Houston, John (1930-2008)

John Houston (1930 - 2008), one of the most recognisable and brilliant of modern Scottish painters, renowned for his expressionistic style, gestural brushstrokes and intense use of colour, deserves his place in the canon of European Expressionism as a worthy successor to the likes of Nolde, Kirchner and Munch. His landscapes show that, like the great Turner, he was a master of encapsulating on canvas the infinite awe of the heavens and the effects of changing light and the seasons on clouds, beaches, fields and the sea. Houston was a pillar of the Scottish artistic establishment. A graduate of Edinburgh College of Art, he remained closely associated with the school throughout his life as a lecturer and tutor. He married his fellow alumnus, the brilliant painter Elizabeth Blackadder, in August 1956. He was elected to the Royal Scottish Academy in 1972, awarded an OBE in 1990, and was accorded a major retrospective at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in 2005. During his life he had almost 30 solo exhibitions in both Edinburgh and London and his work is currently held in many of the greatest British institutions including, amongst many others, the Scottish National Gallery, Glasgow Museums and the Government Art Collection.

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