Dramatic Painting of the Month for April

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Published Date: 

1 Apr 2015 - 17:38

Argyll and Bute Council’s Painting of the Month for April is a mixed media work by Leonard Gray entitled ‘Façade’ – a dramatic image of buildings with advertising posters and brightly coloured bunting.

It measures 61 X 48.2cm and was acquired in 1970 by the council’s Argyll Collection. It is currently exhibited on rotation in Argyll and Bute secondary schools.  It is signed by Leonard Gray at the bottom right. The date of the work is unknown.

Leonard Gray was born in 1925 and is known for his interest in the colour pattern and texture of old buildings. He lived in Dundee originally before moving to Dunfermline and later Aberdeen. He first starting exhibiting in 1954 and over 100 works by him have been recorded.

Many of Gray’s paintings are based on the East Coast of Scotland, with travels to Europe and the Far East resulting in work based on these experiences.

Gray works with mixed media, with gouache being the main medium.  Gouache is a type of paint consisting of pigment, a binding agent (usually gum arabic), and sometimes added inert material. He uses subtle warm colours with an emphasis on texture.

The collaged text on the gable end, which seems to have been part of a newsprint advertisement, reads "when you buy any Hush Puppies, 15th November 196?”  and the name on the corner shop seems to read T ALKM. There is also a bottle of Lea & Perrins sauce depicted on the gable.

Leonard Gray was elected to the The Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour in 1968 and has exhibited prolifically at the Royal Scottish Academy.

To watch a slideshow of Leonard Gray’s paintings please visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/artists/leonard-gray

For more information about The Argyll Collection please visit http://argyllcollection.com/content/gray-leonard-facade/