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international painting annual 5 exhibition-in-print
online resource

Alan McGowan
Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh College of Art

detail image


I see painting as a way to negotiate with the world, to try to understand it and participate in it: I feel a tremendous sense of engagement when working with the model and my intention is always to try to capture that feeling - that emotion.

Working always from life my paintings explore the tension between what I feel to be the inherent elusiveness of the world and our attempts to hold on to it. Seeing language itself as a vehicle for these attempts the language of paint ñ colour, tone, runniness, translucency, opacity, line etc become a second subject in tandem with the model, a parallel terrain. My recent work with skeletal forms is also influenced by landscape, and like my life work attempts to inhabit a borderland between figuration and the abstract.





born: 1964, United Kingdom



Edinburgh College of Art, 1987


selected awards/honors

Finalist "Threadneedle Prize for Figurative Art", London, 2014
ìWilliam Bowie Awardî, Paisley Institute Annual Exhibition, Glasgow, 2004
"Wood Award" , Visual Arts Scotland Annual Exhibition, Royal Scottish academy, 2001


selected publications

"The Art of Man"(edition 14). Firehouse Publishing, New Jersey. August 2013.
"The Language of the Body: Figure Drawings in Four Chapters." McGowan. Saturation Press, 2012.
"Nude 4". Manifest Press, Cincinatti, Ohio. September 2012.
"Faust, Exhibition Drawings". McGowan. University of Northumbria, 1997.


selected solo or two-person exhibits

Somewhere in This Song, The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle-uponTyne, England, 2013
The Language of the Body, Arts Complex Gallery, Edinburgh, UK, 2012
Faust, Matthew Gallery, University of Edinburgh, Edinburg, United Kingdom, 2001


selected group shows

A Bit of Brit, Westbeth Gallery, New York, New York, 2014
Threadneedle Prize for Figurative Art, Mall Galleries, London, United Kingdom, 2014
Nude 4, Manifest Gallery, Cincinnati, 2012
Royal Scottish Academy Annual Open Exhibition, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, 2011



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