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VICTORIA CROWE A CERTAIN LIGHT


VICTORIA CROWE A CERTAIN LIGHT 2 AUGUST – 1 SEPTEMBER 2018


FOREWORD

The Scottish Gallery is delighted to present A Certain Light by Victoria Crowe for the Edinburgh International Festival 2018. Many will already have seen her exhibition at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery Beyond Likeness and will be looking forward to her major retrospective at the Edinburgh City Art Centre in 2019. But for all artists the most important painting is the next one and The Scottish Gallery since the inception of the Festival has showcased new work by Scotland’s greatest living artists. A Certain Light is the fruit of three years work including paintings of the landscape surrounding her home in West Linton, works inspired by her residency at Dumfries House and a new series of luminous still life interiors of haunting beauty.

Victoria Crowe’s work continues to reflect on the nature of light, the way it reveals and obscures; she seeks the halflight of dusk when colour can be enhanced as the light dies and the mind is invited to dwell on the unknowable. In Venice, where she has a home and second studio, the sense of time passed and passing is intense, bathed in a palette of reds, where the eternal and the ephemeral exist in perfect balance. We are grateful to John Morrison and Peter Davidson for their insights, eloquence and poetry in the text which accompanies this wonderful exhibition. THE SCOTTISH GALLERY

Victoria Crowe at West Linton, March 2018; Photo: Michael Walton


A CERTAIN LIGHT

A skeletal, indian-red tree stands sharp against a cold sky – Opening Out (cat. 17). A realist painting with crisp winter light and cold still air. But the way the paint is laid on the canvas, layered to give a rich, shifting surface, the manner in which the branches hook and swirl, the painting of the smaller twigs which seem to give the surface an overall appearance of craquelure, all serve to stress elements other than realism. The surface has variations in depth, both real and illusory and a work which appears directly accessible as a realist image shifts in front of you and offers flat contradictions to rules of reality you thought you understood. Objects move within the depth of the painting, space forms around well-known forms then drifts off into frank flat assertions of surface. Light and shade shimmer across the painting surfaces only to become graphic pattern. The painting has deep roots in a profound knowledge of the world. Like all the paintings in this exhibition it directly depicts natural forms and natural phenomena at their most intense and mysterious, but it also finds in these objects and processes a meditation on nature more generally. Across the exhibition the vision shifts in turn through darkness and light with a sometime dark poetic richness. These paintings then are abstract in that they communicate with the viewer at least as much through how they are painted as they do through what it is that is depicted. For Crowe however the illusionistic relationship to the real world Left: Infloresence, Gladioli (detail) (cat. 25)

is the anchor for the work. The need for painting to succeed not only through the autonomous language of paint, but also as representation of our natural world, provides a touchstone, even in the most formally structured works, against which less concrete objectives can be measured. The flower paintings for example operate simultaneously as abstract objects, as depictions of our known environment and also through accessing the long tradition of symbolic flower language in western art. Crowe has observed that she uses plant imagery ‘as ciphers and symbols within a greater whole’ with the finished images partaking of all three means but with the image transcending any one reading. Historically flower painting, a supposedly ‘minor art form’, is a traditional ‘woman artist’ subject. It was seen as charming, utterly superficial and free from the passions of the human condition. As the author of The Delights of Flower Painting put it ‘What more charming pastime can be found for that sex formed to delight, and charm; and like blooming flowers present new beauties and fresh scenes of delight than representing, in the gayest part of nature, an image of their lovely selves.’ (John June, 1756) Infloresence, Gladioli (cat. 25) is elemental and powerful. It encapsulates Crowe as a painter. This is the antithesis of a charming flower painting. The painting is ostensibly one of six gladioli stems but the spikes are not presented as a flower arrangement. Each is seen individually


with the stems disappearing out the bottom of the canvas forcing each shape to the surface and requiring that they are considered independently as well as collectively. The painting asserts its autonomy through the paint handling. The flowers themselves are not consistently painted on top of a background. The seen surface is a combination of both ‘flowers’ and the negative space of the golden field, with the topmost layer switching between the two. The light in the painting emanates from the golden field, but not consistently with the most intense light ‘behind’ the pale central flower immediately juxtaposed with the shadowed red/orange field behind the darker red spike. The gladioli then are not given precedence as the subject of the painting with the scratched and rubbed colour field afforded as much significance as the apparent illusionistic image. The stems and the petals can both sit in front of the yellow ochre and emerge from behind breaks in the colour field surface layer. The assertive dominant shapes of the flowers, contradicted by the strong overpainting creates a sharp surface tension in the painting, contributing to a powerful, elemental, image as the objects and the paint surface vie for dominance. These elements come to the fore to varying degrees in all the paintings in the exhibition. There are more overtly realist images and those more consciously abstract. The works tend to be developed in series with a theme evolved and played out over four or five canvases. In general

over that development the works move from more realist to more abstract. The more objective works are never preparatory to the more abstracted. Neither are they less ‘evolved’. For all the interrelatedness of many of the pieces, each has its own validity as an object in its own right with this productive battle between formality and organicism played out in a variety of different ways. The silhouetted trees seen in Alto (cat. 8) form the source material for Throughout a Single Day (cat. 2). Essentially this is painting of time, from dark to light and back again, from night to day but also from real to imaginary with space consistent across the three left hand events and fragments of time separated by cool grey divisions. On the right side the warm yellow division marks a discontinuity in both time and in space. The branches on the right relate ambiguously to the tone at the edge of the canvas and this element of the painting reads as a vertical scrub landscape as convincingly as it does the outer edges of a winter tree. Throughout a Single Day is a good example of how difficult it is to separate objective and subjective in the paintings. The strict vertical divisions of the painting push towards a subjective reading of time. The entire tree is highly controlled by the divisions and the painting wears its formal abstract cloak very overtly. But central to the impact of the paintings is the accuracy of the drawing. It underlies anything. The imaginary can only emerge because it is grounded in


an absolute certainty of form from which it is a departure. Even here at its most formalised, the structure of the main tree is utterly believable. Indeed as a tree it is more directly literal than Opening Out (cat. 17). The painting of the smaller elements is relatively soft and beautifully observed with the last dead leaves still adhering to the stark branches. All that is strikingly real and reasserts the objective with the downward sloping horizontal in the mid-tone section suddenly reading as a horizon dividing a snow covered bank from a heavy sky; only for the warmer light of the right to both break the illusion and assert a reading of the painting as four discrete elements. Throughout the exhibition images which look very like the world are actually revealed as deeply abstracted. Images which appear to stress formal structure emerge as closely observed elements of the natural world. The paintings of Venice embody that dichotomy directly. By their very subject matter images of Venice have to partake of that movement back and forth between depicted view and emotive history that accompanies all images of the city. They are complex images, shifting genre and therefore apparent meaning as you consider them. The palimpsest surface heightens the ambiguity and posits an unknowable content, forever gently out of reach. The past is central to the subject matter not as melancholy but it is recognised as gone. The inevitability of the passing of time is recognised and lamented

as human experience. Memory holds events and images in the present but as reflected in a dark glass. The sequence of twilight and evening paintings which emerged from a residency at Dumfries House in Winter and Spring 2015/16 share all these characteristics. Painting in the evenings, Crowe explored how low a light level she could work with. These images are on occasion much more directly landscapes than elsewhere. As with the other works these paintings were developed as a group, feeding off and informing each other as they were produced. Again the paintings gradually move away from the seen world. As ever there is an interest in time, a layering of the surface and a sense of more concealed than revealed. In the latest of these paintings semblance flits in and out of the work with vying stresses on flatness, abstraction and illusionism. The divisions of Venetian Mirror with Remembered Landscape (cat. 3) echo the structure of an antique over mantle mirror, the overt historical reference distances the painting’s immediate illusion and encourages a reading of the work as a series of linked but discrete events, profoundly important but enigmatic in meaning. A long way from the indulgence of a charming pastime depicting the gayest parts of nature. JOHN MORRISON University of Aberdeen


A PAINTER OF EVENINGS, PASSING TIME, AND DISTANT LIGHTS How green the blue of the last of the day is! How the bones of the wintery hills show through wind-spread scatterings of snow. How the midnight sky of a white night of the northern midsummer is composed of so many blanched, fluctuating colours. How red the light from a distant window can appear seen through the shadowy blues of a moonlit wood. All of these observations, accurate and perfect, inform the paintings in Victoria Crowe’s latest exhibition. Her extraordinary control of colour, her ingenuity in representing the finest shades of mutable light and weather, and her sheer sense of the poetry of passing things, are demonstrated here even more clearly than they were before. Perhaps the most striking group in the exhibition is formed by the spacious and serene paintings of twilight and evening, which have their origins in a residency at Dumfries House. This sequence of great trees in parkland, seen at different times of day, carries with it a mood of quiet thought and recollection, absolutely free from the axiomatic melancholy of the Victorian years when these great trees were growing to maturity. Amongst this group, there is one daylight picture, or rather a representation of the failure of light on an overcast winter day, with a mist rising from damp ground – Pale Light, February Afternoon (cat. 13). What is vital here is the way that the medium and the subject, ink and mist, are almost the same substance: The trees are half-realised, half shaped in ink, out of the Right: Landscape with Hidden Moon (detail) (cat. 5)

dimness of the ink-wash into which they fade. Landscape with Hidden Moon (cat. 5) represents yet further explorations of nature seen by light so muted that only the human eye could read the environment, the powers of the camera having failed long since. As such, it is a wonderful continuation of the sequence of winter dusk pictures which Victoria Crowe has been painting for the last few years, and a continuation also of the extraordinary handling of tones of blue found in the screen-palimpsest in the portrait of Thea Musgrave and the deep night sky in the portrait of the astronomer Jocelyn Bell Burnell as seen in Beyond Likeness at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. In Landscape with Hidden Moon, the slow downward seeping of light half-silhouettes the elegant pattern of branches against the soft-blue moon-diffusing sky. Lower down, tree trunks flow into their shadows amongst the dapplings of moon on the woodland floor. One of the finest things in this whole group of night paintings is the quiet suggestion of the horizon line far to the left in the depths of the trees, achieved by the juxtaposition of two meticulously distinguished luminous blue pigments. But this work contains a new element in Victoria Crowe’s evening paintings, one which brings her even closer to the German romantic landscapes of the turn of the nineteenth century: the presence of lighted windows in the distance. This introduction changes the whole dynamic of the painting


Song for Victoria Crowe The lights of day now fade away the dark closes round, Frost and dusk and snow and shadows spread on the ground; I’m staying out late to contemplate these changes of hue The things that you can do with blue. My solitary promenade’s through shades of the night Mist-glow, moon-bow, cold and cobalt are my delight; The diamond north-star shines from far, as clear and as true As the things that you can do with blue. Peter Davidson, 2018


and the positioning of the artist and the spectator. The finely painted spill of reddish light from the distant windows and streetlights – at the least a line of cottages is implied, perhaps also a sparsely lit country road – defines the edge of the parkland, without diminishing its quietude. The relation of the painter and viewer to the perfectly observed lights (their yellow tinged almost with red in contrast to the blues and greys of the foreground) is detached but serene. There are cottages in the parkland, or at its boundary, but they are neither an intrusion nor a refuge. They do not offer an alternative to the moonlit night, but are a quiet part of it, subsumed into the enrapturedness of the whole.. Part of the wisdom and humanity of these paintings is their rootedness in the reality of things, the peopled or planted landscape, and the presence of the real only deepens their qualities of quietness and fidelity. In the same group, Twilight Landscape (cat. 4) is an ingenious re-imagining of Caspar David Friedrich’s celebrated Der Abend: a screen of trees and shadowy underwood, set between the viewer and the horizontal lines of softening coloured light in the evening sky. The serenity of the image derives to some degree from its being unpeopled: the absence of Friedrich’s two rückenfiguren, with their implications of a story of long-shared travel coming to an end, renders this picture more tranquil and less elegiac. As with all these evening pictures, the viewer is set free to contemplate, as the

painter has contemplated in calm and appreciation, and this quietude is closely linked to the absence of even the most vestigial implied narrative, although time itself becomes an increasingly important element of this whole group of pictures. The colours are even more profound, the woodland floor more shadowy and mysterious in filaments of ground mist, in Deeper Richness (cat. 6), another thoughtful re-invention of Friedrich’s juxtaposition of dense trees and ribbons of sunset. In Late Evening, July (cat. 18) white lilies bloom at the heart of a white night and the whole picture implies cool uplands and moving air. The painting of the background is one of Victoria Crowe’s subtlest equivalents for observed reality: it encompasses both the papery colours of the midnight dawn and a subtle indication of the outlines of hills behind the group of garden flowers, even a suggestion of the light, unsleeping wind of the northern summer. More than this, the sheer abstraction of the inky colours and visible paint-textures of the lower part contrive to suggest that this is all in the past, that this is a painted record of flowers in a July garden in a botanist’s album, and that the browning of the highest bloom is only one of a number of subtle indications of time in the painting. In this, this work obviously relates to earlier works of the artist’s in which pages from herbals, plants as dried specimens, formed a part of her palimpsests of renaissance and


contemporary reflections on a place or a work of art from the past. There are other paintings in this exhibition which play elegantly with ideas of flowers in time: Reflected, Silhouetted (cat. 19) shows a tangled climbing plant indoors against a background which implies harsh winter light off snow beyond a window, the whole setting realised only by the fastidious choice of colour. Despite the absolute precision of observation it is remarkable here, as in many other of the pictures in this group, how abstracted the means are by which representation is suggested, captured, and achieved. Between Two Windows (cat. 22) appears at first to have a simple temporality – hothouse gladioli are placed between two windows which look out on bare trees and a frozen landscape. But the lights and reflections in the painting are sophisticated and ambiguous: in earlier paintings of Victoria Crowe’s, gladioli have associated with the heat of summer with, the airless evenings of August in the Mediterranean. Here they are flanked by northern windows, with subtle indications that the two windows open onto different times of the short winter day. But the flowers appear to have brought with them a fierce, redtinged light which falls on them from a source behind the viewer’s right shoulder. But there are further depths to the image: the flowers cast a warm red shadow, even though their vase reflects the colours of snow and evening, so that the whole image is located in an imaginary place and time

where the Italian August has been caught in a winter room in the north. This lovely ambiguity attends the pivotal picture in the group, a work which brings together the two most frequent tropes of Victoria Crowe’s painting, Venetian Mirror with Remembered Landscape (cat. 3). This combines the worn silvering of a Venetian mirror, which so often in her work reflects a palimpsest of art and places from the renaissance past, with the silent snowy landscapes seen beyond windows in the last moments of northern winter daylight. There are further layers of ambiguity in this picture: the rich yellow of a Venetian dawn lights up the highest and lowest points of the glass, and the beautifully-realised snow picture, the bare trees in the very last of the light, is fading at the edges as though, in a most elegant reversal of the long standing ambition of the visual arts in Britain, the recreation of the Italian south in the north, this is a recollection of the north in the south. In the warmth of the southern day, a ghostly winter night is projected into the mirror by the exercise of memory. As so often in this exhibition, time and memory, recollected lights and reflections, are the silent elements working under and through the serenity of the image. PETER DAVIDSON University of Oxford


1 Tree Bank, Winter Light oil on linen • 152.5 x 152.5 cms


2 Throughout a Single Day oil on linen • 101.5 x 127 cms


3 Venetian Mirror with Remembered Landscape oil on linen • 101.5 x 127 cms


4 Twilight Landscape oil on linen • 127 x 102 cms


5 Landscape with Hidden Moon oil on linen • 127 x 127 cms


6 Deeper Richness oil on linen • 91.5 x 102 cms


7 Light Spill, Morning oil on linen • 61 x 56 cms


8 Alto oil on linen • 114.5 x 127 cms


9 Evening Poem oil on board • 35.5 x 25 cms


10 How the Snow Fell oil on linen • 91.5 x 101.5 cms


11 Branch on Branch, Snow on Snow oil and mixed media • 56 x 84.5 cms


12 Waiting for ‘Winterreise’, Aldeburgh Marshes mixed media • 31.5 x 39.5 cms


13 Pale Light, February Afternoon ink and wash on pumice primed paper • 49.5 x 41 cms


14 From the Studio, Dumfries House mixed media • 35.5 x 41 cms


15 Light on the Hills mixed media • 28 x 31.5 cms


16 Winter Evening mixed media • 20 x 28 cms


17 Opening Out oil on linen • 81 x 96.5 cms


18 Late Evening, July ink, wash, gold leaf and acrylic • 98 x 60.5 cms


19 Reflected, Silhouetted mixed media • 56 x 76 cms


20 Agapanthus, Changing Light oil on board • 49.5 x 56 cms


21 Agapanthus x 3 oil and mixed media • 31.5 x 65 cms


22 Between Two Windows oil on linen • 91 x 101.5 cms


23 White Nights of a Northern Summer oil on linen • 81 x 76 cms


24 The Stillness of Snow and Shadow oil on linen • 71 x 76 cms


25 Infloresence, Gladioli oil on linen • 91.5 x 71 cms


26 Zattere, Looking into Evening Sun oil on linen • 101.5 x 127 cms


27 Zattere Silhouetted ink and wash • 15 x 23 cms


28 Zattere Skyline mixed media • 20 x 26 cms


29 Fondamenta Before a Storm mixed media • 14 x 19 cms


30 Early Mist, Giudecca Canal mixed media • 11.5 x 26 cms


31 Bora with Acqua Alta

32 Bora at Molino Stucky

mixed media • 12.5 x 11 cms

mixed media • 12.5 x 11 cms


33 The Zattere, Evening mixed media and ink • 33 x 107 cms


34 Sonorous Tree oil on board • 30.5 x 23 cms


35 Ferragosto Fireworks oil on board • 30.5 x 25.5 cms


36 Crocosmia, Summer Light I mixed media • 15 x 21.5 cms


37 Crocosmia, Summer Light II mixed media • 16.5 x 23 cms


38 Crocosmia, Summer Light III mixed media • 16.5 x 21.5 cms


39 Crocosmia, Summer Light IV mixed media • 15 x 22 cms


40 L’ultima Cena with Green Quince oil on board • 61 x 40.5 cms


41 Single Green Quince oil on board • 20.5 x 22.5 cms


42 Blood Moon Stone Flower oil on board • 41 x 30.5 cms


Victoria Crowe in her Edinburgh studio, June 2018; Photo: Kenneth Gray


VICTORIA CROWE

OBE DHC FRSE MA(RCA) RSA RSW 1945

Born Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey 1961-65 Kingston School of Art 1965-68 Royal College of Art, London 1968 David Murray Landscape Scholarship 1968-98 Lecturer in Drawing & Painting, Edinburgh College of Art 1969/75 Scottish Arts Council Bursaries 1973 Anne Redpath Award 1981 Glasgow Herald Painting Competition Prize winner Scottish Arts Council Printmaking Bursary 1982 Elected member of The Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour 1987 Elected Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy Winner of the Daler/Rowney Prize for Watercolour, Royal Academy, London 1988 Hunting Group Major Award Winner 1991 Elected Associate of the Royal Watercolour Society (RWS) Major Award winner (Chris Beetles Prize), RWS Open Exhibition, London 1992 Invited by Artists for Nature Foundation, funded by WWF, to join a group of International artists working on a conservation project in Poland Sir William Gillies Bequest, Royal Scottish Academy, for travel and study in Italy 1994 Invited by ANF to work on a conservation project in the Extremadura, Spain

1997

Exchange portrait commission with the NPGs of Scotland and Denmark to paint the Danish Resistance leader, Ole Lippmann, for the 20th Century Collection of portraits at Frederiksborg Castle, Copenhagen Invited by Glasgow Museums and Art Galleries to take part in the Tiger, Tiger project at Bandhavgarh National Park, India 2000 Invited artist for shortlist of Jesus 2000 commission, Glasgow Museum and Art Gallery 2002 Benton Humfries Award, Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London 2004-07 Senior Visiting Scholar, St Catherine‘s College, Cambridge University 2004 Sir William Gillies Bequest, Royal Scottish Academy, for travel and research Awarded OBE for Services to Art 2008 Private commission of tapestry, Two Views, Dovecot Tapestry Studio, Edinburgh 2009 Awarded Doctor Honoris Causa (DHC) University of Aberdeen 2010 Elected Fellow of The Royal Society of Edinburgh 2011/12 Commission of major suite of paintings for redesigned period house in the Scottish Borders 2012 Commission of tapestry, Large Tree Group, Dovecot Tapestry


2013 2017

2018

Studio, Edinburgh Deputy President of The Royal Scottish Academy Shortlisted for two major public art commissions, London Awarded commission of The Leathersellers’ Tapestry, London Installation of The Leathersellers’ Tapestry, London Winterreisse, A Parallel Journey, a collaboration with opera singer Matthew Rose and pianist Gary Matthewman, performed at the Benjamin Britten studios, Aldeburgh, and at the Wigmore Hall, London Performance of Winterreisse, A Parallel Journey, at the Weesp Chamber Music Festival, the Netherlands

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS 1969 1970 1971 1973 1975 1977 1982 1983 1985 1986 1988

Waterhouse Gallery, London The Scottish Gallery (Aitken Dott), Edinburgh Waterhouse Gallery, London The Scottish Gallery (Aitken Dott), Edinburgh Lantern Gallery, Manchester Loomshop Gallery, Lower Largo The Scottish Gallery (Aitken Dott), Edinburgh The Scottish Gallery (Aitken Dott), Edinburgh Thackeray Gallery, London Thackeray Gallery, London Mercury Gallery, Edinburgh Abbot Hall, Kendal From Carlops to Corinth,

The Fine Art Society, Edinburgh and Glasgow 1989 Thackeray Gallery, London Border Connections, The Bruton Gallery, Somerset 1991 Thackeray Gallery, London 1993 The Bruton Gallery, Bath Ancrum Gallery, Borders Festival 1994 Thackeray Gallery, London 1995 The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh 1997 Corrymella Scott Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne 1998 The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh Accomplished Journeys, Bruton Gallery, Leeds 1999 Thackeray Gallery, London, 2000 Cambridge Contemporary Art A Shepherd‘s Life, Paintings of Jenny Armstrong by Victoria Crowe, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh A Shepherd’s Life, related works, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh 2001 Victoria Crowe New Works, Edinburgh Festival Exhibition, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh Thackeray Gallery, London 2001/02 A Shepherd’s Life, touring, Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate; Duff House, Aberdeenshire; Inverness Museum and Art Gallery; Highland Folk Museum; Swanston Gallery, Thurso; St Fergus Gallery, Wick; Hatton Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne University 2002 Aldeburgh Festival Exhibition, Gallery 44 (Thackeray Gallery) Bohun Gallery, Henley-onThames


2003 2004

2005 2006

2007 2008 2009

2010

2011 2012 2013

Alchemy, Drumcroon, Wigan Education Authority Arts Centre Thackeray Gallery, London Italian Sketchbook, Works on Paper, Thackeray Gallery, London The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh On Reflection, Thackeray Gallery, London Works on Paper – Landscapes from Italy and Scotland, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh Reflections on Venice, Bohun Gallery, Henley-on-Thames Thackeray Gallery, London Plant Memory, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh Victoria Crowe, Recent Work, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh Overview, The Fine Art Society, London A Shepherd’s Life, Paintings of Jenny Armstrong by Victoria Crowe, The Fleming Collection, London Reflection, Edinburgh Festival Exhibition, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh Collected Journeys, The Bohun Gallery, Henley-on-Thames Plant Memory, touring Highlands and Islands Plant Memory, Town House Art Gallery, Aberdeen University Victoria Crowe, New Work, Browse and Darby, London Ti Sorprendo, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh Images of Grimes, Aldeburgh Festival Exhibition, Gallery 44

2014

2014/15

2015 2016 2017 2018

A Celebration: 40 Years of Painting, Bohun Gallery, Henleyon-Thames. Fleece To Fibre: The Making of The Large Tree Group Tapestry, Dovecot Tapestry Studio, Edinburgh Festival Exhibition Real and Reflected, Edinburgh Festival Exhibition, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh Permanence and Fragility: Paintings and Drawings by Victoria Crowe, Ruskin Library, Lancaster University Fleece to Fibre, the weaving of Large Tree Group Tapestry, touring Victoria Tapestry Studio, Melbourne, Australia; Inverness Art Gallery and Museum; and The Fleming Collection Gallery, London Winter Sequence, Browse and Darby, London Light on the Landscape, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh New Work, Browse and Darby, London Beyond Likeness, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh A Certain Light, Edinburgh Festival Exhibition, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh


SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS Bank of Scotland Calderdale Museum and Art Gallery Carnegie Dunfermline Trust Chatsworth House Contemporary Arts Society Cornelian Asset Managers Ltd Danish 20th Century Portrait Collection, Frederiksborg Castle, Copenhagen Department of Neuroscience, University of Edinburgh District Council of Edinburgh District Council of West Lothian Edinburgh City Art Centre Education Authority of Edinburgh Education Authority of Inner London Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation The Franklin Trust Glasgow Museums and Art Galleries Harlow New Town Council Heriot-Watt University Highland Council Houses of Parliament Medical School, new Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh Mercantile and General Reinsurance Company McLean Gallery, Greenock National Museums of Scotland National Portrait Gallery, London National Trust for Scotland Nuffield Foundation, Paintings in Hospitals (Scotland) Reader’s Digest Reading Museum and Art Gallery Royal Academy, London Royal Bank of Scotland Royal College of Art, London Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh

Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh The Royal Society of Edinburgh Scottish Arts Council Scottish Life Insurance Company Scottish Media Group Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Scottish National Portrait Gallery Smith Art Gallery, Stirling St. Leonard’s School, St. Andrews The Boots Company Trustee Savings Bank University of Aberdeen University of Cambridge University of Dundee University of Edinburgh University of Glasgow University of Newcastle University of Oxford University of St Andrews Wigan Education Authority William Bowmore Collection, Australia Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers SELECTED PRIVATE COLLECTIONS HM The Queen HRH The Duke of Edinburgh HRH The Prince of Wales Lady Cawdor Duke of Buccleuch Duke of Devonshire and in further important Private Collections worldwide


Victoria Crowe Beyond Likeness

Victoria Crowe

by Duncan Macmillan and Victoria Crowe

by Duncan Macmillan

Published by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 2018

Published by Antique Collectors’ Club

Price: £14.95 “The most important portraits to me are the ones of people who have enriched my own thinking or awareness. Areas of philosophy, religion, psychological perspectives, poetry, music, art history, women’s roles and the inner life are important issues for me – and all have been nurtured by these people whom I have met through portraiture.” Victoria Crowe Beyond Likeness tells Crowe’s own story – both professional and personal – through her art. She has developed an approach to portraiture that seeks to do more than record the outward appearance of a person: she aims to represent something of the inner life. With 80 illustrations, the portraits include the artist’s family, composer Ronald Stevenson, pioneer medical scientist Dame Janet Vaughan, poet Kathleen Raine, actor Graham Crowden, theoretical physicist Peter Higgs and many others.

Price: £35.00 The author Duncan Macmillan HRSA, FRSE is Professor Emeritus at the Department of Fine Art at the University of Edinburgh. He was Director of the Talbot Rice Gallery (1979-2004). He has been art critic for The Scotsman since 1994.


Victoria Crowe: The Leathersellers’ Tapestry

A Shepherd’s Life, Paintings of Jenny Armstrong by Victoria Crowe

by Victoria Crowe and Naomi Robertson

by Mary Taubman, Julie Lawson and Victoria Crowe

Published by The Leathersellers’ Company Price: £25.00 This book documents the development of a forty metre frieze of handwoven tapestries which shows Victoria Crowe’s inspired design, rich in glowing colours and imaginative motifs. The commission was woven by Dovecot Tapestry Studio, Edinburgh, and designed for three walls of the dining room in the Worshipful Company of Leathersellers’ new Livery Hall, as designed by Eric Parry RA and installed in January 2017.

Published by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery (new edition 2018) Price: £9.95 “Jenny Armstrong was born in 1903 at the farm of lower Pentland Hills. Victoria Crowe’s pictures pay tribute to the life and work of this individual and at the same time record a rural way of life, once common, but now changing so fast that it has evolved beyond recognition.” John Leighton and James Holloway A limited number of signed copies will be available at The Scottish Gallery.


Published by The Scottish Gallery to coincide with the exhibition VICTORIA CROWE A Certain Light 2 August – 1 September 2018 The Scottish Gallery would like to thank Michael Walton and Kenneth Gray for their essential input, support and photographs. Exhibition can be viewed online at www.scottish-gallery.co.uk/victoriacrowe ISBN: 978-1-910267-84-4 Designed by Kenneth Gray, www.kennethgray.co.uk Photography by John McKenzie Printed by J Thomson Colour Printers, Glasgow All rights reserved. No part of this catalogue may be reproduced in any form by print, photocopy or by any other means, without the permission of the copyright holders and of the publishers.

Cover: Tree Bank, Winter Light (detail) (cat. 1) Inside front cover: White Nights of a Northern Summer (detail) (cat. 23) Right: Late Evening, July (detail) (cat. 18)


Profile for The Scottish Gallery

Victoria Crowe | A Certain Light | 2 August - 1 September 2018 | The Scottish Gallery  

A catalogue to accompany Victoria Crowe's festival exhibition, A Certain Light.

Victoria Crowe | A Certain Light | 2 August - 1 September 2018 | The Scottish Gallery  

A catalogue to accompany Victoria Crowe's festival exhibition, A Certain Light.

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