Rare collection comes to South Ayrshire
The Council has been working with the Maclaurin Art Gallery to bring a very special exhibition featuring paintings by Scottish Colourists to South Ayrshire. This rare collection - added to by works from South Ayrshire Collections - will be on show for free from 18 August-30 September at the Maclaurin Gallery, Rozelle Estate House, Ayr.
The exhibition Rhythm of Light: Scottish Colourists from the Fleming Collection is normally touring museums and galleries south of the Border where it has drawn record crowds. However, as part of the Fleming Collection's 50th Anniversary celebrations, the Colourists are making a homecoming.
The Fleming Collection started out in 1968 as a few paintings purchased to brighten up the offices of the merchant bank Robert Fleming & Co in London. From the start, it was decided to acquire Scottish works from all periods to reflect the roots of the bank's founder, Robert Fleming, who was born in 1845 in Dundee.
Today the collection, which is now owned by a charitable foundation, consists of over 600 works dating from the seventeenth century to the present day and is deemed to be the finest collection of Scottish art outside public institutions.
The Colourist paintings by S.J.Peploe, J.D. Fergusson, Leslie Hunter, and F.C.B. Cadell, have been at the heart of the Fleming Collection since its inception. One of the first purchases in 1968 was Hunter's masterpiece Peonies in a Chinese Vase, which along with other key works such as Peploe's Luxembourg Gardens, Fergusson's Blue Nude and Cadell's The Feathered Hat, reveal their remarkable development as artists. The exhibition charts their careers from the early experimentalism under the sway of Whistler and Manet to the breakthrough impact of the Fauves – the 'wild beasts' of contemporary French art to the mature works of the 1920s which saw a prodigious stream of Colourist painting fusing a Scots sensibility with a Continental palette.
Director of the Fleming Collection, James Knox, said of the exhibition: "The aim of our dynamic exhibition programme is to highlight the achievements of Scottish artists to both new and familiar audiences. The range of masterworks in the Fleming Collection brings into focus the creativity, adventurousness, intellectual curiosity and native talent of the Scots – all of which the Colourists had in spades. An added bonus to this stand out show is the inclusion of the fine group of Colourists from the South Ayrshire Council permanent collection, most notably a dazzling work by Leslie Hunter. The show at the Maclaurin Gallery can only reinforce the Colourists' status as four of the most innovative and distinctive artists in twentieth century British art."
Chairman of the Fleming Collection, Rory Fleming said: "Our fiftieth anniversary is a great moment in the history of the Collection. This exhibition is part of our 'museum without walls' strategy, which lends works either individually or as curated shows to galleries - raising the profile and influence of Scottish art and creativity across the UK.'
John Walker, Chairman of The Maclaurin Trust said: "The Maclaurin Art Gallery has been successful in bringing exhibitions to Ayr to complement the array of works in the joint collections of the Maclaurin Trust and South Ayrshire Council. And on this occasion "Rhythm of Light" brings just that - a splendid opportunity to see the works of The Scottish Colourists from the Fleming Collection – as well as highlights from South Ayrshire Council's own collection. The exhibition is generously supported by the Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation, the Maclaurin Trust, South Ayrshire Council and Investec - the Maclaurin Trust's Fund Managers."
Rhythm of Light: Scottish Colourists from the Fleming Collection (18th August-30th September 2018) Maclaurin Art Gallery at Rozelle House www.themaclaurin.org.uk
Opening hours Monday-Saturday 10.00 am – 5.00pm; Sunday 12.00 pm - 5.00pm
Other exhibitions showing at the Maclaurin and Rozelle House Galleries:
Ages of Wonder: The Royal Scottish Academy Life School
Saturday 18th August – Sunday 7th October 2018
The pinnacle of art study has traditionally been the human figure. The RSA operated a Life School between 1840 and 1932, and last year staged a contemporary equivalent as part of the major exhibition Ages of Wonder. This exhibition is a diverse mix of prize-winning student work from then and now, historic collected teaching aids and new work created by contemporary artists including Beth Fisher, George Donald and Christine Borland.
Ages of Wonder: The Royal Scottish Academy Life School (18th August-7th October)
Four Voices Saturday 18th August - Sunday 30th September 2018
Tapestry by Baxter, Brennan, Gizzi, Radcliffe. Graduates of ECA with over 100 years of professional experience between them, offering different approaches, techniques in the art and craft of tapestry.
The Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation:
Since 2000 the Fleming Collection has been vested in the Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation, a registered charity set up and endowed by members of the Flaming family to secure the future of the collection following the sale of the private bank. Alongside the care and enhancement of the collection, the Foundation furthers an understanding of Scottish art and creativity especially outside Scotland through exhibitions, events, publishing and education. Its 'Museum without Walls' strategy established in 2015 focuses on building long term partnerships with museums and institutions through staging touring exhibitions of works from the collection.