What's On in Glasgow Life
Ian Hamilton Finlay
Poet, Artist, Revolutionary
Ian Hamilton Finlay (1925–2006) was one of the most important Scottish artists of the 20th century. Finlay was born in Nassau, Bahamas to Scottish parents. He studied briefly at Glasgow School of Art but originally attracted attention as a poet. His frequent references to classicism are rare in contemporary art.
In the 1960s Finlay was introduced to concrete poetry which puts emphasis on layout and typography of words. These words and ideas in Finlay’s work are as important as the images
Finlay loved the graphic beauty of prints. The prints and sculpture in this exhibition are from Glasgow Museums’ collection. Finlay’s cards, prints and booklets were at the centre of his practice. His outdoor and indoor installations refer back to the works on paper.
Little Sparta is a garden in the Pentland Hills of Scotland and one of Finlay’s most important works. He combined buildings, artworks and landscape to make profound statements on classicism, power and nature.
Finlay uses references to the French Revolution and war to remind us that liberty comes at a cost.
When GoMA opened in 1996 Finlay created two installations that are both related to the French Revolution. They can be seen outside this gallery, off the top balcony area.
Finlay collaborated with many different artists and crafts people to realise his ideas. His thoughtful work is full of wit and imaginative playfulness.
Glasgow Museums would like to thank Pia Simig and the estate of Ian Hamilton Finlay for her recent gift of prints by the artist.
For The Herald article 15 June 2013 - click here.