A Life in Colour

30 June 2022 - 23 July 2022

The Scottish Gallery had a lifelong association with Wilhelmina Barns-Graham (1912–2004). These works by Barns-Graham, made over a period of over 40 years, are close observations of the natural world, in summery shades of orange, yellow and brown redolent of sunshine and sand, and heat – of what Tom Cross described as ‘painting the warmth of the sun’.

In my paintings I want to express the joy and importance of colour, texture, energy and vibrancy, with an awareness of space and construction. A celebration of life – taking risks so creating the unexpected.’ – Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, 2001

Born: 1912
Place of Birth: St Andrews
Died: 2004

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham was born in St Andrews and attended Edinburgh College of Art 1932-7. She moved to St Ives in the 1940s, where she joined the artist societies of Newlyn, St Ives and Penwith and became friends with Nicholson, Hepworth and Gabo. A trip to Switzerland in 1948 inspired her Glacier Series and further significant travel to Italy in 1955 highlighted her strong draughtsmanship. She divided her time between St Andrews and St Ives from 1960 and produced various significant series of abstract works from the geometric to the more organic. Later in her life, her work took on a colourful, painterly flourishing in tandem with magnificent printmaking with Graal Press, consolidating her place as a major Modern British figure.

Please click here to view prints by the artist.

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