The Scottish Contemporary Art Auction on Sunday 21 January offered at auction the studio contents of one of Glasgow’s most distinctive and imaginative artists, Ally Thompson. A painter of the New Glasgow Boys generation, his dreamlike (or nightmarish) compositions earned him the moniker “Glasgow’s Surrealist” and propelled him to international recognition.
Throughout his career, Thompson experimented with a range of artistic styles, and the works included in this studio sale range from a student still life from 1977 (lot 72) to larger, more recent works in oil (lot 51).
The Great Matriarch of the West (lot 62) is typical of the bold and unnerving imagery which characterised his work of the early 1980s, whilst In the Dismal Heavens of a Tired Planet, the Mischievous Serpent Reigns Supreme (lot 69) captures his jump to expressive and turbulent landscapes where he sought to explore the deep inner workings of the soul.
The majority of the studio sale compromised work executed within the last ten years, including pastels, inks, oils and printmaking. His vast output and bold approach to painting alongside Peter Howson, Steven Campbell, Ken Currie and Adrien Wiszniewski marks him as a vital contributor to Scottish visual culture and hopefully in time, a collector’s favourite.
McTear’s is the single largest outlet in the world for contemporary Scottish paintings and sells more paintings each year than any other auction house or art gallery (public or private), art fair or festival in Scotland.