James Cowie RSA: 1886-1956

19 April - 18 May 2013

James Cowie was an outsider. He stood apart from the dominant mood of the pre and post war years and dismissed the colourful, expressive style that his contemporaries embraced. Instead, he pursued the intellectual and classical. He founded his work on meticulous preparatory drawing from which emerged complex compositions laden with enigmatic and psychological narratives.


Several of the pictures in this exhibition were acquired from the artist’s estate in Cowie’s memorial exhibition in 1957. It was staged by the Art’s Council Scottish Committee and curated by Douglas Percy Bliss. It travelled to six venues throughout Scotland: Glasgow, Paisley, Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen and Arbroath. Since their acquisition, these pictures had not been shown publicly, nor were their whereabouts known. Also included in the exhibition were a number of pictures from the artist’s daughter, Ruth.