Exhibition of the week: Leslie Hunter, City Art Centre, Edinburgh
The Independent’s former comment editor, Adrian Hamilton writes a weekly column largely on international affairs with particular focus on the Middle East, Iran and foreign policy issues. Before joining the paper he was deputy editor of the Observer newspaper.
Saturday 01 September 2012
Of the four "Scottish Colourists" who have come to be seen as Scotland's special contribution to 20th-century painting, George "Leslie" Hunter was the most individualistic and the most self-destructive.
Born in Rothesay, brought up in California, he returned to Scotland and embraced French Impressionism and post-Impressionism with real fervour – but died still struggling to find a style that wholly expressed his ambition.
What makes this exhibition so enthralling is the total commitment of the artist to learning the lessons of the art that was exploding on the Continent at the time, from painters such as Manet, Renoir and Cezanne.
His later studies of flowers and fruit have a freshness that is brilliant – and not for nothing did the French pick Houseboats, Loch Lomond for their national collections. So at his best Hunter did produce some wonderful paintings. The beauty of a show like this is that you can follow him on his journey to get there.
(0131 529 3963; edinburghmuseums.org.uk) to 14 Oct
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