Rowlandsmodernart.com has chosen Scotland’s famous Ken Currie as Artist of the Day. We love his work because it’s very detailed, very emotional images, and beautifully artistically executed.
Currie’s paintings are primarily concerned with how the human body is affected by illness, ageing and physical injury. Closely related to these themes, his work also deals with social and political issues and philosophical questions. Although many of the images dealing with, for example, metaphysical questions do not feature figures, a human presence is nevertheless suggested.
National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh
2 works online
Currie described the ‘Glasgow Triptych’ as showing the ‘story of the Scottish working class in the 20th century, as reflected in the relationship between an old shop steward and political activist and a young unemployed man.’ He explained that the left-hand panel ‘recalls the moment of the Labour victory in 1945, as remembered by the old activist and retold to the young man in the City Bar.’ The central panel, ‘The Apprentice’, treats the early 1980s as years of decay, while the third, ‘Young Glasgow Communists’, shows a group of young activists planning for the future. The triptych is inspired by the work of Fernand Léger, the Mexican mural artists and the German Neue Sachlichkeit art of George Grosz and Otto Dix.
Currie moved away from narrative history painting to explore the wider universal theme of the human condition and how the body is affected by illness, ageing and disease.
More recently (from around 2000 onwards), in what could be described as the ‘third stage’ of his career (it is important to remember however, that these ”three groups” are all inter-related and should not be viewed as completely separate), Currie’s work attempts to pose more abstract and philosophical (eg. metaphysical) questions to the viewer.
From 2005 onwards, it could be argued that Currie’s style has changed yet again, as is apparent in some of the paintings shown in the second half of this video.
Category: Art Reviews