George Wyllie: In Pursuit of the Question Mark (5 stars)

Fabulously upbeat mix of sculptures, drawings and paintings from Scottish scul?tor

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George Wyllie: In Pursuit of the Question Mark

Perhaps best known for his public sculpture depicting a clock on running legs outside the Buchanan bus station in Glasgow, the late George Wyllie has become a household name in Scotland. His work has always been populist, accessible and life-affirming, and this retrospective celebrates the passion and infectious energy of a man who only decided to become an artist in his late 40s.

The exhibition consists of a fabulously upbeat mix of sculptures, drawings and paintings, hung and placed salon-style spanning the length and breadth of the Mitchell Library hall. There are quick, quirky drawings and complete paintings, sculptures and humorous objects, maquettes and the real thing, works never seen before and others well documented.

Self-styled as a ‘scul?tor’, his inquisitive and public-focused work continuously asked questions, hence the question mark in the middle of it all. We get to see documentation of memorable projects such as his straw locomotive and the paper boat, both addressing the decline of the city’s industrial heritage.

In May 1987 the straw locomotive was hoisted up the Finnieston crane and later burnt in a Viking-style funeral revealing a question mark made of cast iron when the straw fell to ashes. His paper boat sailed down the Clyde, then the Thames and later the Hudson in New York.

This exhibition will be loved by young and old alike, by the ‘Why?sman’s’ diehard fans, and shoud even warm the cockles of a cynic’s heart.

Mitchell Library, Glasgow, until Sat 2 Feb

George Wyllie Retrospective: In Pursuit of the Question Mark

Major retrospective of the late, internationally-acclaimed artist, whose often humorous works included The Paper Boat and The Straw Locomotive. Early paintings and sculptures feature alongside more recent pieces like 2005's giant robin, together with the rare treat to view previously unseen works.

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