Pastel on paper
The landscapes in this exhibition have stepped forward from the background of the artist’s portraiture into the foreground. Landscape now claims the canvas completely.
The biographical human subject is gone. When people do appear in these new, ‘late style’ works, they are figures drawn from the artist’s imagination, for example Rosina and Figaro in his drawing of a scene from Rossini’s opera The Barber of Seville (Figaro Serenades Rosina, 2018, Pastel on paper, 81 x 65cm), themselves creations of the composer’s imagination.
‘Because it’s so different from painting a portrait, painting a landscape becomes an enjoyable experience…another kind of painting, freer, and unburdened. The landscapes, or landmarks I‘m attracted to usually have some kind of emblematic potential…from my studio window I can see Arthur’s Seat, Salisbury Crags, Calton Hill. The crags and rocks of Edinburgh speak of history and therefore confer identity….In Sutherland, Suilven…and in Italy, the Apuan Alps. These are perhaps my most pure landscapes…they don’t need people. And it is possible to make a landscape painting that carries additional meaning, as Poussin and Caspar David Friedrich demonstrated.’ – Alexander Moffat