To Have a Voice
Mackintosh Museum

Event Type:



167 Renfrew Street Glasgow G3 6RQ Mon-Fri 10.30am-4.30pm, Saturday 10am-2pm, Sunday closed Free admission to gallery


4 Feb 2012 - 31 Mar 2012
Sat - Sat, 10:30 - 17:30



Kaye Donachie, ‘You are the wish, and I the fulfillment’, 2008, oil on canvas.
Courtesy the artist and Maureen Paley, London.

To Have a Voice

Event info

To Have a Voice

A group show offering the opportunity to explore contemporary figurative painting, including works by Hernan Bas, Kaye Donachie, Moyna Flannigan, Chantal Joffe, Bruno Pacheco, Gideon Rubin and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.

How can a contemporary artist give a voice or fresh perspective to the established canon of figurative painting? Why do artists choose to give a voice to the characters they create? 'To have a voice' explores a variety of approaches.

The female protagonists of Moyna Flannigan's paintings rise warrior-like out of the canvas, expressing character and intent with an economy of brush stroke. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Hernan Bas creates detailed and vibrant settings for his male youths to inhabit. His greater body of work also looks at gender and sexuality, in particular the role of the 'dandy' as a motif of queer culture. Chantal Joffe, a GSA graduate, paints mostly women and girls, seeing it her role to question assumptions about what makes a noble subject for art. Israeli artist Gideon Rubin wishes to offer alternative ways to view the figure - in his ongoing series of portraits all recognisable facial features are removed. A painting installation by Portuguese artist Bruno Pacheco offers different viewpoints of a guard observed in Tiananmen Square. Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, influenced by the history of European portraiture uses this framework to create a new art history of Africans and people of African descent in painting. Reminiscent of early filmic double exposures, figure, face and landscape morph into each other in the work of Glasgow born Kaye Donachie

GSA Exhibitions has looked at figurative painting in order to explore one of the subjects that art school students can be perennially drawn to as they develop their practice. We wanted to curate an exhibition that looked at how painters today work with and more importantly, subvert, the expectations of this genre.

With thanks to Corvi Mora; Hollybush Gardens; Maureen Paley, London; Rokeby Gallery and Victoria Miro.

"It's an exciting time again for painting in Glasgow."
- Moira Jeffrey, Scotland on Sunday