Gerald Laing, 1936 - 2011
As one of the original wave of Pop artists Gerald Laing produced some of the most significant works of the British Pop movement. In London during the early 60s he pioneered the painting of enormous canvases based on newspaper photographs of models, astronauts and film stars. His 1962 portrait of Brigitte Bardot is an iconic work of the period and regularly features in major Pop retrospectives alongside Lincoln Convertible from 1964, a commemoration of the assassination of JFK.
After a period living and working in New York he returned to the Highlands of Scotland in 1969 to concentrate on sculptural work. Initially exploring abstraction and sculpture in the landscape, he moved on to figurative sculpture with the Galina series. High profile public commissions during this period included the Twickenham Stadium figures and the bronze bas-relief twin dragons at the exits of London's Bank station. His portrait work included heads of Luciano Pavarotti, Paul Getty, Sam Wanamaker (at the Globe Theatre) and Andy Warhol.
When the Abu Ghraib prison torture photographs began to appear in the press in 2003, Laing, a former British army officer, saw that his 60s starlets and all-American heroes had somehow become the perpetrators of horrific war crimes. This prompted him to return to a version of his early style depicting these one-time heroes of the American Dream in a grimmer contemporary light with the War Paintings series.
Prints currently for sale from Gerald Laing include screenprints from the Amy Winehouse series (Domestic Perspective, The Kiss and Gethsemane) and screenprints of Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham. Also available are digital prints of the War Paintings series including a three dimensional framed version of Truth or Consequences. Prints of Anna Karina are also still available. For full details see here.
Last year Gerald Laing produced the silkscreen print Jean Harlow in conjunction with St Pancras Editions. It is based upon his 1964 painting Jean Harlow which can be seen in the St Pancras Hotel art collection.
It is a fifteen colour silkscreen print with hand applied platinum leaf and silver-dollar foil. Prints from the edition of 200 are available from St Pancras Editions
A 1968 screenprint of AA D is still available for sale. View details here.
Line-out Sculpture Unveiled at Twickenham - 28/05/10
A 27 foot bronze sculpture of a rugby line-out by Gerald Laing has been unveiled at Twickenham Stadium.
The sculpture, cast by Black Isle Bronze, stands outside the newly-completed South Stand development. The group of five twice-lifesize figures joins four existing sculptures of rugby players by Gerald Laing at Twickenham’s west gate.
Read Gerald Laing’s speech at the unveiling ceremony.
Gerald Laing's new paintings return to the techniques and subject matter of his early work from the 1960s. In the place of Brigitte Bardot and his 60s starlets his sources are now contemporary media images of figures such as Kate Moss. His most recent series of paintings feature iconic images of Amy Winehouse
The Iraq war and the publication of images of torture at Abu Ghraib prison drew Gerald Laing back to painting for the first time in over three decades. The War Paintings series sees the starlets and all-American heroes of his early paintings take on new, more sinister roles.
A new arrival
Gerald Laing talks about his paintings of Amy Winehouse at the BBC News website.