Award-winner with appetite for modern art

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The Independent Online
JOHN McKIE

When Glasgow's pounds 7m Gallery of Modern Art was being built, it was decided something more than a standard canteen was required.

The result is a spectacular rooftop restaurant, which the award-winning Scottish artist Adrian Wiszniewski is seen here painting.

Wiszniewski, born in Glasgow, has had work exhibited at the Tate Gallery and New York's Museum of Modern Art, as well as in Liverpool, Lisbon, Minneapolis and Tokyo. But, as he lives in nearby Lochwinnoch, he will find out what people think of his work at first hand. "It makes you more responsible because the people you meet will probably have seen it," he said.

That has not stopped the artist opting for bold shades of purple and green, and basing the restaurant backdrop on themes of earth, fire and water.

"I'm lucky, because they brought me in at an early stage when I got to decide the colour of the carpet and the staircase," he said.

The Gallery of Modern Art, funded mainly by the City Council, Lottery money and sponsorship, will show work by leading Scottish artists including Ken Currie, the Bosnian-war artist Peter Howson and Steven Campbell - all art-school contemporaries of Wiszniewski. Talent from further afield on display at the gallery, in the city's Royal Exchange Square, when it opens on 30 March will include David Hockney and Paula Rego.

Wiszniewski has no doubt about its merit. "People here have been talking about it for years, and when Glasgow was bidding to be City of Visual Arts for 1996, it made sense for this gallery to be part of the package."

In spite of the prospect of his friends and neighbours eating beside his creation, and the impending 25 March deadline, Wiszniewski refuses to be worried. "It's a huge project and I'm running about enjoying myself to bits."

Photograph: Jeremy Sutton Hibbert

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