1985 – John Houston

This Thursday, to tie in with ‘Brig in Colour‘, we are showcasing this work by John Houston, purchased for the Art Collection in the year 1985.

Dark Sunset V
John Houston OBE RSA
(Screenprint 1/1)

Houston took his inspiration from the East Coast of Scotland. His style was expressionist, painting landscapes, seascapes, still-life and the human form in oil and watercolour, using strong colours to evoke atmosphere and changing weather and light. John Houston’s work was also inspired by his passion for jazz, and this can clearly be imagined when looking at this piece. Another similar example is the print shown below, also owned by the Art Collection.

Bass Rock, Dusk (Lithograph, 7/35, 1973)

One of the most distinguished painters of the post-war Scottish school, John Houston was born in Buckhaven, Fife, and in fact played football for Dundee United (and Scotland under 21s) until his career was halted by a knee injury. He then attended Edinburgh College of Art where his contemporaries included David Michie and Alan Davie (an acomplished jazz musician). After graduating he began teaching at ECA, and remained till his retirement in 1989, while also working as a prolific painter.

Dusk (Oil on canvas, 1971)

John Houston was married to Dame Elizabeth Blackadder, whose work is also in the University collection, and in 2012 a joint exhibition entitled ‘Journeys from Home I Journeys Together’ was organised by the Art Collection, and The Park Gallery, Falkirk.
Copies of the catalogues are available here

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