Lorna Robertson lives and works in Glasgow. Paintings on paper, line the walls of her studio and return periodically to a live stack of works-in-progress on a table top. The paintings slowly gather coloured patches, fragments of text, figures, flower blooms, domestic interiors and garden spaces. The paintings wear not just the consequence of decision making, but they embody the managed risk, reactive thinking and material action at the heart of the very moment of each decision. As complex surfaces, former painting decisions retain a trace to be read through later skins, and understood in concert with the colours, marks and forms that coalesce the resultant work. There is a verticality and an insistence on shallow pictorial space within many of these works. Like a climbing rose or passion flower weaving through the armature of a trellis, blooming, fading and re-appearing in another place, Robertson’s paintings seem to grow through the slow time of their making. They retain a sense of the exchange between what is visible and invisible; what is present and what remains as potential. The paintings map on to the person of the painter, but they describe most eloquently how that painter navigates and processes stimuli, emotional states and visual becoming.
Robert MacBryde (1913-66) was the companion, confidant and lover of Robert Colquhoun (1914-62). Together ‘The 2 Roberts’ tore through the decorum of 1940s and 50s London, becoming notorious, celebrated, regarded and reviled in equal measure. Despite the tumult of their private and public lives, MacBryde’s still life paintings from the mid-1940 on become a site for complex and tender expressions and repressions to be exercised. Exotic fruits in full ripeness anthropomorphise into surrogate portraits on table tops within rooms that have consumed and regurgitated European Synthetic Cubism. The shadow of the painter falls across the motif, reminding us of the painter’s presence before the still life, and significantly his absence – dying relatively young and in the peripheries of an art world which had long since found other painters to lionise.
Lorna Robertson is an artist based in Glasgow. She studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in the late 1980’s. She has had solo and two person exhibitions, including Kodachroma at Glasgow Project Room (2013), This Dark ceiling at the Intermedia Gallery, CCA Glasgow (2008) and The Overlooked at Atelier Am Eck, Dusseldorf (2006). She was an artist in residence at Hospitalfield School of Art in 1989 and 1998.
Robert MacBryde (5 December 1913– 6 May 1966) was a Scottish still-life and figure painter and a theatre set designer. He studied at Glasgow School of Art between 1932 and 1937. There, he met fellow painter Robert Colquhoun, with whom he established a lifelong romantic relationship and professional collaboration, the pair becoming known as "the two Roberts". MacBryde held his first solo exhibition at the Lefevre Gallery in 1943. Influenced by Graham Sutherland and John Piper, he became an increasingly well-known member of what became known as the Modernist school of art. In collaboration with Colquhoun, he created several set designs during and after the Second World War. These included sets for Gielgud's Macbeth, King Lear at Stratford and Massine's Scottish ballet Donald of the Burthens, produced by the Sadler's Wells Ballet at Covent Garden in 1951.