John ByrneLullaby of Broadway 12 - 29 Sep 2017The Fine Art Society London is pleased to present our fifth solo exhibition of acclaimed Scottish painter John Byrne.
A dedicated and prolific painter as well as renowned playwright, John Byrne draws in all his creative endeavours from his upbringing in Paisley, near Glasgow. A childhood resident of the Ferguslie Park housing scheme, Byrne’s work recalls the danger, trepidation and drama of life in what was purported to be Scotland’s murder capital.
Light and Shade4 Nov - 24 Dec 2015Light and Shade presents British artists and designers who have masterfully harnessed the effects of light and shadow in their work. In romantic landscapes the tension between the deep shadows and areas of luminosity suggests a spiritual presence in nature. This exhibition comprises of 80 works including paintings, sculpture, prints and decorative arts, displayed across the two main floors of the gallery.
John Byrne: A Matter of Life and Death3 - 25 Jun 2015In June 2015 The Fine Art Society presented the fourth solo exhibition of paintings by acclaimed painter John Byrne. A Matter of Life & Death comprised a group of new paintings shot through with wit, drama and dark humour.
A dedicated and prolific painter as well as renowned playwright, John Byrne draws in all his creative endeavours from his upbringing in Paisley, near Glasgow. A childhood resident of the Ferguslie Park housing scheme, Byrne’s work recalls the danger, trepidation and drama of life in what was purported to be Scotland’s murder capital. The paintings are infused with vivacity and energy; complex narratives play out in alleyways and dark corners; graffiti proliferates and shadows are cast long and spindly, with the streets dramatically lit like stage-sets. The characters are portrayed with sensitivity and intrigue and reveal Byrne’s dedication to theatre and storytelling.
With work that is fearless and challenging, Byrne invites us to become part of the narratives and communities he portrays. His painting style is unique and instantly recognisable, which has helped propel him to international acclaim and popularity. Emily Walsh, Managing Director of The Fine Art Society in Edinburgh commented:
“John Byrne is one of the most inventive and contrary artists working in Scotland today. The work is underpinned by technical mastery and the varied subject matter explores John's imagination from memories to fantasy.”
Byrne resists similarity and repetition. He draws on his subconscious to drive the narratives and connections within and between the paintings. For the first time, in this body of work he takes occasional breaks into still life, and landscapes depict ominous symbolism and the spectre of death and old age. As his subject matter develops, Byrne’s reputation as a serious and fascinating artist continues to grow.
Byrne himself lives a humble life in Edinburgh, producing work from a studio in his home, grounding his work with an honesty and charisma that is equally infectious as it is enchanting.
On Paper7 - 30 May 2014On Paper features a selection of British artists' works on paper ranging from the 19th century to the present day.
Watercolours by John Frederick Lewis, prints from CRW Nevinson, Walter Sickert and Ben Nicholson alongside drawings by William Orpen and Edwars Burne-Jones are on show in an exhibition that gives a compelling survey of the Fine Art Society's collection of works on paper currently available for sale. Also exhibited are War works by Paul Nash and Eric Ravilious as well as contemporary artists Rob & Nick Carter's Chinese Whispers drawings.
John ByrneThe Joyful Mysteries 2 - 25 Nov 2012This is one of the most keenly anticipated exhibitions that we have held at The Fine Art Society for some years. John Byrne’s skill as a
draughtsman has been masterly since his first exhibitions in London and Edinburgh in the early 1970s but, if anything, in recent years his technique has reached an even higher level of virtuosity. This is despite the fact that he has spent long periods away from his easel writing for the theatre. That he is equally revered as a writer is a rare achievement. In his eighth decade his work ethic remains as rigorous as ever. He has worked long hours for this exhibition from early morning to late evening every day for the last twelve months.
John Byrne was born in Paisley and studied at Glasgow School of Art from 1958 to 1963. He has worked as an artist, playwright and theatre designer. In his most famous play, The Slab Boys, Byrne drew on his experience as a paint mixer in a Paisley carpet factory. During the 1980s Byrne wrote the cult television series Tutti Frutti, followed by Your Cheatin’ Heart. Byrne uses a variety of styles and techniques as he has always tried to avoid being associated with particular styles or movements in art. In 1967, following a lack of success with London galleries, Byrne produced a series of paintings under the guise of ‘Patrick’, which he claimed were by his untutored seventy-two year old father. These were met with enormous interest, much to the artist’s amusement. He occasionally still paints work in the faux-naïf ‘Patrick’ series which are inscribed with that name.
Byrne’s return to painting after two decades of writing for the theatre and for television has seen his reputation grow – his last two shows have been sell-outs. His work
is held in major collections in Scotland and abroad. Several of his paintings hang in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, the Gallery of Modern Art and the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow. An exhibition of Byrne’s portraits is scheduled to take place at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in 2014.