Craig Richardson here addresses key areas of cultural politics and identity in a way that not only illuminates the development of Scottish art, but teases out another strand of the plurality of developments which led to the success of artists throughout the UK in the 1990s. It is of the highest relevance whether one's perspective is that of the development of the Scottish art, British art or European art of this period. The book adds significantly to our knowledge of the art of this period in a way that will aid not only our historical understanding but our understanding of the dynamics of art practice today. Providing an analysis and including discussion (interviewing artists, curators and critics and accessing non-catalogued personal archives) towards a new chronology, Richardson here examines and proposes a sequence of precisely denoted 'exemplary' works which outlines a self-conscious definition of the interrogative term 'Scottish art.' Among the artists whose work is discussed are John Latham, Simon Starling, Alan Johnston, Roderick Buchanan, Glen Onwin, Christine Borland, William Johnstone, Joan Eardley, Alexander Moffat, Douglas Gordon, Alan Smith, Graeme Fagen, Ross Sinclair and many others. The discussion culminates in a critically original demonstration of the scope for further research and practice within the subject, facilitating national cultural debate on the character of Scottish-national visual art.
'This is an important book. It reinvigorates old debates and sets up new ones. It is a well informed, energizing read.' Murdo Macdonald, University of Dundee, UK
’Richardson’s formidable, provocative and essential work of scholarship comes from a lively and combative mind. This is not a neat chronological overview, despite its four-part division of chapters from 1960 to 2003, but a critical journey across the more literary, conceptual and often ignored territories of Scottish art over the last forty years…One hopes that this book will operate as a kind of catalyst for fresher approaches that, as Richardson himself does, build on the best scholarship but refuse to be beholden to it…. This book is an essential milestone in the history of Scottish visual culture, surely bound to inspire new approaches in the future. … Highly recommended reading and a triumph.’ Visual Culture in Britain
Contents: Preface; Introduction; Winter sun (1960-67); 'The feel of the situation': national identity and the avant-garde in Scottish art (1968-78); The night minds (1979-88); Rational practices (1989-2003); Bibliography; Index.