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David McClure

Artist Biography

David McClure was a highly regarded and widely collected painter whose work is to be found in a great many private and public collections throughout the United Kingdom and beyond. His paintings are celebratory of both life and nature, often informed with a wide knowledge of the history of the visual arts, literature and music. His work covers still life, landscape, interiors and the nude. He drew superbly and was a sumptuous and adventurous colourist in a well-acknowledged Scottish tradition who reveled in the art and craft of picture making.

He was one of a group of superbly talented artists who graduated in the early 1950s from Edinburgh College of Art where his contemporaries included Elizabeth Blackadder, John Houston and David Michie. Edinburgh students of the time benefited from the exposure to the paintings or teaching of the major Edinburgh School painters including Anne Redpath, William Gillies, John Maxwell, William MacTaggart, and Robert Henderson Blyth. Through these more immediate influences McClure was also moved to explore in particular the work of the Post-Impressionists, Gauguin, Matisse, Chagall and Redon and find his own voice.

In his earlier career he spent significant periods working in Spain, Italy, Sicily and Norway and taught at Dundee College of Art from 1957-85 retiring as Head of Painting, a post he took over from his great friend and colleague Alberto Morrocco.

1926               Born in Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire, son of a Scottish furniture designer and a Welsh school teacher.

                       Educated at Queen’s Park School, Glasgow.

1943-44         Glasgow University

                       War Service as Bevin Boy in the coal mines of Scotland.

1947-49         Fine Art Degree Course then jointly run between Edinburgh University and Edinburgh College of Art

                      combining Drawing and Painting with Art History.

1949-52         Edinburgh College of Art. Switched to Painting Diploma Course to paint full time.

1950               Married in Glasgow to Joyce Flanigan.

1951               Elected member of SSA.

1952-53         Travelling Scholarship to Spain and Italy.

1953-55         Taught part time at Edinburgh College of Art.

1955               Birth of first son Robin.

1955-57         Andrew Grant Fellowship. (Travelling and Painting in Scotland, Florence and Sicily with wife and son).

1957               Painted ceiling decorations and murals for the reconstructed King’s Room at Falkland Palace, Fife.

1957-83         Lecturer in Drawing and Painting, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, 

                      Dundee under Alberto Morrocco.

1958               Birth of daughter Paola.

1959               Birth of second son Kevin.

1963               Elected ARSA.

                       At the invitation of the Norwegian Cultural Department spent three months living and painting with his family in the                        outskirts of Oslo.

1965               Elected member of the RSW.

1967-69         President of the SSA.

 1971              Elected full member of the RSA.

                       Painted mural for St. Andrew’s University.

1976               Monograph on John Maxwell published for Edinburgh University Press.

1983-85         Head of Painting, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee.

1985               Retired from teaching to paint full- time.

1988               Death of wife Joyce.

1990               Elected member of the RGI.

1998               Died in Dundee on his 72nd birthday.

 

Selected Exhibitions 

Solo Exhibitions

1957               Circola di Cultura, Palermo, Sicily

1957               The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh

1961               The Saltire Society, Edinburgh

1962               The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh

1965               University of Birmingham

1967               Loomshop Gallery, Lower Largo, Fife

1969               The Scottish Gallery (Edinburgh Festival Exhibition)

1970               Bondgate Gallery, Alnwick

1975               Loomshop Gallery, Lower Largo, Fife

1977                Haddington House, Haddington

1978               Thackeray Gallery, London

1982               The Macaulay Gallery, Stenton (Edinburgh Festival Exhibition)

1983               Fairmaid’s House Perth

1984               Dunkeld Festival of Arts

1986               Thackeray Gallery, London

1988               Fine Art Society, Edinburgh and Glasgow (40 Years Retrospective)

1989               The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh

1991               Thackeray Gallery London

1992               The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh

1993               Thackeray Gallery, London

1994               The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh

1996               The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh (70th Birthday Exhibition)

Posthumous Solo Exhibitions

2000               Memorial Exhibition, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh

2003               Oils and Works on Paper, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh

2012               David McClure, Dundas Street Gallery, Edinburgh

2014               The Art of Picture Making, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh

2014               Island Aspects: Paintings and Drawings 1952-63, Cyril Gerber Fine Art, Glasgow

2015               Works from the Estate of David McClure, Panter and Hall, London

2015               Small Works on Paper, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh

Selected Group Exhibitions

1952               Young European Painters, Edinburgh

1961               Contemporary Scottish Paintings- Toronto, Canada

1963               14 Scottish Painters, Arts Council Exhibition at Commonwealth Institute, London and Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow, 1964

1964               Paintings and Drawings from the Collection of Dr Peter Davis, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, 

                       Edinburgh

1965               Contemporary Scottish Painters, Glynn Vivian Gallery, Swansea

1967               Younger Scottish Contemporaries, Scottish Television, Edinburgh

1975               Edinburgh Ten 30, Scottish Arts Council/Welsh Arts Council Exhibition at the Royal Cambrian Academy,

                       Conway (then to Llanelli and Cwmbran)

1991               Still Life in The Scottish Gallery and Sea and Shore, both The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh

1992               Scottish Artists & Spain and 150th Anniversary Exhibition, both The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh

1993               The Edinburgh School, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh Festival Exhibition

1994               Viva L’Italia, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh

 Regular exhibitor at annual exhibitions at RSA, RSW and RGI and at Summer and Christmas Exhibitions of The Scottish Gallery

 Selected Bibliography 

Casa Nostra, by Marziale, December 1956, p.56

David McClure Paintings at The Scottish Gallery, The Scotsman, 4.11.57

Young Artist’s Exhibition, The Glasgow Herald, 2.11.57

Childhood’s Visions Portrayed, The Glasgow Herald, 29.10.62

Child’s- Eye View, The Scotsman, 29.10.62

Dream World, Dundee Courier & Advertiser, 27.10.62

The Paintings of David McClure, The Evening News, 29.10.62

Studio, T Elder Dickson, February 1963.p 85

David McClure- Paintings, The Scottish Gallery exhibition catalogue, introduction by George Mackie, 1969

The Eye in the Wind- Scottish Painting since 1945, Edward Gage, Pub. Collins 1977 pp.43, 44, 46

Scottish Watercolour Painting, Jack Firth, Pub. The Ramsey Head Press, pp.27, 46, 71-72

A Defiance of Sorrow, The Observer Scotland, 4.6.89

Artist who delights in painting pleasurably, Edward Gage, The Scotsman, 6.6.89

It’s been a long hard road to Morrocco and McClure, W Gordon Smith, Observer Scotland4.6.89 (What a terrible headline!)

David McClure, The Scottish Gallery, William Ferguson, Times Educational Supplement, June 1989

Scottish Art 1460-2000, Duncan Macmillan, Pub. Mainstream, 1990,2000.pp.330, 369,394

David McClure- Recent Paintings, The Scottish Gallery exhibition catalogue, introduction by Peter Regent, 1992

Lasting Impressions, Edward Gage, The Scotsman, 19.10.92

Scottish Art in the 20th Century, Duncan Macmillan, Pub. Mainstream, 1994, pp.108, 109,113

David McClure- New Paintings, The Scottish Gallery exhibition catalogue, introduction by John Morrison, 1994

David McClure, The Scottish Gallery Exhibition, W. Gordon Smith, Scotland on Sunday, 20.11.94

Decorator with overall flair in his chosen school, Edward Gage, The Scotsman, 21.11.94 (Another awful, punning headline!)

Obituaries – The Scotsman, The Herald and The Dundee Courier, Feb. 1998 

Scotland’s Art, Duncan Macmillan, Pub. City of Edinburgh Museums and Art Galleries 1999, p.99

David McClure, The Scottish Gallery Memorial Exhibition – catalogue with introduction by Robin McClure and Guy Peploe, 2000

The Art of Picture Making, The Scottish Gallery Exhibition catalogue with essay and picture notes by Robin McClure

Selected Collections

Aberdeen Art Gallery

Argyll Education Committee

University of Dundee

Dundee Art Gallery

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

University of Edinburgh

Edinburgh City Art Centre

RSA Thorburn Ross Collection

University of St Andrews

Glasgow Art Gallery

Perth Art Gallery

Paisley Museum and Art Gallery

The Fleming  - Wyfold Art Foundation

Shell Petroleum Company

Bank of Scotland

British Rail

BBC Scotland

Edinburgh Fund Managers

Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne

University of Birmingham

Works in numerous Private Collections including USA, Canada, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy, France, Turkey, Norway, Ireland and throughout the United Kingdom.

 On-Line

54 works in Public Collections available to view at Art UK.

https://artuk.org/discover/artists/mcclure-david-19261998

Selected Writings

1972               R. Henderson Blyth Memorial Exhibition, catalogue introduction, Aberdeen Art Gallery.

1976               John Maxwell – a monograph of the artist’s life and work published by Edinburgh University Press

1990               Alberto Morrocco – Paintings from the Artist’s Studio, catalogue introduction, The Scottish Gallery.

1996               Introduction to The Mackenzie Sisters by Alwyn Jones, Black Ace Press.