Alexander Goudie (1933-2004) was one of Scotland’s leading figurative painters. Goudie was distinguished as a portrait painter and painted the Queen, Lord Chancellors, business tycoons and celebrities, including Billy Connolly. He was also notorious for a series of nude self-portraits in which he took on the guise of mythical figures including Bacchus and Neptune.
Alexander Goudie RP RGI, Self Portrait - Hommage to Van Gogh
Throughout his life he laboured upon a series of passion projects. He designed sets and costumes for Oscar Wilde’s play 'Salome' and the Opera by Richard Strauss. In a series of huge canvasses he illustrated Robert Burns’ Gothic tale 'Tam o’Shanter. The series of 54 paintings were purchased for the nation and are on permanent exhibition at Rozelle House in Alloway, Burns’ birthplace. Goudie was a sculptor, a ceramicist and decorated the interiors of great ships, notably the 25,000 tonne flagship of the Brittany Ferries fleet, ‘Le Bretagne’.
Alexander Goudie’s wife and muse, Marie-Renee, comes from Brittany. During annual visits to the region, taken over 45 years, Goudie painted the portrait of a rural community of farmers and fishermen that remained virtually unchanged from the place, which had inspired 19th Century artists, like Paul Gauguin.
This exhibition will include work from across the whole of his career, including paintings, drawings, sculpture and ceramics.
Alexander Goudie was a formative influence upon his son, the artist Lachlan Goudie ROI, one of the judges in the BBC TV series 'The Big Painting Challenge’ and the presenter of a 4 part BBC4 series, ‘The Story of Scottish art’.
Lachlan remembers growing up in a bohemian creative household where he regularly had to sit for his portrait and negotiate his school-friends around a house decorated with nude paintings of his mother. ‘Had it not been for my father I doubt I would ever have become a painter myself’.
Alexander Goudie was elected a member of the prestigious Royal Society of Portrait Painters (RP) and the Royal Glasgow Institute (RGI).
Alexander Goudie RP RGI: A Retrospective
Open 11 to 16 April 2016, 10am to 5pm
Mall Galleries, The Mall, London SW1