The largest private collection of Peter Howson’s early work will be gracing our gallery walls in the second Scottish Contemporary Art Auction of 2020.
The collection includes several examples from Howson’s time at secondary school, where he produced an enormous amount of figurative studies. For the young Howson, drawing became an obsession, spending hours exhaustively sketching in chalks, pen, and pencil. These were mostly of family members, but especially his grandfather who he said was ‘a very good model who kept perfectly still and had a good face for drawing’.
This body of work demonstrates Howson’s longstanding obsession with capturing the human form. Studies in pencil and biro pen of various facial features highlight the young artist’s determination and passion for art, as well as his prolific output.
Amongst these are very early self-portraits of the artist, likely painted during his time at the Glasgow School of Art in the late 1970s. Recent examples are also included in the collection, which gives us a chance to see the artist’s development in front of our eyes.
Although it would still be a number of years before Howson developed the style he is now known for, these early works serve as a poignant look back at the beginning of a long career of one of the country’s best figurative artists.
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