28th Mar, 2024 10:00

The Scottish Contemporary Art Auction

  Lot 72


egg tempera on panel, signed, titled and dated 2000 label verso
framed and under glass

image size 78cm x 108cm, overall size 107cm x 137cm

Label verso: The Gatehouse Gallery, Glasgow
Comment: An outstanding and very large work by Colin Fraser and probably the largest example to be offered at auction.
Note 1: By repute, the lady is the artist's wife. Colin Fraser's work rarely appears at auction but in 2021 Bonhams, London sold "Warm Light" (61 x 65cm egg tempera) by Fraser for £3000 (hammer) - lot 153, Modern British & Irish Art 28th April 2021 and in The Scottish Contemporary Art Auction of 10th November 2022 lot 61 "Early Morning Light" (a 67 x 46cm egg tempera) by Colin Fraser sold for £2200 (hammer).

Note 2: Colin Fraser was born in Glasgow in 1956. He studied art in Brighton while in his twenties before moving to Lund in southern Sweden, where he lives with his wife and children. He exhibits regularly at the Royal Academy Summer Show, Catto Gallery and Petley Fine Art in London, Mira Godard Gallery in Canada as well as at galleries in New York and Glasgow. His work is held in numerous private and corporate collections throughout North America, the UK, Europe and Asia. Ever since his first exhibition in Brighton in 1978, Colin Fraser has worked almost exclusively in egg tempera, which has the benefit of being very long lasting, with examples over two thousand years old still in existence, and was the most widely used painting medium until the sixteenth century, when it was superseded by oils. However, it is also extraordinarily time-consuming. The painted surface must be built up layer by translucent layer, with the paint drying instantaneously and not amenable to manipulation afterwards, unlike oil paints. Although a notoriously difficult medium, it has become a firm favourite of Fraser’s, who says that the “restrictions have been paramount in helping me be more direct in my approach to the work, with the instant drying and transparency of the paint actively contributing to a higher level of spontaneity of execution”. Colin Fraser is particularly drawn to its vitality which reminds him “of the dynamism of the sun – never static, always changing”. “Observed light is usually what attracts me into the process of painting,” he says. “The surface of a work painted in tempera simply has a unique glow which cannot be imitated in other mediums”. Constructing each painting is an arduous process, each beginning with an idea or a chance observation followed by weeks of experimentation with arrangements and preparatory drawings. Many of his scenes are staged with strategic placement of chairs, diaphanous textiles and trays of fruit. He believes that the painter “chooses the content and the arrangement, and then it becomes a question of striving to achieve a particular mood”. The prestigious Catto Gallery (London) has staged highly succesful solo shows for Colin Fraser in 2015, 2017, 2019 & 2022.


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Sold for £1,500
Estimated at £1,500 - £2,500

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