John Byrne and an L.A. street corner

Scottish cultural icon John Byrne is equally well known for his work as an artist and as a playwright; a recent retrospective exhibition at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum is the first in more than 20 years to honour the beloved and prolific artist. This September’s Scottish Contemporary Art Auction features two artworks from the earlier stages of the artist’s career, highlighting both the aspects of painter and writer.


Lot 90, ‘L.A. Street Corner’ is an oil from 1971; recently authenticated by the artist himself, Byrne recalls that this artwork was painted in the early 70s after he had been to Los Angeles, California for the first time, and captured the life of the city. With bright blue skies, sun-bleached trees and perfectly trimmed hedges, this oil shines light on the areas of Los Angeles outside of the Hollywood neighbourhood, showing the versatility and diversity of the city that he was presented with on his first visit.




Lot 247 is an original lithograph poster for ‘The Lovliest Night of the Year’, the original name for Cuttin’ a Rug, the second instalment in The Slab Boys trilogy of plays. This poster from the original May 1979 performance at the Traverse Theatre Club in Edinburgh, and was designed and illustrated by Byrne; this copy has also been hand-signed by the artist.


Much beloved by the Scottish public and beyond for decades, John Byrne is a key representative of contemporary art in Scotland.


Makenzie Cool


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