Monday, November 5, 2012

Norah Neilson Gray: Solid Scot

I was wandering through the galleries in Glasgow's Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum a few months ago and came across the painting shown above (click to enlarge). The reproduction does not do justice to the original. For a lower-quality impression, below is an aide-memoir photo I hurriedly shot. Note the differences in color, possibly related to local lighting conditions.

The painting stood out from the others arranged near it, perhaps partly due to its size, but more because of how decisive was the application of paint. Its title is "Little Brother" (1920-22) and the artist was Norah Neilson Gray (1882-1931); her Wikipedia entry is here.

Gray is been grouped under the "Glasgow Girls" label (an analog to the better-known "Glasgow Boys" active in the 1880s and 1890s). I posted on the "Girls" here and about Bessie MacNicol, another outstanding member of the group, here.

MacNicol's paintings are more Impressionist-influenced and seem fussy compared to Gray's typical use of crisply defined color areas to portray her subjects. Here are more examples of her work.


The Belgian Refugee - c1915

Scottish Women's Hospital

Salopian Cup and Chinese Vase

Self-Portrait - 1918

This self-portrait reminds me of the work of Romaine Brooks.


dearieme said...

"Belgian refugee": one set of my grandparents took in a Belgian refugee in 1914, a child from one of their industrial cities.

I suppose it was rather like taking in a child evacuee from one of our own industrial cities in 1940: for respectable small town people it could be, um, instructive.

dearieme said...

Ah, about the art: thumbs up. I'd happily have the hospital scene, for instance, on my walls.

On the second self-portrait: is the huge right hand meant to imply that painting is hard work? Contrast with the left hand in the self-portrait above, and the well-executed hands in the other paintings.

Phalanges said...

Having seen the Belgian refugee, I'm not likely to forget his haunted eyes. I love this artist's work.