made in Scotland, Paris, Italy and San Francisco, the exhibition takes us through his experimentations with colour relationships and flattened perspectives, reminiscent of Matisse, his explorations with light, form, volume and nature, an obvious nod to Cézanne, and the format, composition and colour of his still lifes, which echo that of Dutch 17th century painting.
The more interesting aspects of this exhibition are the least expected: a series of small prints and drawings that Hunter produced while working as an illustrator in San Francisco are intense and sharply executed. Next to these, one of Hunter’s stronger, less contrived landscape paintings reflects their tensions: ‘Sunlit Avenue, Northern France’ captures the best aspects of Hunter’s painting – a dark exploration of pattern, form and the effects of light that quietly captures man’s relationship with nature through its simple but intense vitality.
City Art Centre, 529 3993, until 14 Oct, £5 (£3.50).